Nongshim RedForce Part Ways With Coach sBs

Nongshim RedForce Part Ways With Coach sBs

Korean League of Legends team Nongshim RedForce announced the departure of coach Bae "sBs" Ji-hun on Tuesday, March 5.

Korean League of Legends team Nongshim RedForce announced the departure of coach Bae “sBs” Ji-hun on Tuesday, March 5. His departure follows RedForce’s disappointing performance during LCK 2022 Spring, in which the team finished in eighth place.

A Successful Tenure

The 29-year-old coach has officially left Nongshim RedForce, ending his three-year-old stint with the team. SBs joined the team in May 2019 as a head coach of Team Dynamics and has led the team to considerable success.

In his first split with Team Dynamics, sBs won CK 2019 Summer, but the team failed to qualify for the LCK, as Team Dynamics lost to Hanwha Life Esports in LCK 2020 Spring Promotion. Still, the next season, Dynamics came back stronger and made quite a splash.

Dynamics kicked off the 2020 season with a ninth-12th place finish at KeSPA Cup 2019. To that, they added a silver medal from the CK 2020 Spring regular season and a title from the CK 2020 Spring Playoffs.

In April 2020, sBs also helped Dynamics make it through LCK 2020 Summer Promotion, thus leading the organization to its first LCK appearance in the LCK 2020 Summer. However, Dynamics did not achieve much in the first split in the upper league, as they only managed a top-right finish in the LCK 2022 Summer.

For the 2021 season, Team Dynamics rebranded to Nongshim RedForce, and they quickly found success. In the KeSPA Cup 2020, RedForce finished second and set the bar high for the 2021 LCK season.

Unfortunately, the Spring Split was a disappointment, as the team could only manage a sixth-place finish in LCK 2021 Spring Playoffs. But things started looking up for sBs and his crew in the summer split.

RedForce finished the regular season in third place and ended the playoffs in fourth. Yet they could not achieve much in the LCK 2021 Regional Finals, where they got eliminated in third, thus missing out on the LoL World Championship.

Shaky Start To The 2022 Season Leads To Changes

Nongshim RedFoce have shown potential in 2021, and they were expected to do well in the 2022 season. With a roster that featured some of the best LCK players, many believed Nbongshim RedForce had the talent to compete for the title, but things didn’t go as planned.

Even with Kim “Canna” Chang-dong, Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok, Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun, and Lee “Effort” Sang-ho on the roster, RedForce fell flat and ended the LCK 2022 Spring in eighth place. It marked the organization’s first split finish since Nongshim RedForce entered the LCK.

Knowing that the team features capable players, the LoL esports team looked to make changes elsewhere and cut ties with head coach sBs. However, on a more positive note, Nongshim did not need long to find a suitable replacement.

As revealed on Tuesday, RedForce has already appointed Heo “Irean” Yeong-cheol as the team’s new head coach. Irean joins RedForce as one of the region’s most experienced LoL esports coaches and has reportedly signed a contract until 2024.

Irean is a former professional LoL player who retired from pro play in 2014 and has since served as an analyst and head coach. Most notably, he hed Team Vitality, SuperMassive, CLG, and Evil Geniuses.

In 2021, Irean coached Galatasaray Esports, who he led to the TCL 2021 Summer title, and helped the team reach the 2022 LoL World Championship. Although a native Korean, Irean has yet to coach a Korean LoL esports team until now.

Irean now has two months to prepare Nongshim RedForce for the LCK 2022 Summer. The second split of the season will begin after the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, meaning we can expect Irean to make his debut as RedForce head coach sometime in June.