Just days after the announcement of the LCK 2021 season franchises, the teams are ready to make moves. Afreeca Freecs took the community by surprise when it confirmed the departure of long-time head coach Choi “iloveoov” Yeon-sung. Iloveoov is a pioneer in the LCK, being one of the first coaches to successfully use a 10-man roster and taking Afreeca Freecs to the League of Legends World Championship in 2018. In the following years, iloveoov took a back seat and let the assistant coaches be the ones appearing on stage.
Rigby worked with Afreeca Freecs in the summer split and previously worked with Lira under Dignitas’ banner. The new co-coaches are familiar with each other’s style, and should have some synergy built up as they tackle this new challenge. Lira is returning to the professional stage after a brief time as an analyst on the LCK broadcast.
Afreeca Freecs is one of the few teams in the LCK that didn’t lock its roster through 2021. Only top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in and mid laner Song “Fly” Yong-jun will be under contract beyond November 16. Still, those contracts are not final and the team might look to add new pieces.
Kiin is highly valued by Afreeca Freecs, as the organization reportedly signed a multi-million dollar contract to keep him. Kiin is regarded as one of the best top laners in the world and a reliable piece for the organization. Afreeca Freecs could be looking to build a new roster around its star, or it could also be looking to start the new era of the LCK with a clean slate.
Few top players are entering free agency onNovember 16, but that won’t be a problem for Lira and Rigby. The LCK has an outstanding crop of rookie players every year who are ready to prove their worth on stage.
The Afreeca Freecs Academy team recently won the 2020 KeG Championship, representing Incheon. All of these rookies are now free agents and could take a spot on the LCK stage.