Tom B. November 27, 2019
In what has already been an extremely busy off-season in League of Legends, big news just keeps on breaking.
According to ESPN, legendary SK Telecom T1 coach Kim “kkOma” Jeong-hyun will be departing the team to join Vici Gaming. Aside from losing star player Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, this is the biggest change the organization could experience.
This news marks the end of an era. KkOma has been the coach of SKT since retiring as a player in 2012. During his time with the organization, kkOma became the most decorated coach in League of Legends history by helping the team win three World Championships, one Mid Season Invitational, and six domestic titles.
After suffering a defeat at the hands of G2 Esports in the semifinals of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, kkOma explored his options in free agency. He reportedly heads to the LPL and has turned down a seven-figure deal to stay with T1.
In joining Vici Gaming, kkOma will be taking on a new challenge in establishing the team as a contender in the LPL. In the 2019 season, Vici finished 16th and 15th in the spring and summer seasons respectively, with a combined record of 4 wins and 26 losses. This will be a huge change for a coach who is used to working with a consistently successful team, but that may have been part of the reason he chose to make the move.
T1 is planning to replace kkOma with DAMWON Gaming’s Kim “Kim” Jeong-soo. Despite being in the scene for far less time than kkOma, Kim already has an impressive set of achievements. He won an LCK title with Longzhu Gaming in the 2017 LCK Summer Split, a World Championship with Invictus Gaming in 2018, and secured a Worlds 2019 playoff slot with DAMWON Gaming.
Fans of Vici will be hoping the winningest coach in LoL history can change their fortunes, while T1 fans will be eager to see if the team can return to their previous dominance.