Gen.G will look to get a better placement in LCK Summer by making some roster updates. In the off-season between the splits, the org signed a handful of new players, the last two being Lee “Rich” Jae-won and Kim “Asper” Tae-gi.
Asper comes to Gen.G from being a sub support on Hanwha Life, where he only played one game the entire spring split — a loss against SK Telecom. It is likely that Asper still plays second fiddle to Gen.G’s main support, Kim “Life” Jeong-min, who’s been Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk’s lane partner since Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in departure for Team Liquid.
From Heroes of the Storm to LoL
The much more interesting signing is that of Rich. Formerly a part of the very successful Gen.G Heroes of the Storm roster, Rich remained one of the best carries in the game during his entire career. He is a three-times international LAN champion, including back-to-back World Championship titles in 2017 and 2018, and certainly knows how to win MOBA games.
The question is, how will a Heroes player fare against LCK’s mid lane talent pool, which features the likes of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon, and Heo “PawN” Won-seok, among others. Heroes is a low-mechanics game for the most part, with more emphasis on team rotations and map control than 1v1 or 2v2 duels, which often break out in LoL in the mid lane. While known for playing more “mechanical” carries like Hanzo and Illidan, it will certainly take Rich some time to adjust to the high level LoL in the LCK.
Gen.G’s mid lane problem
Rich and Lee “Kuzan” Seong-hyeok, who was signed earlier this month, are both moves to try and repair Gen.G’s mid lane problem. Song “Fly” Yong-jun has been unconvincing on the position to say the least, averaging just 1.4 kills per game — the lowest of all mid laners with more than 15 games. His gold and XP differences at the 15-minute mark are all negative and he only had a positive win rate on two champions: his signature Lissandra (80% over 10 games) and Orianna (66% over three games).
Whether Kuzan and Rich will fix the gap in the mid lane, however, is questionable. Kuzan spent the 2019 Spring Split in Challengers, playing for ES Sharks and has made it to one LCK playoffs since the start of his career in 2015. At the same time, Rich comes from a game that is vastly different from League of Legends and it’s unlikely that he’ll be the answer to Gen.G’s mid lane woes.
For the org to succeed, they’ll likely look to play through veteran Han “Peanut” Wang-ho setting up ganks for Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin up top and Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk in the bot lane. They would likely use the Summer Split to groom their mid lane, rather than rely on it, and turn it into a threat ahead of the 2020 season.