DWG Kia’s roster may look very different in 2022.
Just weeks removed from their loss to EDward Gaming in the 2021 World Championship finals, DWG KIA’s Heo “ShowMaker” Su, Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu and Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee have allowed their contracts to expire in order to explore their offseason possibilities. All three players are now free agents and are free to negotiate with other teams.
The trio saw their contracts expire on November 15. The jungle, mid and support players were part of the Damwon Gaming roster that won Worlds in 2020 and followed that with back-to-back LCK split championships in 2021.
In a statement from DWG KIA, the team announced that they “respect their decisions for free agency” and “would like to express gratitude for their time with us”, before going on to give DWG fans some hope of seeing their star players stay as the team “will keep communicating with them in hopes of signing new contracts.”
Though the trio are no longer a part of DWG KIA at this time, the organization has the opportunity to re-sign them. They’ll just have to make an offer that beats those of other LCK teams, as well as some likely competition from the LPL and LCS.
Though DWG KIA has been the most successful Korean team in League of Legends over the last two years, the organization hasn’t been as stable as its championship pedigree would suggest. After winning the Summoner’s Cup in 2020, top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon departed the organization and is currently signed to FunPlus Phoenix.
DWG KIA isn’t the only LCK team to see their players look for offers elsewhere, with Hanwha Life Esports’ mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and bottom laner Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu also seeing their contracts expire.
Hanwha is still continuing talks with their franchise players in the hopes of keeping them for next season, but may have a tougher task than DWG KIA. The team failed to reach the heights of their Korean rivals despite sporting the two superstars this season. The team still had a generally strong season that included a run to the playoffs in Worlds 2021.