Reigning Chinese League of Legends champions and Worlds quarterfinalists EDward Gaming will be without two of their most prominent faces next season. Star AD Carry Hyuk-kyu “Deft” Kim and former world champion mid laner Won-seok “PawN” Heo will both be leaving the team, the pair announced on Facebook (Deft’s announcement; PawN’s).
PawN will leave the team immediately, while Deft will stay through the Demacia Cup in November.
Both players were a part of the famed “Korean exodus” following the 2014 competitive season, joining EDG before the start of the 2015 season. PawN had just finished winning the Season 4 World Championship with Samsung White, while Deft had made a reputation for himself as one of the most gifted AD Carries in the world while with Samsung Blue.
In the two years that have followed, EDG have gone on a remarkable run of domestic success. The team won three of four LPL regular season splits, two LPL championships (2015 Spring and 2016 Summer), two Demacia Cup splits and the 2015 Demacia Cup Grand Finals, establishing itself as the premier organization in the region.
But despite the domestic success and super-talented roster, EDG was not able to translate that into success at Worlds. In each of the past two season, EDG was knocked out in the quarterfinal round (3-0 by Fnatic in 2015, 3-1 by ROX Tigers this year).
But EDG still has one crowing international achievement from the Deft and PawN era: a 2015 MSI finals win over SKT. EDG remains the only team to ever knock SKT out of an international tournament.
A back injury plagued PawN throughout this season, limiting his playing time and thrusting former SKT substitute Ye-chan “Scout” Lee into a starting role. Scout started 32 of 37 games in the Summer Split, all five playoff games and seven of 11 games at Worlds.