It’s official: former Kingzone DragonX AD carry Kim “PraY” Jong-in has come out of retirement.
He’s set to join KT Rolster in the 2019 LCK Summer Split—a decision made public in the official Facebook post on May 20. KT Rolster has always been one of the strongest teams in the region, yet spring of 2019 turned this narrative on its head as the once-prominent powerhouse barely managed to avoid relegation. Now, it will be up to PraY to return this team to its former glory. He certainly has the track record for it.
PraY began his career in 2012 as an AD carry for NaJin Black Sword. A year later, he raised his first domestic trophy (OGN Champions 2013 Winter) and made back-to-back appearances at the 2012 and 2013 League of Legends World Championships. He took a brief break halfway through 2014 only to come back even stronger as part of the explosive Tigers lineup.
Tigers went on to established themselves as one of the best teams in the world. Many fans still refer to their Worlds 2016 semifinal against SK Telecom T1 as the greatest best-of-five in League of Legends history.
PraY was a vital part of their success. Alongside long-time support Kang “Gorilla” Beom-hyun, he became the definition of a solid bot lane. No matter how much you attacked this duo, they would always stand up to the pressure. And while PraY never got the most resources on his teams, you could count on him to top the damage charts in team fights and show up on utility picks.
Then, his career came to an abrupt halt. PraY announced his decision to quit programming for streaming after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Championship. Yet many fans still held hopes the AD carry would return to competitive play.
So how does PraY fit into the 2019 KT Rolster? In theory, this is the perfect team for him. Much like Tigers or Kingzone DragonX, the current iteration of KT Rolster is built around solo lane carries and strong jungle pressure. This leaves PraY with an all-too-familiar role of soaking up pressure and dishing out damage in late-game team fights.
Yet the transition may not be seamless. The League of Legends meta has gone through many changes since PraY hung up his mouse and keyboard. The AD carry might need some time to get used to the constant aggression and off-meta bot lane picks.
To make matters worse, KT’s solo laners aren’t performing to their usual standards. Thus, there’s a good chance their intended playstyle will fall flat once again. Still, PraY’s veteran presence will surely be of great value to the struggling lineup. Signing him is the best move KT could’ve made to reach Worlds 2019.
Image courtesy of LoL Esports.