Newly crowned World Champion top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon might be heading to the LPL for the 2021 season.
According to Naver Sports, Nuguri is heading to the LPL for the first time in his career. It’s still unclear which team he will join exactly, but most rumors are suggesting the former world champions at FunPlus Phoenix. The team recently said goodbye to both of their top laners, Kim “Khan” Dong-ha and Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem, leaving a spot open for a new top-lane superstar.
If the reports are true, Nuguri will be heading to China just a few months after he won the 2020 World Championship in Shanghai with DAMWON Gaming. The team dominated the 2020 LCK Summer Split and followed it up by crushing the competition on the international stage.
It doesn’t come as a shock that the DAMWON players are highly coveted in this offseason, but Nuguri leaving will leave a lot of fans sad that the Worlds squad won’t stay together to defend the title.
Nuguri has reportedly been in talks with several LCK teams in the last couple of weeks, but now it looks like he has decided to look towards the LPL. Even though Nuguri has been a dominant force in the LCK for the past two seasons, the competition is considered higher in the LPL, and that could influence his decision.
Even though the potential in the LPL is great, Nuguri could be joining an FPX team that has struggled since winning the 2019 World Championship. FPX didn’t make it to Worlds this year after a poor performance in the summer split. There is also a possibility that Nuguri will join another LPL team, but it seems likely that he is heading to FPX since DAMWON has just picked up Khan.
It is likely only a matter of days before fans know where Nuguri will be playing next year.
FunPlus Phoenix plays in the best Chinese league, called the LPL. The team joined the league back in 2018 and has done very well since. FPX performed the best in 2019 where the team won the 2019 LPL Summer Split, followed up by becoming world champions a few months later.
Nuguri is a 21-year-old top laner from South Korea, who is currently seen as one of the best players in the world. Together with DAMWON Gaming, Nuguri won the 2020 World Championship just after two years as a professional player. For the 2021 season, Nuguri will be joining a new team that is still unconfirmed.
Nuguri is the Korean word for raccoon.