GorillA Domestic Career
Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon began his LoL career on Najin White Shield. With his help, White Shield came up with a 1-1-1 group stage record (wins-ties-losses) at 2013 HOT6iX Champions Summer. Their run came to an end when they suffered a devastating 0-3 loss in the Quarterfinals against CJ Frost.
White Shield returned for 2013-2014 PANDORA.TV Champions Winter. They put on a clinic in the group stage, producing a 2-1-0 record and tying for first with Samsung Ozone. They kicked off their playoffs run with a 3-1 victory over Xenics Storm, but the following series had them losing 1-3 to Samsung Ozone. White Shield could still bounce back in the third-place match, but they fell 1-3 to the dominant KT Bullets lineup.
They finally made their presence known in 2014 HOT6iX Champions Spring. Once again, they dominated the group stage and seamlessly qualified for the playoffs. There, they scored back-to-back 3-2 victories against KT Bullets and CJ Blaze. In the finals, they clashed with the powerhouse Samsung Blue lineup, but despite their best efforts, this foe proved too hard for them to handle. White Shield lost the series 1-3 and walked away with the silver medal.
They hoped to have their breakthrough at 2014 HOT6iX Champions Summer. But inexplicably, Najin White Shield struggled in the group stage. And even though they didn’t lose any matches, their 0-3-0 record was barely enough to break into the Quarterfinals. This was the end of the line for them, though, as White Shield lost a close 5-game series against KT Arrows. Luckily, their spring run meant they had enough Circuit Points to get a second chance in the Regional Finals.
White Shield entered the competition as underdogs, but their 3-0 victory over KT Bullets turned the tables on this narrative. They kept the momentum going and dismantled KT Arrows and SKT T1 K to claim the third Worlds seed. This performance became known as a miracle run.
Despite this success, GorillA left the organization to play for HUYA Tigers. The up-and-coming lineup showed up at the 2015 Champions Spring Qualifiers. With GorillA’s help, HUYA breezed through the group stage and qualified for 2015 SBENU Champions Spring. Afterward, they rebranded as GE Tigers.
In spite of their underdog status, GE made their presence known in the big league. With a massive 12-2 record, they finished the regular season in first place and secured a bye to the finals. They couldn’t keep up the pace, though, as they fell 0-3 to SKT T1.
A new split meant another name change, and GorillA entered 2015 SBENU Champions Summer under the banner of KOO Tigers. KOO went through some hardships in the regular season, and their 11-7 record amounted to a fourth-place finish. Still, they kicked off their playoffs run with back-to-back victories against Najin e-mFire and CJ Entus. And while KT Rolster put a stop to their momentum by defeating them 3-2 in the Semifinals, KOO had enough Circuit Points to qualify for the 2015 World Championship.
In spite of their competitive success, they struggled to find sponsorships. They entered the 2015 KeSPA Cup under the name Tigers, however, their run came to an abrupt end when they crumbled against SBENU Sonicboom. For the 2016 LCK Spring Split, they rebranded as ROX Tigers. ROX took over the regular season, producing a 16-2 record to automatically advance to the last playoffs round. But once again, SKT T1 challenged their dominance, and Tigers lost the final with a 1-3 score.
ROX had their breakthrough in summer. They overwhelmed the competition with a massive 15-3 record, and while KT Rolster tried to challenge them in the finals, ROX Tigers pulled off a 3-2 victory to claim their first OGN trophy. With that, they qualified for another World Championship.
ROX Tigers went to the 2016 LoL KeSPA Cup. They breezed through the opposition, defeating Jin Air, SKT T1, and Kongdoo Monster to secure the first-place finish. But the lack of sponsorships continued to haunt them, and the entire lineup was forced to disband in the off-season. PraY found a new home on Longzhu Gaming.
Longzhu had a rocky showing in the 2017 LCK Spring Split. Despite the immense potential of their roster, they struggled to put all the pieces together, and their 8-10 record wasn’t enough to break into the playoffs. The organization made a number of roster changes for the 2017 LCK Summer Split. Longzhu’s new recruits meshed well together—a fact reflected by their dominant 14-4 record in the regular season. And so, they advanced directly to the finals where they defeated SKT T1 with a 3-1 score.
Longzhu had another great showing at the 2017 LoL KeSPA Cup. There, they scored confident victories against Jin Air and SKT T1 and prepared to face KT Rolster in the finals. Two LCK juggernauts traded blow for blow, but in the end, KT upset the reigning LCK champions with a narrow 3-2 victory.
Shortly thereafter, the entire Longzhu Gaming roster was acquired by Kingzone DragonX.
GorillA International Tournaments
On Najin White Shield, GorillA attended his first international competition, the 2014 World Championship. White Shield enjoyed success in the early stages of the tournament, and their 4-2 record allowed them to finish first in their group. The Quarterfinals told a different story, though, and White Shield suffered a 0-3 loss at the hand of OMG.
On GE Tigers, GorillA went to the IEM Season 9 World Championship. Tigers took over the group stage by crushing Cloud9 and SK Gaming. They entered the playoffs as the clear-cut favorites, but inexplicably, they fell 1-2 to Team WE in the Quarterfinals.
On KOO Tigers, GorillA made his presence known at the 2015 World Championship. KOO had a shaky showing in the group stage, although their 4-2 record still allowed them to advance to the playoffs. There, they picked apart KT Rolster and Fnatic to challenge SKT T1 in the finals. This was the end of the line for them, though, and KOO suffered a 1-3 loss.
On ROX Tigers, he showed up at the 2016 World Championship. After their LCK victory, ROX had the reputation of the strongest team at the event. They definitely lived up to it in the group stage, and their Quarterfinals victory against EDG looked even more dominant. However, the Semifinals had them squaring off against their nemesis, SKT T1. Both teams put on a clinic in a fierce Bo5, but when the dust settled, ROX Tigers got the short end of the stick. Still, this series went down in history as the best match of the entire tournament.
On Longzhu Gaming, GorillA went to the 2017 World Championship. Their 6-0 group stage run was so dominant that it seemed like no one could match them. But the Quarterfinals told a different narrative, and Longzhu suffered a devastating 0-3 defeat against Samsung Galaxy.