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After making their first World Championship since 2015, KT Rolster is completely overhauling their roster. The team has let go of jungler Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae, mid laner Heo “PawN” Won-seok, Son “Ucal” Woo-hyeon, and star AD Carry Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu.
KT Rolster’s entire seems to be leaving after playing the majority of the last two years together. They would be one of the best lineups in the LCK on paper since 2016. However, the team would find minimal success, only managing to reach Worlds once in those two years. They would never really reach their potential as a squad, especially with the amount of firepower on the roster. Their lack of triumphs would cause KT fans to hesitate whenever good things would come their way because usually, they would never end well for this poor Korean team.
The amount of talent that KT Rolster was able to gather under one banner was staggering. For example, many people would consider Deft and support Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong a top three bottom duo in the world. PawN was also a good mid laner that could hold his own against some of the best in the region. When Ucal came into the mid lane for the team, he was a young, bright rookie with incredible potential. Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho is still considered by many as the best top laner in the world. Meanwhile, their jungler Go “Score” Dong-bin was an icon of stability and consistency for the team.
The fact that this team could only muster up one successful season is baffling to many fans and analysts alike. Now, they have lost a majority of these great players to free agency. One big surprise that came from this news, is the loss of Ucal. He is only 17 years old and represents a new age of Korean players that could be the future of the scene. Unfortunately, the team would lose the budding phenom as well. Although news hasn’t surfaced about Smeb and Score, their contracts have ended with KT Rolster as well. They may end up leaving the team as well, due to the exodus of talent from the organization.
The Great Korean Shuffle of 2018
This is only one of the many LCK teams that have lost multiple members of their roster. For example, Gen.G would release almost their entire roster to free agency earlier in the month. Kingzone DragonX would part ways with a majority of the roster’s core as well. Jin Air Green Wings, Afreeca Freecs and Hanwha Life Esports would all lose multiple members of their lineups as well. This news from KT may be one of the biggest roster moves in the region, next to SKT. The perennial World Champions would release seven players, including veterans Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan.
It looks like the underwhelming performance of Korea at international events has had a ripple effect across the LCK. Teams are now making huge changes, and as a result, the entire Korean competitive scene is changing. Because Korea has been the best region in the world for so long, these upcoming roster decisions will also affect the international competitive stage as well. Can these drastic moves make Korea a region of champions once again?
What do you think of KT Rolster losing Rush, PawN, Ucal, and Deft? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more LCK coverage, check us out here!