Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun is expected to sign with China's Vici Gaming and Kim Jeong-soo will coach South Korea's T1, sources tell ESPN.
For kkOma, this will be the first time he has switched teams since he started coaching for SK Telecom T1 following his retirement as a professional player in late 2012. During his time with T1 the team became the winningest organization in League of Legends, snagging eight domestic titles and three world championships.
Following T1's exit from the most recent world championship in Europe, kkOma decided to explore free agency. While he received interest from multiple teams, it ultimately came down to T1 or leaving South Korea to join Vici Gaming. KkOma reportedly turned down a seven-figure, multiyear deal from T1 to sign with Vici.
At Vici, kkOma will take on rebuilding a team that hasn't made the domestic playoffs since 2016. In 2019, the team went 4-26 overall in regular-season play, the worst of the 16 franchises in China's League of Legends Pro League.
With kkOma's decision to move over to the LPL, T1 moved on Kim, who coached Damwon Gaming in South Korea's League of Legends Champions Korea for the 2019 season. Kim, like kkOma, was on the radars of multiple teams around the world following his own world championship win on Invictus Gaming in 2018 and leading a young Damwon team to the worlds quarterfinals in 2019.
Although his former team Invictus met with Kim in an attempt to bring the legendary coach back to China, he eventually decided to sign with T1 for the 2020 season. This will be Kim's seventh team since 2014, having led four of his past five teams (Samsung Galaxy, Longzhu Gaming, iG, Damwon) to the world championship quarterfinals or further.
As he has done with previous teams, Kim will be taking over a team in the process of rebuilding. T1, which made the semifinals at this year's world championship, will be playing with a new starting top laner and jungler in 2020. Former top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha is expected to sign with reigning world champion FunPlus Phoenix of China, and former jungler Kim "Clid" Tae-min signed with South Korea's Gen.G earlier in the free agency period.
T1 declined to comment. VG couldn't be reached.