Lee "Crown" Min-ho has announced this Friday he will be joining a Korean League of Legends team OZ Gaming, which competes in Challengers Kores (CK).
The 25-year-old LoL pro has had quite a turbulent period in his career since he hoisted the Summoner's Cup in 2017 with Samsung Galaxy. Once regarded as one of the most talented mid laners in the scene, Crown's fall from grace began shortly after his career-best achievement and it culminated with his departure from Counter Logic Gaming earlier this month, when he got replaced him with Eugene "Pobelter" Park as the team's new starting mid laner.
Although a Korean player, Crown's career began in June 2014 with a Brasilian team Team 58ers, which later disbanded and saw Crown move to KaBuM! Black. The Korean LoL pro played in Brasil for just under five months, before he returned to his home country of Korea, where he enjoyed a one-month stint with Hyper, before he joined Samsung Galaxy.
Crown played under Samsung Galaxy for two years, where he gained renown as one of the top talents in his role, which he later confirmed by cementing his place in history with the title-winning run at 2017 World Championship. In November 2017, Crown left for KSV eSports, which in May 2018 rebranded into Gen.G. Although a team with strong individual players, Crown has never managed to recapture his golden days and in November 2018 announced his departure from the Korean team.
In a bit to prove himself outside of Korea, Crown joined OpTic Gaming as a replacement for Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage. Arriving in North America, Crown was regarded as the best thing that has happened to the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), yet the reality was much grimmer. OpTic failed to deliver in their venture into 2019 LCS, finishing seventh and sixth in Spring and Summer Splits respectively. For 2020 season, OpTic rebranded into Immortals and released its entire roster in a bid to start fresh.
Crown, however, did not need long to find a new home at Counter Logic Gaming, who decided to give the Korean mid laner a chance to redeem himself after failing to impress in 2019. That did not happen, however, and Crown found himself benched from the active roster halfway into the Spring Split and later got released from the team.
Although there were many speculations where Crown will continue his illustrious career, the Korean pro provided us with an answer earlier this Friday, Match 20, when he announced he will be returning to his motherland, where he will play for OZ Gaming.
OZ Gaming are a newly formed team, which acquired the roster of Rockhead earlier in January and are currently competing in the Challengers Korea. Much like CLG, OZ Gaming are struggling with their performances this season, sitting at the bottom of the league standings with a 1-6 record to their name.
In a bid to find better results, OZ already signed former Asura jungler Lee "Juhan" Ju-han at the start of the month and will now look at the experienced Crown to help them see more success in their 2020 CK Spring Split venture.
“We expect Crown’s rich experience and strong desire to win to have a positive impact on the team,” said OZ Gaming coach Kwon "Hell" Jae-hwan.
Perhaps joining a Korean team is exactly what Crown needs to re-launch his career, that has been in a steady decline throughout the last couple of years, supposedly due to lack of motivation on his part. Joining a young roster will also give Crown a chance to prove his leadership skills, as Hell will most likely count on Crown to help with the development of younger and less-experienced members of the team.
Crown's first match with his new team is slated to be played on Friday, March 27, when OZ Gaming will face off against Element Mystic (formerly GC Busan Ascension).