Melany M. November 19, 2019
T1, formerly known as SK Telecom T1, has been at the center of a surprising amount of news regarding League of Legends free agency.
The organization has extended its contract with Lee "Effort" Sang-ho. The support player will return next spring and will remain a part of the organization that gave him his start thanks a two-year extension.
Before this, T1 extended its contract with Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, which will see the mid laner stay with the team through the 2021 season. Bottom laner Park "Teddy" Jin-seong is under contract through 2020, so the bottom lane is secure for the team.
That said, big changes could still be in store for T1. Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong and substitute jungler Kim "Crazy" Jae-hee have both been released from the team.
But much more importantly, T1 announced that top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha and jungler Kim "Clid" Tae-min are exploring free agency.
T1 in a tricky position with Khan, Clid free agency
The free agency of Khan and Clid is a tough turn for T1. The organization enjoyed a very good 2019 season that included back-to-back LCK titles and a top-four finish at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. It undoubtedly wants to keep its roster intact for 2020.
Khan used to be considered a “coin-flip” top laner who failed to perform internationally. But during his time with T1, Khan has improved and reclaimed his title as one of Korea's best top laners. This is particularly important for T1, a team that has historically struggled to find a strong player in this position.
Clid is considered one of the best junglers in the world, and for a good reason. His performance at Worlds was remarkable and garnered attention across the entire LoL fandom. That performance coupled with the premium value for junglers at the moment makes Clid the hottest free agent on the market.
T1 added that they are actively working on re-signing the players for 2020 and beyond. If T1 fails to renew the contracts, the team will have a difficult time finding replacements of the same caliber. Right now, the junglers and top laners on the market are not even close to the level of Khan and Clid. T1 must make them a juicy offer if the team wants to repeat its success in 2020.
T1 also shared the shocking news that coach Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun is exploring his options elsewhere. kkOma started his coaching career with T1 back in 2012 and has been one of the team's most identifiable figures ever since. Any team in the world would be happy to sign the three-time World Champion head coach.
T1 is still working on renewing the contracts, but all three of them are undoutbedly fielding offers right now.