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Chinese esports organization Vici Gaming is reportedly signing former SK Telecom T1 coach Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun, according to a report by ESPN. SKT will sign former DAMWON Gaming coach Kim “Kim” Jeong-soo to replace him on the League of Legends roster.
kkOma joins Vici Gaming
Going into the 2019 League of Legends Champions Korea Season, SK Telecom T1 had just finished a disappointing previous season. The team seemed to have returned strong after it took 1st in the Spring Split. However, this success did not carry over to the World Championships, where they were eliminated by G2 Esports – a team that also defeated the Korean lineup at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational. With this result, kkOma decided to enter free agency, making his first organization change in the 7 years since he retired from professional play.
While SKT offered him a seven-figure multi-year deal, he reportedly rejected it and went with a coaching role on Vici Gaming instead. Similar to other coaches who have left top teams to join bottom-tier ones, Vici hasn’t seen results close to the upper half bracket in a long time. However, kkOma may be pursuing exactly that sort of challenge.
Vici Gaming finished dead last during the 2019 League of Legends Pro League (LPL) Spring Split and second to last in the Summer Split. The only teams it defeated were the team right above and below on the leaderboards – ending the Summer Split with 2 wins and 13 losses. Instead of trying to help a powerhouse team achieve slightly better results on the international stage, it will be more impactful to help one of the LPL’s worst teams achieve Playoffs.
Coach Kim signed by SK Telecom T1
SKT has decided on former DAMWON Gaming coach Kim to replace kkOma on the roster. In the past three years, Kim has led three separate League of Legends organizations to the World Championships, which makes him a great fit. This includes Longzhu Gaming in 2017, eventual World Champion Invictus Gaming in 2018, and most recently DAMWON Gaming in 2019.
Can kkOma lead Vici Gaming from dead last to the upper half bracket in the LPL? In addition, does SK Telecom T1 have a chance at regaining their World Champions title? Or is it now the LPL era, as some say? Let us know about your opinion, 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.