[UPDATE Dec. 7] Following the news of Rookie officially becoming a free agent, Invictus Gaming announced that they've parted ways with Kang "TheShy" Seung-rok.
TheShy has been with IG since 2017. Alongside the team's mid laner, Song "Rookie" Eui-jin, he led his team to a world championship victory in 2018, defeating Fnatic 3-0 in the grand finals. While he returned to the Worlds stage in 2019, they fell to FPX in the semifinals of the tournament 3-1. Since then, IG failed to make it back to Worlds in 2020 and 2021, and looks to regather themselves for the 2022 season.
This news comes pretty late in the off-season, as many of the major organizations around the world have already announced their 2022 roster. It'll be curious to see where both Rookie and TheShy will be heading next year.
According to an announcement by Song "Rookie" Eui-jin reported by HUPU Esports, the mid laner will be entering free agency, potentially ending his seven-year relationship with Invictus Gaming. According to HUPU's tweet, Rookie is still negotiating with iG, but also exploring other teams.
The news comes after the announcement of longtime iG teammate Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok’s free agency.
Rookie has been a long-time veteran of the League of Legends scene, considered by many to be one of the best players in history. Originally playing with the KT Rolster Arrows in Korea, he gained notoriety for winning OGN Champions 2014 Summer. Moving onto the LPL with iG, Rookie became a strong presence in the Chinese scene — winning several domestic competitions as well as at Worlds 2018, in addition to a semifinals run at Worlds 2019. He became one of the most popular players in China as well, voted to represent the LPL in 2015, 2018, and 2020 All-Stars.
Since 2019, iG has yet to return to Worlds, and has struggled to create competitive rosters in China. Most recently in LPL 2021 Summer, they placed 13th with a 6-10 record. Rookie and TheShy additionally had some of their worst seasons individually. News on if iG will renew the contracts of their other players, most of which expired on Nov. 16 is not known.
Sometimes referred to as “Faker Junior” he is noted for aggression, mechanics and deep champion pool — at one point considered the best player in the world. He is noted for being the second player in the LPL to reach 2,500 kills after Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao. Rookie's tenure with the team is one of the longest by a professional player in LoL history. He has claimed to be the most proficient Chinese-speaking Korean player.
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