The League of Legends pre-season has divulged SKT roster changes that, for now, reduce the South Korean esports organization in terms of power levels.
Taking to its official Facebook page yesterday, SK Telecom T1 announced that it is parting ways with two of its key players: top-laner Lee “Duke” Ho-Seong and jungler Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung.
Duke was part of the team’s starting lineup and a core ingredient in winning the 2016 League of Legends World Championship. Despite his formidable presence, Duke felt that his performance in the annual event was not “satisfactory”. It’s unknown as to which team he will be playing for in the next season.
Bengi has been part of SKT for the past three years, resulting in three world championship titles as well as numerous other achievements. His departure arrives in the wake of rumors that he is planning to retire from competitive League of Legends. It’s strongly hinted that the organization is bringing in former Rox Tigers’ jungler Yoon “Peanut” Wang-ho as Bengi’s replacement.
The upcoming SKT roster changes also see coach Lee “PoohManDu” Jeong-hyeon make an exit, whereas head coach Choi “L.i.E.S” Byoung-hoon and Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun have been retained.
The bottom-lane duo of Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan have also renewed their contracts. Kang “Blank” Sun-gu, one of two junglers used last season, will also be wearing the fiery wings in the next split.
Regarding mid-laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, the widely considered best League of Legends player in the world is sticking with his home team.
According to South Korean esports publication OSEN, Faker was offered an “unprecedented offer” to stay. There’s still no word on the actual monetary figure accompanying the contract but strong rumors suggest that Faker was offered at least ₩3 billion (approximately $2.5 million). This does not include other sources of revenue such as tournament winnings, streaming, merchandising, and other sponsorship deals.