Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon is returning to the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) and his former team, DWG KIA, after an unsuccessful year in China's League of Legends Pro League (LPL) under FunPlus Phoenix.
This also marks the end of Nuguri’s hiatus since becoming a free agent in November 2021.
DWG KIA consequently let go of their Spring top laner, Yoon "Hoya" Yong-ho, last Wednesday (1 June), before confirming their complete roster for the 2022 LCK Summer Split last Friday (3 June).
— DWG KIA (@DWGKIA) June 3, 2022
Nuguri was with DWG KIA from 2017 to 2020 and was the team’s starting top laner when they won the 2020 League of Legends World Championship.
After parting ways with DWG KIA in November 2020, Nuguri then moved to LPL favourites FunPlus Phoenix.
He only spent a year with the Chinese team after delivering disappointing results, failing to get a regional or international title all year and shocking fans with a 14th-16th place finish at Worlds 2021.
Nuguri then took a break after getting released into free agency in November 2021.
Meanwhile, DWG KIA had a strong year in 2021, sweeping all LCK titles, and snagging second place at Worlds 2021 and MSI 2021.
However, after many roster changes in the 2021 offseason, the team fell behind other LCK juggernauts, coming in third after Gen.G and T1 in the Spring Split.
With the return of Nuguri into the organisation, DWG KIA are looking to return to the top of the LCK.
The returning top laner's synergy with former teammates Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu, who won Spring 2022’s All-LCK First Team Jungler award, and Heo “ShowMaker” Su, who was part of Spring 2022’s All-LCK Third team, will surely be a valuable asset for the team.
But will the return of Nuguri be enough to bring DWG KIA back to the LCK throne? With T1 and Gen.G as strong as ever, it remains to be seen.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.