UPDATE May. 11: Reports by Upcomer corroborate the original report by Markov regarding Selfmade's benching and Haru's signing, but also say that the deal is done with Haru and that Team Vitality will be signing jungler Zhou "Bo" Yang-Bo as a substitute to develop for the future.
After their disappointing debut split with their so-called “super team” stacked with some of the best individual players in Europe, Team Vitality have reportedly benched jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek. The moves were reported by JaxonMVP's Yohan Markov.
The jungler starting on the roster will supposedly be Kang “Haru” Min-seung. Haru is a veteran jungler whose career has put him on teams like SKT T1, Hanwha Life Esports, and GenG. But what he’s really known for is his 2017 World Championship win on Samsung Galaxy alongside big names like Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in and Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk.
After his World Championship win with Samsung Galaxy and a few years of lukewarm performance in the LCK, he found his home on X7 Esports, the NLC team that swept the league and had a strong EU Masters run ahead of them. Unfortunately, X7 got 3-0ed by LDLC, the team that was projected to win EU Masters before they got upset by fan-favorite team Karmine Corp.
Haru’s performance on X7 was certainly impressive, and he often played a large role in their victories by forcing fights and maintaining a high level of map pressure. Selfmade was often viewed in a similar light on Vitality. From the outside looking in, Selfmade had a key role on Vitality as a playmaker and someone that led the charge for the disorganized roster. We can only speculate as to why Vitality made the decision to find a replacement for Selfmade.
Haru’s acquisition by Vitality is not yet finalized, but the report states that Selfmade will be on the bench regardless of who takes his place. Selfmade’s current contract with Vitality isn’t set to expire until 2024, so it’d be an early departure or benching for their star jungler if the contract is not moved in some capacity.
Carver is an esports journalist and analyst who specializes in Eastern League of Legends.