After spending the first few weeks of the 2019 season teamless, Lee “Flame” Ho-jong has found a new home. The former LCS top laner is joining the LCK’s DAMWON Gaming.
2019 LCK Spring 2라운드부터 Flame 이호종 선수가 새롭게 합류하게 되었습니다. 이호종 선수가 잘 적응하여 좋은 경기를 보여줄 수 있도록 많은 응원 부탁드립니다!
담원게이밍의 가족이 된 이호종 선수를 진심으로 환영합니다!👏👏 pic.twitter.com/ocYFFwZD9m
— DWG KIA (@DWGKIA) February 18, 2019
This news comes after Flame would sit out the competitive League of Legends season for a few weeks. Many fans were wondering when the top laner would join a team, seeing as he was a capable player last year. This season, it was confirmed that he was not returning to FlyQuest after a suboptimal 2018 campaign. Instead, the team would opt into picking up former Team Liquid Academy top laner, Omran “V1per” Shoura.
A Disappointing 2018 for Flame
Flame came to North America back in 2016 by joining former LCS powerhouse, Immortals. After a second place finish at the 2017 NA LCS Summer Playoffs and a bad showing at Worlds, Immortals disbanded. In the new era of franchising, Flame joined FlyQuest alongside Jason “WildTurtle” Tran. Unfortunately, the team could not find much success that year. They finished the first split in eighth place and ended the second split in sixth. They would end up suffering an early exit from the playoffs as well.
In a league where many roster changes were occurring, FlyQuest were poised to make some big changes in the upcoming weeks in the offseason. Unfortunately, they would suffer a big setback by losing their head coach, Brandon “Saintvicious” DiMarco, after he said some controversial statements about depression.
A New Beginning with DAMWON
In the last four week of play, DAMWON Gaming has been playing pretty well. They sit in fifth place behind Griffin, Sandbox Gaming, SK Telecom T1, and Hanwha Life Esports. Their 4-4 record is decent, but they still have plenty to work on should they wish to challenge the top of the league. For example, the teams they’ve taken down are all bottom-tier teams in the LCK at the moment. This isn’t trying to discredit their work up to this point, but they haven’t been able to take down any top-tier rosters.
A good reason for this could be the fact that many players on their roster are relatively young. DAMWON’s age range spans from 17-years-old to 21-years-old, with members competing in their first season in the LCK. Although they may be very good mechanically, the inexperience could handicap them in multiple aspects of the game. For example, late-game decision making and macro could falter due to their lack of experience in those situations at the highest level. Flame can provide the team with a much-needed veteran presence.
Although we have not seen him in such a position before, Flame may have to become the new leader of this youthful DAMWON squad. The 26-year-old veteran is expected to share time with fellow top laner, Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon. He should be a great source of inspiration and knowledge that the team needed for some time. Hopefully, with Flame teaching his teammates, DAMWON can try to take down some of the teams higher in the standings. They will be facing off against Hanwha Life Esports in their next matchup.
What are your thoughts on Flame joining DAMWON Gaming? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more LCK coverage, check us out here!