Searching for a new commander: The head coaches of the LCK "hot stove league"

Source: Inven

 

With the conclusion of the World Championship, the 2020 League of Legends season has come to an end. The players will take a step back and the management will be active and working to bring new talents to their teams. It’s the start of the preseason "hot stove league".

 

In this stove league, it is anticipated that the competition to sign "great commanders" will be vicious. Many head coaches were released as free agents, including several that have already proven themselves, and many eyes are watching where they would go. The headliners of the list are the World Championship winners: Kim “kkOma” Jeong-kyun, Choi “Edgar” Woo-beom, and Kim Jeong-soo.

 

KkOma led T1 for a long time during the team's prime. He served as a coach from 2013 to 2017, and was the head coach in 2018 and 2019. Every time T1 lifted one of its 13 championship trophies (thre World Championships, two MSI championships, and eight LCK championships), kkOma was with them. In 2020, kkOma left T1 after a seven-year tenure and joined Vici Gaming of the LPL, serving as head coach for a year, and left the team in September.

 

Source: Inven

 

Edgar, who has been taking a break after the 2020 LCK Spring Split, was a real one-club man. From when he was a player to being a coach, Edgar was always in Samsung (current Gen.G). He raised the Summoner’s Cup in 2014 and 2017 (as a coach and head coach) and also won the LCK championship twice. Edgar had been communicating with the fans through streams and said in August that he’ll be returning to work.

 

Kim’s path was quite the opposite to the other two coaches. He switched to a different team every year, but never missed a single Worlds between 2016-2019. After winning the championship with Invictus Gaming, he led DAMWON Gaming to the quarterfinals last year. However, his results in T1 in 2020 weren't up to expectations and he left earlier than planned.

 

According to several officials in the scene, Edgar will stay in Korea, unlike the rumors saying that he’ll be heading to the LPL. During his break, many teams reached out to Edgar. It is said that he was the most considered person by the teams that need a head coach. Kim and kkOma were also considered by many teams, but it is not yet known whether they’ll remain in Korea, given how expensive they are. 

 

Other than these three, there are many head coaches that are looking for a team. Choi “cCarter” Byeong-hun — who had led T1’s LoL team, PUBG team, and Dota 2 team — parted ways with T1. cCarter will be a great candidate for teams that need leadership out of the game.

 

Source: Riot Games

 

Among the Korean head coaches in the LCS, Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu and Kim “SSONG” Sang-su have become free agents as well. Reapered joined Cloud9 in 2016 and had the highest results among the LCS teams, but left the team after failing to reach Worlds this year. SSONG was in several teams starting from Immortals, and was the head coach of Counter Logic Gaming this year.

Source: Inven

 

SANDBOX Gaming started off by signing Kim “Micro” Mok-kyoung, who established DAMWON Gaming. Among the 10 franchised teams of the LCK, Gen.G and T1 currently don’t have a head coach. There would be teams that are looking to change their head coaches for a fresh start as well. The management teams will be competing actively to bring in their “commanders” for next year. 

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