The news that the well-known jungler of Dignitas had joined the ranks of their fierce rivals Golden Guardians was the bombshell of the week.
The move shook up the league, because it made things much, much different. For comparison, it may be significant just like when Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors back in 2016 and completely changed the NBA.
As the official news reports are stating, based on the League of Legends Worldwide Contracts Register, which was upgraded on July 26, Team Golden Guardians has acquired prominent Korean jungler Kim “River” Dong-woo in one of the biggest trades of the season with LCS opponents Dignitas.
Not long after the update, the organization revealed River’s unexpected trade.
The Next Step for GG & Dignitas
With young Academy talents like Lawrence “eXyu” Xu or newcomer Perry “Perry” Norman, who was freshly recruited by the LCS org, Dignitas is expected to replace River.
As many esports media channels report, River will join the playoff-chasing Golden Guardians right away in the LCS starting lineup. After five weeks of competition in the 2022 LCS Summer Split, the team holds the seventh-place spot. They are two League victories behind CL Gaming and C9 (tied for fifth).
It’s possible that Milo “Pridestalker” Wehnes will transfer to Guardians Academy.
Prior to the 2022 LCS campaign, River joined Dignitas. Following his highly publicized transfer from PSG Talon, he played 36 matches for the North American franchise finishing seventh with the squad in the spring when they slipped to an 8-10 record. With just two victories in eleven games, the team is currently in last place in Summer.
The maximum Dignitas can hope for with only 7 more League matches left to play in the 2nd split of 2022 is to end with a split 9-9 record, which might get them to enter the top eight. But it seems that the organization has changed its focus to the following year.
In contrast, Golden Guardians have acquired an immediate upgrade for the squad, which can only support their effort to secure a top-six spot going into the summer playoffs.
Since River’s DIG career began, he has earned four Player of the Game awards.
The 23-year-old was a crucial playmaker in PSG Talon’s powerful PCS squad prior to his departure to North America. In a four-game series against the Chinese giants, the Taiwanese champions advanced all the way to the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions RNG.
However, the PCS roster struggled to replicate the same ferocious League play at the World Championship a couple of months later and was eliminated from the prestigious end-of-year competition in groups.
There is no doubt that this trade will affect not only the mentioned two teams, but the entire league, considering that it occured completely unexpected.
Knowing River, it won’t take him much time to fit in and find his rhythm, while Dignitas will try to transform into a winning team and find a formula for better results next year.