Roster shuffle season is officially upon us. As is tradition, mid-November marks the expiration of most League of Legends esports contracts, and the post-Worlds period is perfect for the teams to prepare themselves for the next season.
In China, the LPL teams have already started seeing roster changes, some even dating a week or two back. Here’s what we know about the LPL off-season so far, in chronological order.
With Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok standing firmly as iG’s starting top laner and one of the best in the world on that position, substitute Lee “Duke” Ho-seong is set to depart from the roster. This ended Duke’s three-year stint with the team. Duke is set to return to Korea for his military service.
Nov. 8: Flawless leaves JD Gaming
JD Gaming are without a jungler for now, after parting ways with Sung “Flawless” Yeon-jun after his contract expired. The rest of the team’s contracts only expire in 2020 or 2021, so JDG will likely only look for a jungler this off-season, hoping to repeat their Cinderella story from the 2019 Spring Split.
Nov. 16: Bilibili Gaming part ways with Kuro
Like iG, BLG have also favored one top laner heavily over the other, in this case giving Kang “ADD” Geon-mo starting priority. With Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng’s contract coming to an end, BLG released him into free agency.
“I am looking for a team regardless of the region,” Kuro wrote on Facebook, adding: “I do not have much time left [as a professional player] and I want to give myself the best shot at going to Worlds.”
Nov. 18: BLG extend contract with jungler Meteor
While they didn’t need Kuro in the top lane, BLG saw value in promising young jungler Zeng “Meteor” Guo-Hao, who was a driving force behind BLG’s success in the LPL Spring Split. Meteor’s contract has been extended for three years, up until 2022, BLG confirmed on Weibo.
Nov. 18: Maple leaves Suning
Suning are set to lose one of their key piece, star mid laner Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang, formerly of Flash Wolves. This leaves the mid lane position completely open for the time being. The rest of the team’s contracts run into 2020/2021 so just like JDG, Suning will likely see for just that one missing piece.
Despite high hope and a star-studded roster, Suning became one of the most disappointing LPL teams in 2019, finishing 10th in the Spring Split and 8th in the Summer Playoffs.