Today, Flash Wolves announced the departure of the majority of its 2018 Worlds lineup: Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang, Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Jie, and Kim “Moojin” Moo-Jin. The three players are currently fielding offers from multiple teams and will be released seperately. Additionally, substitute top laner Yu “MMD” Li-Hong will retire and become a streamer while coaches, Warhorse and Chen “REFRA1N” Kuan-Ting, will also be departing the team. Chen “Morning” Kuan-Ting will move into a coaching staff position following these changes.
The move is an expected one for Flash Wolves and its fans given the team’s consistently poor international performances. LoL Pro League teams have historically shown great interest in both Maple and SwordArT, hoping to bring them over to mainland China. The two players were both slated to join the LPL following the 2015 World Championship, but chose to remain with Flash Wolves after Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan’s decision to stay in the LoL Masters Series.
SwordArT and Maple are among the best players to ever compete in the LMS and their departure leaves great holes for both the region and Flash Wolves. Former Flash Wolves jungler Karsa made the move to LPL at the end of last year and proved that the region is more conducive to individual success, winning the Mid-Season Invitational in his first international performance with Royal Never Give Up. Given the size of the LMS and its talent pool, these moves will only become more normal in the future.
Flash Wolves won six straight domestic splits, spanning from 2016-2018, while failing to make it out of the group stage at the world championship each time. Flash Wolves were able to perform better at MSI, but also never made it to a final in its three appearances. This signals the end of the Flash Wolves core that shocked the world in 2015, defeating the KOO Tigers 2-0 to take first in Group A at Worlds, with all five players having either retired or moved on.