It's been a crazy offseason.
News that SSG parted ways with their World Champion roster surfaced on theScore Esports. The lineup of Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin, Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong, Kang "Haru" Min-seung, Lee "Crown" Min-ho, Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk, and Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in was acquired by KSV.
According to the company’s CEO Kevin Chou, KSV has been looking for an opportunity to enter the League of Legends scene for a while. If that’s the case, they’ve certainly found it.
Still, why would Samsung sell their team? And what does this mean for the players?
Even though the rumors of Samsung selling their roster have been circulating for some time, we weren’t inclined to believe them. After all, the organization spent two years trying to recapture its former glory after losing the powerhouse Samsung White and Samsung Blue lineups. Now that they’ve finally succeeded, it would be insane to let go of another Worlds champion.
But, that’s exactly what they've done. This move certainly raises concerns about the financial stability of the LCK.
By crushing SKT 3-0 in the 2017 World Championship finals, Samsung didn’t just shatter the legacy of their opponents. They forged their own. SSG were at their peak in terms of gameplay and popularity, so it makes no sense for the organization to part ways with them. At least, at first glance.
We can only speculate that one of two things must've happened.
One, players asked for substantial raises, and Samsung didn’t oblige, or Two, one of the largest Korean companies was already planning to exit the League of Legends scene. The latter scenario is especially worrying for the LCK’s future because it means that many organizations are likely to follow Samsung’s example.
Still, it’s not all doom and gloom here, as the LCK newcomers KSV are a great addition to the league.
The organization is situated in Silicon Valley (USA,) but it’s recently invested a lot of money into Korean esports. So much so that it has signed championship winners in Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. With the addition of Samsung Galaxy, KSV now have four top-tier lineups in some of the most popular games in South Korea.
It’s safe to say KSV has no shortage of funds, and we expect SSG’s players to be taken good care of. But even so, we can’t help but wonder if there’s more at play here, and the Korean esports scene isn’t as stable as it seems from the outside.
For now, though, we can only speculate, and watch as the 2017 World Champions don their new team colors.
What do you think about Samsung Galaxy selling its lineup to KSV? Share your opinion in the comments below!