MaRin’s year with TopSports Gaming was a forgettable one. The South Korean top laner came off of a massive contract with LGD Gaming in China and returned home to play for Afreeca Freecs in Season 7. Afreeca remained competitive throughout the year but failed to qualify for the World Championship, and MaRin in the offseason.
Fans hoped for a reunion of MaRin and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok on SK Telecom T1 following SKT’s dethroning by the hand of Samsung Galaxy at the 2017 World Championship. MaRin instead opted to return to the LPL, signing with TopSports Gaming.
TopSports Gaming had a horrible spring and finished in last place in the league. The team qualified for the 2018 LPL Summer Playoffs, but was eliminated by Royal Never Give Up in the quarterfinals.
MaRin’s free agency is one of the biggest potential stories of the offseason. SK Telecom T1 fans are hoping for the same reunion they dreamt of last year, but with Faker’s pending free agency, SKT may not even have MaRin on its radar.
MaRin would certainly be an elite top lane talent in South Korea, but the LCK is ever a competitive region, and MaRin’s previous decision to remain in China with TopSports may indicate a greater comfort level in his new home.
It wouldn’t entirely be out of the question to see him in North America. MaRin is a former World Championship MVP, and at this stage of his career, the question is if he prioritizes building up his legacy as a player or adding financial security.