Lee “Crown” Min-ho, a 2017 world champion, came over to America this off-season to an underwhelming Optic Gaming organization, having finished 7th and 9th in the last two splits. The former Gen.G midlaner signed a two-year contract after a disappointing Summer Split in League Champions Korea, playing in only three games and no playoff matches. He did get his time in the sun, regaining his starting spot for the regional qualifiers and maintaining it for the 2018 World Championship. Only to be bounced out in the group stage.
Crown joined a team with two starting caliber junglers in William “Meteos” Hartman and Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, a bottom lane with former NALCS MVP Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon with support Terry “Big” Chuong and top laner Niship “Dhokla” Doshi.
Optic went out, got a former world champion, two starting junglers and resigned Arrow before the 2019 season. This team wasn’t on everyone’s radar, but they looked promising.
Crown and the team got off to a decent start. Going 1-1 in their first week after fielding their academy rooster plus Crown because of a visa issue with Arrow. They went 1-1 again in the second week of the split, this time with Dhokla as the starting top laner. Crown played well in their wins, putting up a combined Kill/Death/Assist Ratio of 5.5. He even pulled out Rumble in the mid lane, an old-school counter to Akali, to great success in their game against Clutch Gaming.
Week three came along, with Arrows’ visa issues solved Optic decided to throw in the rest of the starting roster. Meteos and Big joined the stage, it was time to see what the true starting five of Optic could do.
They haven’t done much.
Optic is 0-4 with their starting lineup and while at times have looked impressive, with hard fought losses against TSM and Cloud 9 recently, their results have been middling. Crown has also been middling, boasting a combined 1.31 KDA over those four losses.
The team currently sits at tied for 9th place, only squeaking past 10th because of their win against the current 10th place team, Clutch Gaming.
Weeks to Come
Crown and this Optic squad have had some early struggles but seem to be improving every week, just not enough to pull out a win. Coming up on the halfway point of the split this team needs to go on a win streak if they want to be anywhere near playoffs.
Will that come from better teamplay like we have seen them improve on? Maybe. Will it come from another academy platoon substitution? Unlikely.
All that is known is, Crown has not lived up to the hype as a former world champion. He has disappeared in some games, going 0/2/0 on Zilean and 0/2/4 on Ahri to cite some examples, and has yet get an MVP of the game award. The times his team has won an MVP of the game, after winning a game, it has gone to Dhokla and Toan “Asta” Tran, the team’s academy AD carry.
Follow Declan on Twitter: @DickyMclaughlin
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