Crown Domestic Career
Lee “Crown” Min-ho began his LoL career in 2014 under the name Shadow. Back then, he was playing on the Brazillian lineup of Team 58ers. He didn’t have any notable showings, though, and he moved to KaBuM! Black when 58ers disbanded. Still, his stay was brief, and by the end of the year, Crown decided to return to Korea.
After a short break, he joined Samsung Galaxy (SSG) as a substitute mid laner. With his help, Samsung secured a 6-12 regular season record at 2015 SBENU Champions Summer. And while they didn’t make it to the playoffs, they managed to avoid relegation and qualify for the next LCK season. In the off-season, Samsung—and Crown—went to the 2015 LoL KeSPA Cup. Unfortunately, their run was cut short by a crushing defeat in the first round against ESC Ever.
Still, this result didn’t affect their performance in the 2016 LCK Spring Split. They produced a decent 10-8 record and looked set to clinch the final playoffs spot, but suddenly, they were challenged by the resurging Afreeca Freecs lineup. After losing the tiebreaker, they ended their season early once again.
SSG came back with a vengeance in the 2016 LCK Summer Split. With a 12-6 regular season record, they secured a fourth-place finish and finally qualified for the playoffs. Their first win against Afreeca Freecs showed a lot of promise, but the following 0-3 loss to KT Rolster knocked them out of the competition.
Still, Samsung had a second shot in the Gauntlet. In the first match, they scored another confident victory against Afreeca Freecs. But the finals had them clashing with the same team that defeated them in the playoffs, KT Rolster. The series came down to the wire, but in the end, Samsung clinched the W and qualified for the 2016 World Championship.
Afterward, they took on the 2016 KeSPA Cup. SSG made it out of the group stage with a 2-0 victory over Rising Star Gaming. But in the Quarterfinals, they suffered a narrow loss at the hand of ESC Ever.
Samsung had a strong showing in the 2017 LCK Spring Split. In the regular season, they breezed to the second-place finish, outclassing the likes of Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster in the process. SSG were seeded directly into the Semifinals, which meant they were in a great spot to win their first LCK split. But a devastating 0-3 loss to KT put an end to these ambitions.
It seemed like a similar narrative would unfold in summer. Despite their best efforts, Samsung couldn’t break into the top-2 in the regular season, and their playoffs run wrapped up with a crushing defeat against SKT T1. But once again, Samsung got a second wind in the Regional Finals. There, they scored back-to-back victories against their old rivals—Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster—to punch their Worlds ticket.
In the off-season, the entire Samsung Galaxy lineup was acquired by KSV eSports.
Crown International Tournaments
Crown went to his first international tournament—the 2016 World Championship—as a part of Samsung Galaxy. SSG dominated the group stage and entered the playoffs with a 5-1 record. There, they dismantled Cloud9 and H2K and qualified for the finals where they faced a fellow LCK team, SKT T1. After a furious exchange of blows, Samsung lost a close 5-game series and walked away with the silver medal.
Afterward, Samsung went to IEM Gyeonggi. They took over their group, crushing Vega Squadron and Immortals to advance to the bracket stage. Samsung then 2-0’d Team Liquid and clashed with another Korean team—Kongdoo Monster—in the finals. But Kongdoo couldn’t put a stop to their momentum, and after scoring a dominant 3-1 victory, Samsung secured their first international trophy.
Samsung also qualified for the 2017 World Championship. In the group stage, they were the only Korean team that failed to secure a first-place finish, losing to the Chinese RNG. But Samsung made up for it in the Quarterfinals by crushing the tournament favorites—Longzhu Gaming—with a 3-0 score.
In the Semifinals, Samsung won 3-1 over Team WE and prepared to take on the most accomplished team in the world, SKT. Many predicted Samsung’s failure. But past achievements meant little in face of SSG’s resurgence, and they dismantled SKT T1 in a dominant 3-0 victory. With that, they claimed the World Championship trophy.