With the Mid-Season Invitational approaching, nine Korean teams will be watching from home, spending the offseason as a time to make moves to become a better team for the Summer Split. What types of changes will these teams make? Will they make any changes at all? With that being said, here are some teams to follow through the offseason.
Where Does Griffin go From Here?
After another defeat in the finals, this time in dominant fashion, Griffin has lost the trust of many fans of the region to perform when it matters most. With Griffin’s late collapse, something needs to change. But what can be done?
For most the first target of improvement comes in the top lane in Choi “Sword” Sung-won. While he was the best performer in the finals, he is still the weakest member of the team. While he is a strong tank player, his struggles with carry top laners puts Griffin in a rough situation in certain metas. While it’s not necessary to replace Sword outright, having a sub top laner that is capable of playing carry top laners would be a huge improvement for the team.
Regardless of what happens, Griffin will need to come back with a different look if they want fans to have any hope for the team going forward.
Will Hanwha Life Esports Switch Things up?
Once again, Hanwha Life Esports barely missed out on the playoffs as they ended in 6th place. While some questionable roster decisions didn’t help, the team has hit a crossroads. At this point, the organization must make a decision about how their roster will look moving forward.
The first option is to believe in the continued development of their roster and keep the team as is. With talented players like Gwon “Sangyoon” Sang-yun and Kim “Moojin” Moo-jin, management could decide that the team can still improve and make the playoffs. If they decide to go this route, the roster needs to be better managed and they need to use subs much more than they did in the Spring Split.
The other option is for management to decide that this roster has hit their ceiling and to spend money to bring in a top tier talent to hopefully bring the team to the next level. While this can always backfire (Gen.G picking up Han “Peanut” Wang-ho for example), it is the easiest way to make quick improvements. The main issue with this plan is that the current free agent pool is fairly weak so it would be hard to see any players that could be a noticeable upgrade for the team.
Regardless of what Hanwha decides to do, their offseason will be a very interesting one to follow.
Will the Worlds Teams Make Changes?
KT Rolster, Afreeca Freecs and Gen.G were the three representatives for Korea at last year’s World Championship and make up three of the four teams that ended at the bottom of the standings this split. To say this split has been a failure would be an understatement considering the expectations for these teams. But where do they go from here?
Despite losing the bot lane of Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong, the roster looked decent coming into the split. While they had a weakness at the ADC position, the other lanes still looked great. However, the team just couldn’t get it together and as most players had a drop in performance, KT now find themselves at risk of relegation for the first time. If they survive, the biggest area of improvement will be in that ADC role as both Byun “Gango” Se-hoon and Jeon “Zenit” Tae-gwon have struggled through the season.
Next, there’s Afreeca Freecs. After a disappointing performance at worlds, the team’s struggles continued into the Spring Split. One of the biggest issues of the team was their constant roster changes and lack of any set starting roster. Once a roster was mostly set near the end of the regular season, the team looked much better. Because of this, the biggest thing Afreeca can do heading into the offseason to improve is just to trust in their starting roster and give them a chance. With the time to develop as a team, Afreeca could still have some solid results with Kim “Kiin” Gi-in leading the way.
Lastly, there’s Gen.G. After a historic collapse at worlds, the team made a huge roster change by bringing in jungler Peanut. However, with key players leaving the team like support Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in, the team was unable to find any success due to a lack of leadership and shotcalling. Heading into the offseason, Gen.G’s main priority is to find a capable shotcaller. While the individual players were struggling for most of the season, their main issue was the lack of shotcalling which was apparent in the mid to late stages of the game. If they can find a shotcaller for the team, Gen.G could make some huge improvements.
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