Afreeca Freecs announced Son “Ucal ” Woo-hyeon as the team’s new starting mid laner for 2019.
After releasing four members of the team, Afreeca Freecs has started building up its roster. The first addition is young mid laner Ucal.
The 17-year-old started his career with KT Rolster as a sub. By the end of 2017, he was promoted to the starting roster. Ucal replaced the experienced Heo “PawN” Won-seok, who had struggled with injuries.
During his time with KT Rolster, Ucal proved that he could go head-to-head with the best players in the LCK. Ucal competed at the 2018 World Championship where KT Rolster was a favorite. The team ended up losing to eventual champion Invictus Gaming in the quarterfinals.
The mid laner is replacing Lee “kurO” Jin-hyeok, who joined Afreeca Freecs in 2016. Kuro decided not to renew his contract with the team. Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun, Park “TuSin” Jong-ik, and Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha also parted ways with the organization.
Afreeca Freecs was the first team to regularly use a ten-man roster, a trend that has since caught on in both Korea and North America. The team is known for their strict training regime.
The complete starting roster is yet to be revealed, but Ucal can count on Kim “Kiin” Gi-in in the top lane. Kiin, who represented Korea at the 2018 Asian Games, was the most valuable player for Afreeca Freecs last year. The star player has been in the professional scene for little over a year and is already considered one of the best top laners in the world.
Afreeca Freecs is counting on young talent to continue its strong performance in the LCK and beyond.