It looks like Han “Peanut” Wang-ho is sticking around in Korea. Gen.G is acquiring the four-year veteran for the next competitive year.
Introducing our new jungler, 'Peanut' Wang Ho Han!
Support our newly added player, Peanut, for the 2019 season!
— 젠지 이스포츠 | Gen.G Esports (@GenG_KR) November 24, 2018
This announcement would arrive after much speculation and rumors on Reddit and social media, as well as Peanut himself. He would answer a tweet from Riot Games caster Sam “Kobe” Hartman-Kenzler, asking him to come to North America. In response, Peanut would state that he was, in fact, deciding whether or not to leave Korea for North America. This sent fans and analysts in a frenzy, pairing up Peanut with multiple Western teams like Team Solo Mid and even G2 Esports. However, it looks like he will be returning to his home once more with Gen.G.
2018 and a Final Decision from Peanut
2018 was a pretty disappointing year from Kingzone DragonX and Peanut. Although they would manage to win the 2018 Spring Split championship, that’s all that the team would manage to accomplish. They would lose to Royal Never Give Up at the Mid-Season Invitational, and would place third in the 2018 Summer Split. Afterward, they would bounce out of the playoff early after losing to Afreeca Freecs.
With their core of Peanut, Kim “PraY” Jong-in and Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon, they wouldn’t manage to win much at all. Peanut would actually reflect on his decision on Twitter, where he would say, “I was really considering to move to a foreign league after this season. But after such [a] disappointing performance at 2018, I wanted to regain LCK’s fame and recover from the painful memory of MSI. So I ultimately decided to stay in Korea.”
Looking Forward with Gen.G
As for Gen.G, they would have a pretty lackluster performance this year as well. They would place fourth during the regular season in summer, only to drop right out of the playoffs against Afreeca Freecs. They would manage to get into Worlds through the Regional Qualifiers, but they would end up placing the worst out of all the Korean teams at the tournament. With such a horrible exit out of the World Championships, Gen.G would be forced to take some drastic measures.
The team would end up letting go a good portion of their core. They would say goodbye to Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in, Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong and Lee “Crown” Min-ho. Many Gen.G fans were fearing that the team would enter a bit of a rebuild. However, the addition of Peanut says otherwise. Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin and Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk still remain on the roster, and adding Peanut to that makes for a pretty decent core.
The only problem is finding a decent mid laner to compliment both Peanut’s aggressive style, as well as Ruler’s lane dominance. There is plenty of potential with what Gen.G has built, but they need to find someone who can help relieve the pressure from Ruler. The problem is, there aren’t many big name mid laners left on the market. Many of the teams are battling for what’s left, especially with how many Korean players are heading West. The market is thinning, so hopefully, Gen.G can find someone soon!
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