The offseason move we didn't know we needed.
The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) is less than a fortnight away but that doesn’t mean the end of this offseason’s exciting roster moves. In an unexpected turn of events, legendary support Bora “Yellowstar” Kim has returned to pro play after retiring in the latter half of 2016. He is the first signing of LDLC OL, last year’s Summer Split champions of France’s LFL.
The Frenchman is one of the most decorated players in European history thanks to a lengthy and prosperous spell at Fnatic. While donning the organisation’s iconic black and orange, Yellowstar picked up five EU LCS trophies as well as two LoL World Championship semi-final appearances.
The ADC turned support was well known for his leadership and shotcalling, especially in 2015 when he led Fnatic, as the most senior voice on the team, to back to back EU LCS titles. The latter half of the year was particularly impressive as he helped Fnatic record an undefeated split with an impressive 18-0 record during the regular season before the squad reached the semi-finals of Worlds in what was Yellowstar’s fifth and final appearance at the prestigious event.
With a plethora of accolades to his name at that point, Yellowstar decided it was time for a change as Fnatic’s 2015 players went their separate ways. As a result, the Frenchman hopped over the pond for a brief stint North America but unfortunately for him, he couldn’t recreate his previous triumphs and became one of many European imports who has struggled at Team SoloMid. This NA adventure lasted just one split as he quickly returned to his comfort zone in Europe with Fnatic but once again, things didn’t go his way. The team was in a transitional period and underperformed massively as H2K Gaming eliminated Fnatic with a resounding 3-0 victory in just the first round of the Summer Playoffs. At that point, fans began to question whether Yellowstar was past his prime and too weak mechanically to continue competing at the top level and that likely played a role in his decision to retire after that season.
Now more than three years later after management and coaching roles in France with Paris Saint-Germain and LDLC, the 27-year-old is stepping back onto Summoner’s Rift and is doing so just a month after becoming a father. YellowStar is currently the only member of LDLC’s new roster as he has replaced his former Fnatic teammate Pierre "Steeelback" Medjaldi whose impressive first year as in the support role caught the eye of Team Vitality for the organisation’s academy team.
LDLC has seemingly lost its entire 2019 roster so putting Yellowstar in a more direct role may allow young and inexperienced players to settle in quicker which will be crucial if the French organisation wants to qualify for the European Masters once again. Yellowstar moving out of the coaching role is a brave move from both parties but either way, it will draw more fans into watching the LFL as many will want to see how the legend performs.