DWG KIA stars enter free agency in major LCK shakeup

Ben Mock
Images of DWG KIA players BeryL, ShowMaker, and Canyon

DWG KIA stars Heo ‘ShowMaker’ Su, Kim ‘Canyon’ Geon-bu, and Cho ‘BeryL’ Geon-hee have all entered the League of Legends free agency market after their contracts with the defending LCK champions expired.

While League of Legends’ free agency might have begun quietly in the West, it was a hectic night in Korea.

Among the many changes that were made official when free agency began at 10 AM Korean time on November 16, perhaps the most notable one was the departure of ShowMaker, Canyon, and BeryL from DWG KIA, the team they had reached back-to-back Worlds Grand Finals with in the past two years.

Image of DWG KIA at Worlds 2021, with red lines over the faces of BeryL, ShowMaker, Canyon, and Khan
Four of DWG KIA’s starters from Worlds 2021 have now left the team.

Major changes at DWG KIA

It was a disappointing end to DWG KIA’s Worlds 2021 run, as they finished second to EDward Gaming in a thrilling 3-2 Grand Final.

While the departure of top laner Kim ‘Khan’ Dong-ha was expected, with the 25-year-old retiring to complete his mandatory military service, the popular opinion was that DWG KIA would keep the core of their star-studded roster to bounce back in 2022.

However, the team announced via a Facebook post that the contracts of ShowMaker, Canyon, and BeryL had all expired.

“Contracts between ‘Canyon’ Kim Gunbu, ‘ShowMaker’ and ‘BeryL’ Kun-hee Cho and DWG KIA have ended,” the post read. “DWG KIA respects the decision of the players who chose FA and express their sincere gratitude to the players who shared the shining moments. DWG KIA will continue to communicate with players to re-sign, to continue their time with the team.”

With substitute jungler Kim ‘Malrang’ Geun-seong rumored to be headed to the LEC, AD carry Jang ‘Ghost’ Yong-jun and substitute AD carry Cho ‘Rahel’ Min-seong are the only players currently on DWG KIA’s active roster.

Image of DWG KIA player Ghost
AD carry Ghost is the only starter currently contracted to DWG KIA

While DWG Kia’s announcement suggests that they are actively pursuing contract negotiations with the departed players, there is every chance that the LCK will look very different in 2022.

New homes for ShowMaker, Canyon, and Beryl?

DWG KIA’s announcement indicated the team is still trying to retain the core of the roster that helped them become a dominant force on the world stage.

However, like top laner Jang ‘Nuguri’ Ha-gwon, who is rumored to be leaving FunPlus Phoenix, the three stars could opt to test free agency.

Most likely they will remain in Korea, due to the level of competition, the lack of import slots in the LPL, and the prospect of selection for the South Korean League of Legends team for the 2022 Asian Games.

Unfortunately for DWG fans, it may be some time until the fates of these team stars are revealed.

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