Unexpectedly, Hanwha Life Esports has been making a few interesting moves behind the scene, most notably parting ways with its 2022 League of Legends roster. Besides their top laner Lee “DuDu” Dong-ju, all of the other players decided to move on to new pastures. Even though there were some rumors regarding who would come in to join the team for the 2023 season, Hanwha Life teased fans with a YouTube announcement video, basically confirming the rumors that were spreading around the scene.
The former EDward Gaming and 2021 world champion ADC Park “Viper” Do-hyeon will be making a return to the South Korean league after playing for two years in the Chinese region. His last international performance ended up on a quarterfinal finish at 2022 Worlds when the team got reverse swept by DRX, the now 2022 League of Legends World Champions, though it has to be said that losing to the champions is not something any team should be ashamed of.
“We are happy to announce that ‘Viper’ has joined HLE once again. We warmly welcome bot laner ‘Viper’, who has won the world championship and has excellent aggression. Please look forward to the new story of HLE that will unfold together with HLE ‘Viper’ in the following season,” the organization stated on Twitter, along the video that we mentioned before. .
Viper has been a highly-contested player during the League of Legends 2023 off-season, because he is considered to be one of the absolute best ADCs in the history of the game. First, he was rumored to keep playing for the EDG organization, but now, his signing means Hanwha Life Esports has managed to put its hands on an incredibly strong roster. Together with Viper, former EDward Gaming mid laner Lee “Scout” Ye-chan is also expected to make a comeback to the LCK. Though there haven’t been any confirmations regarding the rest of the roster.
Hanwha Life Esports has seen very big names under their lines, most notably players like Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and Son “Lehends” Si-woo, who are now considered to be one of the best players in the league. Unfortunately for them, it’s been a long time since they have been able to sign top players, but things seem to be changing for the upcoming season.
Viper joining the team is one of the most shocking news so far, because we can’t forget that Hanwha Life Esports had one of the absolute worst performances during the 2022 season. In fact, it was the worst season the organization has ever had, finishing last place in both the spring split and the summer split. Now that they have signed Viper, it’s safe to say that HLE will have a much better showing during the upcoming 2023 season, and it wouldn’t be that surprising to see them finish in the top part of the standings.
In the end, Viper’s return to the Korean region is set to elevate the Korean competition to new high grounds, as he should be on top of the league in terms of ADCs. With a lot of teams still looking to finalize their lineups and DRX’s players becoming free agents, who are now world champions, this is going to be one of the most turbulent LCK offseasons in recent years. Expect a lot of interesting moves coming in the next few weeks.
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