The League of Legends competitive scene and the LCK community was in for a big surprise on July 7 when Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong announced that he is stepping down as Head Coach of T1 immediately. However, it is worth noting that he will officially leave the organization at the end of LCK Summer 2023 but will not be present at any of the team’s competitions.
Undoubtedly, this is a completely unexpected announcement by many in the competitive scene. T1 is one of the best League of Legends teams in the world, and they are always favorites to win regional and international trophies. On the other hand, this is a second blow for the team and the fans following the sudden departure of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok from the lineup due to an injury to one of his hands.
Bengi announces that he is stepping down as Head Coach of T1
Bengi announced immediately leaving the T1 head coaching staff through an announcement on the T1 Twitter account. In addition, the former jungler and Head Coach of the Korean team shared a letter signed by Becker Jung, GM of T1.
— T1 LoL (@T1LoL) July 8, 2023
As noted in the English Tweet, Jung thanks Bengi for all the “extraordinary” contributions within T1. He also mentioned that Bengi left everything in every game, playing as the team’s starting Jungler and then as Head Coach.
On the other hand, the organization announced that Im “Tom” Jae-Hyeon would lead the team (as Head Coach) for the remainder of the 2023 season. As a result, T1 has Tom’s services in all regional and international competitions the team participates in, including the possible participation in the Worlds 2023.
Bengi is one of the icons of the Korean organization in the League of Legends competitive scene. His beginnings in the organization date back to the 2013 season, when they played under the SK Telecom T1 banner and, together with Faker, were the cornerstones of all the team’s successes between 2013-2017. Moreover, in this period, the team won the Worlds three times and contested a fourth Grand Final.
However, in the period above, Bengi decided to leave Vici Gaming to try to replicate his successes. Still, his performance as a player went down, and he announced his retirement. Similarly, at the end of 2017, the 29-year-old Korean returned to T1 in his new role as a coach until the end of 2018.
Then, Bengi again decided to step away from the competitive scene for almost two years, only to return to be the Head Coach of T1 Challengers in 2020. At the same time, Bengi was in charge of his new team to win the LCK CL Spring 2021.
Finally, in 2022 T1 decided to promote Bengi to the main team as the Head Coach after the dismissal of Choi “Polt” Seong-hun just a few weeks before Worlds 2022.
At Worlds 2022, T1 managed to qualify for the Grand Final, but they lost to DRX. However, his high level as Head Coach made the organization decide to keep him in his position for the 2023 season. Besides, the 2023 season has not been bad for T1, as they finished second place in the LCK Spring 2023 and third place in the MSI 2023.
T1 will have to face the rest of the summer season without their main star, Faker, and their Head Coach, Bengi.