Kingzone DragonX will go into the LCK Summer Split without their star mid laner Heo “PawN” Won-seok. Korean gaming site Fomos reported Wednesday that PawN’s health has worsened and he will be taking the necessary break to recover.
“We will work together to make sure that [Pawn] can come back as soon as possible and resume training,” Kingzone said.
This is all sorts of bad news for Kingzone. A 2014 world champion with the roster of Samsung White, PawN is one of the key players on KZ, ranking fourth KDA-wise among midlaners with more than 30 games for the LCK Spring Split. He was also the pillar carry for his team, with 30% damage percentage for the team and 75% kill participation.
In his absence, KZ will have to field Yoo “Naehyun” Nae-hyun — a rookie player who only player three matches last split. By losing so much power in mid, KZ will likely switch their attention down bot and play primarily through Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu.
Finally, this raises serious questions about Kingzone’s potential to make Worlds. The team had many problems in the spring split and only finished third because the rest of the field had mostly taken a step back. Playing without PawN leaves opportunity for other on-the-rise teams like SANDBOX and DAMWON to make approach for Kingzone’s LCK spot. With only top 3 from Korea going to Worlds, PawN’s health break might cost the Dragons a lot.