The ROX Tigers first take to the Champions stage as the HUYA Tigers in rugby-striped crew-neck sweaters, competitors in the LoL Champions Korea qualifier. It’s the introductory season of the LCK, and the Tigers — an assembly of experienced players discarded by other teams — are pegged as a team that will end up a middling performer in the new league.
Instead, they storm through their first split. Although the Tigers lose to SK Telecom T1 in the 2015 LCK Spring Finals, they impress throughout the season. The sweaters become a Tigers staple, propelling them first to cult fandom and later, worldwide adoration. They’re a playoff team again that summer, and are the only team to take a game off of SKT at the 2015 World Championship.
In 2016, the Tigers grow into one of the most innovative and enjoyable teams to watch in League of Legends history. They win their first LCK title that summer. Their semifinals match against SKT at the 2016 World Championship is one of the greatest LoL best-of-five series of all time.
This image of the ROX Tigers — Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho’s ascension, Kim “PraY” Jong-in shoving aside retirement and returning to the stage, and later Han “Peanut” Wang-ho unleashed after a rough year with NaJin e-mFire — accompanies the name.
The Tigers are Smeb, Peanut, Lee “KurO” Seo-haeng, PraY, Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon, and even Lee “Hojin” Ho-jin and Hae “Cry” Sung-min. They are iconic.
They are not Heo “Lindarang” Man-heung, Park “Shy” Sang-myeon, Yoon “SeongHwan” Seong-hwan, Son “Mickey” Young-min, Gwon “Sangyoon” Sang-yun, and Kim “KeY” Han-gi.
Continue reading The Tigers are dead, long live the Tigers: an IEM preview