So the sad news of the week for Korean League of Legends is the official disbanding of SBENU Korea. Although they failed to re-qualify for the 2017 spring split of League Champions Korea, they still had the plucky spirit of an underdog, vowing to perform well again for the next promotional tournament and reclaim their spot.
Now their aspirations are no more. In Korea, that is.
That’s right, with all of these players now basically free agents, they could be in the market for grabs. Head coach Park Jae-Seong told Inven that he would be more than happy to assist his players to move onto other teams, and with the 2016 world championships now entering the quarterfinals, many teams both Korean and foreign might want to look into these guys.
The roster of SBENU might be suspect, since they failed to re-qualify, but before you shake your finger at them you must take into account the strife they had to go through as a team. Their working conditions and late payments were enough for the Korean eSports Association to step in and manage them in April of this year, and that surely played a part in the players’ uncertainty of their own futures.
Despite that, they managed to play well enough to enter the promotional tournament, and even then they had a solid following of fans that still showed up to their post-match meet up which, by all accounts, was the players’ hanging their heads and apologizing to their fans.
This is a group of players who wanted to be more than what they were. They had the ability to rub shoulders with the rest of the LCK, and with the right conditions had the potential to get back into it. They are the definition of growth potential, and any Western org out there should look into them.
These players don’t deserve to have their dreams and aspirations taken away from them, at least not to a company decision to disband the team. SBENU has a solid body of work, and it would be a shame if they were overlooked at this point of their careers.