Image credit: Afreeca Freecs (adjusted)
StarCraft: Brood War bonjwa and League of Legends head coach Choi "iloveoov" Yeon-sung has stepped down from coaching Afreeca Freecs' LoL roster, the League of Champions Korea (LCK) team announced via social media on Nov. 3.
The news marks the end of a four-year tenure for iloveoov, who joined a fledgling organization and helped lead it into a competitive state within the LCK. Indeed, since joining the organization in Dec. 2016, the team only missed the playoffs twice and, despite missing the playoffs in the 2019 and 2020 spring seasons, reached the regional finals and contended for a World Championship spot.
In the organization's most successful year, iloveoov helped the team reach the 2018 World Championship, where they finished in first place in Group A ahead of eventual semifinalists G2 Esports. In the LCK's worst year internationally, the young Afreeca Freecs squad turned around a 1:2 record into 4:2, their three straight wins sending them to the quarterfinals, where they fell to North America's Cloud9 3-0.
The former head coach and general manager's departure is one of potentially many for Afreeca Freecs: to the exception of Kim "Kiin" Gi-in, who is under contracts until 2022, the remaining players' contracts expire on Nov. 16, 2020. As some of the players perform at a high level (e.g.: AD carry Jin "Mystic" Seong-jun), AFS are expected to have a very busy offseason ahead of them.