After releasing its entire roster, Korean team Griffin has officially announced its departure from the League of Legends professional scene.
Griffin was one of the few teams in Korea to dominate the LCK upon its debut. Despite having a rocky 2017 in Challenger’s Korea, GRF signed coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho who led the squad to a top-three regular-season finish and an eventual LCK promotion in Summer 2018.
While Griffin was by no means a star-studded team, cvMax brought young talents like Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon into the scene and helped manifest their best qualities to become top players in the current LCK.
Recognized as a promoted team with revolutionary gameplay, Griffin dominated 2019 with back-to-back regular-season first-place finishes and finals appearances. Despite losing to T1 (previously SK Telecom T1) in both finals, the team proved to be Korea’s next best team to head into the international stage.
Even as Korea’s new rising team, Griffin failed to live up to expectations at Worlds 2019. With cvMax parting ways with GRF due to accusations about player abuse, the team managed to survive the group stage but faced a clear loss against LPL third seed Invictus Gaming.
With cvMax moving onto greener pastures with DRX alongside Doran and Chovy, Griffin significantly lost their winning edge. While GRF still featured some high-profile names like Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong, the team was still riddled with management issues and struggled to keep up with the everchanging LCK scene.
As for its final moments in the LCK, Griffin finished last in 2020 Spring and was eventually relegated in Challenger’s Korea where they placed fifth in Summer. While the LCK gave all Korean teams a chance to join the new LCK franchise system for 2021, Griffin was not chosen to join the new league, possibly leading to its eventual disbandment.
In its final announcement, Griffin thanked its fans and listed its various achievements in a short span of three years:
- 1 CK Playoffs
- 1 KeSPA Cup win
- 3 LCK Finals appearances
- 1 Rift Rivals win
- 1 Korea Regional Finals appearance
- 1 World Championship appearance
While this may be the end of Griffin, the team’s sudden rise to LoL stardom will be etched as one of the more standout moments in LCK history.