Hanwha Life is going all-in on its 2023 LCK roster.
Hanwha Life Esports is continuing its crusade through the LCKs free agent pool by swiping two League of Legends world champions in Kingen and Zeka out from under DRX, according to a report from Alejandro Gomis of Blix.gg.
Kingen and Zeka were two extraordinarily important pieces for DRX at this years League World Championship. Anyone who watched the event in its entirety will tell you that Zeka played like the best mid laner at Worlds throughout the majority of the tournament, while Kingen, who earned Worlds finals MVP honors, was a major factor in the teams upset victory over T1.
Beyond the two reported signings of breakout stars, Hanwha Life has also brought back a proven veteran in former AD carry Viper, who last played for the team in 2020. He spent two years with Edward Gaming in China, winning a World Championship with the organization last season.
This past summer, Hanwha Life were unequivocally the worst team in the LCK. Their Summer Split record of 2-16 was poor enough for sole possession of last place at the end of the season, while they only won five of the 36 matches they played in this year. After a down year, though, Hanwha Life is making an all-in push to contend near the top of the LCK once again. The franchise reached its only World Championship in 2021, making it all the way to the quarterfinals that season.
Perhaps poetically, Kingen and Zekas now-former team DRX also went 2-16 in the 2021 LCK Summer Splitjust as Hanwha Life did this summerbefore righting the ship and winning the World Championship. Whether that 2-16 record is a good omen for Hanwha Life during this rebuilding process is purely speculation, although whats certain is this: the team is acquiring pieces that are necessary to contend, and evidently win.
As for DRX, the team lost all five of its 2022 starters to free agency when the contract expiration window opened earlier this week. With Kingen and Zeka reportedly off the board, three-fifths of the teams World Championship-winning roster has been signed since ADC Deft was picked up by DWG KIA earlier today.