The former SK Telecom T1 jungler Kang “Blank” Sun-gu and Misfits Gaming coach Lee “PoohManDu” Jeong-hyeon have linked up with Japan’s Sengoku Gaming. The duo will take on the upcoming 2019 LJL Summer Split in an effort to qualify for the LoL World Championship Play-In Stage.
Will they succeed? And what does this mean for their League of Legends careers?
Highs and lows
If we had to pick one word to describe Blank’s career, it would have to be “controversial.” On one hand, he’s a huge part of the SK Telecom T1 history. His carry-oriented playstyle made him a useful asset to the South Korean powerhouse. On the other, his most successful games took place when he played the role of a substitute on SKT T1’s six-man roster. He clearly struggled to perform in the starting position.
His 2018 showings were particularly worrisome. Blank had a hard time holding his own against aggressive junglers like Han “Peanut” Wang-ho and Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong. Granted, some of it could be chalked up to the erratic state of the 2018 SKT lineup. But even die-hard Blank fans would have to admit the jungler was a part of the problem.
Then, PoohManDu has also had his fair share of ups and downs.
He broke into the League of Legends scene in 2012 on a relatively unknown GSG lineup. But he quickly caught the eye SK Telecom T1. With that, PoohManDu became the captain of the legendary SKT T1 K roster that brought the organization its first-ever World Championship title. That squad laid the foundation of the SK Telecom dynasty for many years to come.
Unfortunately, health issues cut short PoohManDu’s time on the Rift. He continued his career as a coach, alternating between working for LPL teams like Invictus Gaming and Vici Gaming and acting as an assistant coach for SK Telecom T1 back in the LCK. His latest stint—a coaching position on Misfits Gaming—ended with one of the most disappointing results in LEC history. The supposed European superteam failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Path to redemption
Now, Blank and PoohManDu will try to reclaim their former glory in the LJL. The two have already worked together on SK Telecom T1, so they should have some pre-existing synergy. Still, their journey back to the top won’t be easy.
DetonatioN FocusMe dominated the 2019 LJL Spring Split. They went 20-1 in the regular season and scored a 3-0 victory over USG in the finals. Meanwhile, Sengoku Gaming found themselves in the middle of the standings with an unremarkable 10-11 record. Thus, Blank and PoohManDu shoulder the difficult task of turning this ship around and challenging LJL’s apex predator.
Not only that, but they have to prove themselves at the 2019 World Championship if they’re ever to receive an offer from a major region. Rest assured, their work is cut out for them. But if Blank and PoohManDu really want to reestablish themselves as top League of Legends talents, they’ll have to step up to the plate.
Image courtesy of Riot Games.