Melany M. November 20, 2020
Former T1 head coach Kim "Kim" Jeong-soo is going back to the LPL after signing with Bilibili Gaming.
After getting fired abruptly by T1 when the team failed to qualify to the 2020 World Championship, coach Kim has found a new home. The coach will return to the LPL, where he earned his first World Championship title as a coach with Invictus Gaming in 2018.
Coach Kim is known for his ability to transform any team into a Worlds contender. The coach did it in 2017 with Longzhu Gaming, then again in 2018 with Invictus Gaming, and one final time in 2019 with DAMWON Gaming. Coach Kim failed to repeat the feat in 2020 with T1 which led to him being fired by the organization. The two parties seemingly didn't split on the best of terms.
Can coach Kim save Bilibili from the bottom?
The LPL is a highly competitive region with 17 teams battling for the title. In this environment, it’s easy for teams to lose track of their goals and fall to the bottom of the standings. Bilibili finished spring in 10th place and did even worse in summer where it finished 12th. Precedent suggests that adding coach Kim and buying into his tactics could transform Bilibili into a playoff contender, at the very least.
The advantage for Bilibili is that there's always a scramble for the top spot in the LPL. As a fast-moving region with a steady stream of young talent, teams that perform well one year can fall to the bottom the next. After winning Worlds, Invictus Gaming struggled domestically and is yet to recover its spot at the top. FunPlus Phoenix had a similar journey in 2020 and didn’t even get the chance to defend its title.
LPL teams that shined in 2020 might be history in 2021. The league is constantly evolving and that’s exactly what makes it the strongest region in the world. Bilibili might get a chance in 2021 and if it can make it, it will likely be thanks to coach Kim.