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South Korean esports organization Hanwha Life Esports announced they would be letting go of former head coach Kang “OnAir” Hyun-jong from its League of Legends roster. OnAir joined the team in November of 2016 and had his contract renewed after it expired in November of 2018. However, after even worse results in the 2019 LCK Summer Split, he will not continue with Hanwha Life into the 2020 season.
Hanwha Life Esports
“Hanwha Life Esports has terminated the contract under mutual consultation with Hyunjong Kang, who led the team until last season,” wrote Hanwha Life on their Facebook page. “Since the beginning, we’ve been very grateful to head coach Hyun-jong Kang for his dedication to the team. We sincerely hope his future moves will be better and brighter.”
This announcement is described to have been “under mutual consultation”, but it’s most likely due to the team’s disappointing results in the recent season. The Hanwha Life Esports team entered the scene in April of 2018 after acquiring former organization ROX Tigers’ roster and League of Legends Champions Korea slot. With this acquisition, OnAir simply changed teams and remained in his head coach role, despite poor results.
2019 season results
Under the new Hanwha Life Esports name, the team placed 6th during the 2018 LCK Summer Split. They repeated this in the 2019 LCK Spring Split, along with a 13 – 19th placing at the keSPA Cup. The most recent 2019 LCK Summer Split split saw the Hanwha roster finish in 9th, which sent them into a relegation round. Fortunately, the team defeated the Jin Air Green Wings 3 – 0 to proceed to the 2020 LCK Spring Split.
It isn’t as if these results were truly unexpected, though. While the ROX Tigers had OnAir in the reigns, the team didn’t achieve anything spectacular either. The ROX Tigers finished two Spring Splits in 6th place and the 2017 LCK Summer Split in 7th.
Past LCK glory
These bottom-half bracket results come after the organization’s previous star roster’s contracts all expired toward the end of 2016. The previous team achieved multiple 1st place finishes in the LCK, along with two appearances at the 2015 and 2016’s World Championships. Both times the team ended up losing to powerhouse SK Telecom T1, but it is a far cry from the organization’s current performance.
This announcement comes a month after Jeong “Max” Jong-bin joined Hanwha Life Esports in a coaching role. He transitioned from a former role as coach with fellow Korean organization MVP.
Even if the organization finds another head coach, the team also has to make roster changes. This is because the bulk of the problem is with the players’ performance. Do you think Hanwha Life Esports will ever return to its former glory? Let us know and keep up with Daily Esports for all of your League of Legends coverage.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.