Echo Fox has made what will likely be one of the highest-profile signings of the NA LCS offseason, bringing in former world championship top laner Hyeong-seok “Looper” Jang, the team announced Thursday through Yahoo Esports.
The 23-year-old Looper won Worlds in 2014 while with Samsung White, and spent the last two years in China, first with Masters 3 and then with Royal Never Give Up, winning the 2016 LPL Spring Playoffs. Looper’s championship experience was a key reason the team pursued him as a free agent, team owner Rick Fox told Yahoo:
You ask my why Looper? For me personally, it attaches to championship experience. Looper has won a championship as a player with Samsung. As you know, they are one of the best teams to have won a championship in League… We’re committed to world-class teams and an organization of building those. We always want to compete at the highest level and against the best, and in order to do that you have to put yourself in the position to pitch individuals like Looper.
Fox, a three-time NBA champion, purchased Echo Fox’s NA LCS spot for a reported $1 million from Gravity Gaming in December 2015. The team finished in seventh place in the 2016 Spring Split and in 10th in the Summer Split, qualifying for the 2017 Spring Split through the promotion tournament.
Looper will replace Jeong-hun “kfo” Park, a rookie from Korea who started in both of Echo Fox’s splits, in the top lane. He’ll join mid laner Henrik “Froggen” Hansen to form what could be one of the most frightful solo lane combinations in the region.
“I am excited to join the Echo Fox family and to play with top League players like Froggen and Keith,” Looper said in an Echo Fox press release. “The Echo Fox organization has an amazing vision for the future and I am incredibly excited to be a part of this leading esports family and team.