The massive roster shuffle that SK Telecom was going towards is finally here. With the official start of the offseason, seven players have parted ways with SKT. This includes the entirety of the org’s core roster, with the sole exception of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok.
The mass departure ends the four-year stint of bot-lane duo Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan. The duo represented SKT’s bot lane core since they joined in November 2014. In that time, Bang and Wolf helped SKT to back-to-back world championships (2015 and 2016), back-to-back MSI titles (2016 and 2017) and four domestic titles.
Top lane duo Park “Thal” Kwon-hyuk and Park “Untara” Ui-jin have also cut ties with the team. Of the two, Untara is the more seasoned SKT player, wearing the jersey of three splits. Main jungler Kang “Blank” Sun-gu and subs Park “Blossom” Beon-chan (jungle) and Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik are also out.
Naturally, the logical question is what happens next? At this point, even Faker’s future with the team is uncertain, but even if he stays, SKT will still have to fill four core positions. Reports are already pointing towards a possible return of Han “Peanut” Wang-ho to the team as main jungler. Further information coming from SPOTV talk about SKT eyeballing Kim “Khan” Dong-Ha (currently at KZ) for the top lane; former Flash Wolves jungler Kim “Moojin” Moo-Jin; and JD Gaming’s Kim “Clid” Tae-Min also for the jungle. Furthermore, in a recent podcast, former Golden Guardians head coach Choi “Locodoco” Yoon-seop, spoke of Jin Air’s Park “Teddy” Jin-seong coming in to fill the AD carry position. No rumors or speculations have been made about potential support signings, though SKT still have Lee “Effort” Sang-hon on the roster.
SKT’s roster shuffle comes in the wake of the franchises worst year yet. The team failed to make either of the LCK Playoff finals and topped it all with failure to qualify for Worlds 2018 for the first time since 2014.