After keeping the same roster for 2020 and 2021, Gen G call it quits on that set of players. As their 2021 ended on kind of a high note with their close best of five against Edward Gaming, the organization set their sights on a goal that has eluded them for so long: a domestic title. Gen G had a superteam of sorts with Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee, Kim “Clid” Tae-min, Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, and Kim “Life” Jeong-min for the 2020 season.
Things went well for the squad in their first split as they placed first in the spring split regular season, which gave them a finals berth. They proceeded to lose that final 0-3 to T1. In the summer, they made it to the semifinals, where they lost a close best of five against DRX 2-3. They secured their Worlds spot as the LCK’s third seed then, where they got knocked out in the quarterfinals.
From Underdog to Top Team
In 2021, they decided to keep the same roster, but with minor tweaks. They were trying out some of their academy players from time to time to figure out which rookies had the potential to make it as a sixth man, and potentially a point towards which to rebuild.
In the spring, they made it into the finals once again after beating T1 3-0, but got cleanly swept by a dominating Damwon Kia 3-0. In the summer, they performed well in the regular season once again but faltered in their semifinal against T1. However, with T1 losing the final, they were guaranteed to go to worlds as the LCK’s second seed.
No one had any faith in Gen G going into 2021 Worlds. The popular sentiment was that they would do well in the beginning and would falter when it mattered, as they did in the last two years. But Gen G did what was the initial expectation with this roster – they topped their group, and made it all the way to semifinals, forcing the current world champions to a game 5 in their semifinal.
With patience for this roster finally paying off after two years, it was understandable that changes were on the horizon. Bdd was traded to Nongshim RedForce for Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, and the organization acquired three free agents: Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon in the top lane, Son “Lehends” Si-woo, and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon.
Welcome back, @lolPeanut98
— Gen.G Esports (@GenG) November 23, 2021
Peanut is best known for his time with the 2016 ROX Tigers, who pioneered aggressive jungling even before aggressive jungling was in the meta. Peanut is also an MSI Champion and a World Championship finalist with SK Telecom T1 and now has a lot of international experience. He even spent a year playing in China with LGD Gaming.
Doran is a young top laner who debuted in Team Griffin in the latter half of 2019. He is a mechanically proficient player who can also be a bit prone to making missteps. With the right guidance, he can blossom into an even better player, and with the depth of Gen G’s coaching staff, he might finally get what he needs.
Lehends is one of the best supports in the LCK, and he is best known for his creativity and playmaking. He first reached fame in the solo queue ladder by being a Singed one-trick, and plays unorthodox things like Elise support. He is incredibly talented, and on a good team, he might get a chance to shine like he did on Team Griffin.
Today, we welcome support player Siwoo ‘Lehends’ Son to the Gen.G LoL team. We are excited to see what Lehends brings to the table for the 2022 season!#WeAreGenG #GenG #Lehends pic.twitter.com/lrhpbD2zbb
— Gen.G Esports (@GenG) November 24, 2021
Gen G’s roster is looking promising
Ruler, of course, is the only one remaining from the old Gen G roster, even from the old Samsung Galaxy roster that made the finals of 2016 Worlds and won it in 2017. He has been one of the most consistent bottom laners in the LCK, with a strong laning presence and reliable team fighting ability. Even when the meta does not favor bottom laners, Ruler manages to be a threat.
Chovy needs no introduction. Heralded by many as one of the best mid laners in the world at the moment, he is indeed a big pickup for any organization. However, despite being well-regarded by most, he does not have any title to his name just yet. With joining Gen G, he reunites with former Griffin teammates Lehends and Doran, and they might be able to finally do what their teammate Park “Viper” Do-hyeon has done: win domestically, and take the world by storm.
Gen G can be a top team in the world, given the right meta and the right circumstances. Fans should be excited to track this squad’s growth.