After a split’s absence from the competitive scene, World Champion top laner Jang ‘Nuguri’ Ha-gwon will return to competitive League of Legends. He will rejoin Damwon Kia in the LCK Summer split, according to a report by Korizon Esports.
At the height of his career, Nuguri was widely considered the best top laner in the world. After a three-year stint with Damwon Gaming, during which time he won two regional titles and a World Championship, he took the leap to join FunPlus Phoenix in the LPL.
During his time in the LPL, he won the 2021 Summer split, but bombed out in the group stage of the 2021 World Championship. After an unsuccessful year, it was reported by Ashley Kang that he returned to Korea to take a hiatus from professional play, and had turned down multiple offers from teams in order to take a sabbatical.
But now, the superstar top will reportedly return to pro play, with sources telling Korizon Esports that he had agreed to return to his former team Damwon Gaming for the 2022 Summer split.
Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon is returning to the professional scene, sources confirm.
Nuguri will be rejoining his former team, @DWGKIA, in the 2022 #LCK Summer Season. pic.twitter.com/1FxrkSj9JA
— KORIZON (@KorizonEsports) April 8, 2022
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Back in the spotlight
Nuguri will return to Damwon after a disappointing year for the former World Champions. They lost out in the 2022 World Championship finals to LPL representatives Edward Gaming, and finished third in the LCK Spring split after a closely fought five game series versus Gen.G.
It’s not yet clear whether he will be the team’s starting top laner, or whether he will split time with their current top laner Noh ‘Burdol’ Taeyoon. Damwon Kia have as of yet made no comment on their offseason roster changes.
Nuguri may just be the final piece Damwon Kia need to return to their 2020 glory days. They have never quite been able to replicate that same level of performance since Nuguri’s departure, unable to compete with teams like Gen.G and T1 at the top of the LCK standings.