He went to the hospital for a checkup and was diagnosed with a collapsed lung that needed urgent surgery, according to Korizon’s Ashley Kang, who translated Damwon’s official statement. The surgery was reportedly successful and Nuguri is feeling well, but his planned trip to China for Worlds will be delayed.
Damwon were set to fly out to China on Sept. 11, according to Kang, two weeks before the 2020 League of Legends World Championship started on Sept. 25. Players will then quarantine and prepare for their upcoming matches.
Nuguri reportedly checked out of the hospital on Sept. 13 and joined his team a week later on Sept. 18. It’s unclear how this situation will affect Damwon and if Nuguri will be able to play well without his health affected.
Damwon has a substitute top laner on their bench, legendary CJ Entus player Lee “Flame” Ho-jong. Flame’s last professional match was more than one year ago on Aug. 4 against Hanwha Life Esports, according to lol.gamepedia. Damwon lost that match and Flame was never seen again starting in the top lane.
Damwon had a dominant season, winning their first LCK title and looking like a contender for Worlds 2020. While they’ve looked unbeatable with Nuguri, they’re untested with Flame this year. If Nuguri’s health doesn’t allow him to play at Worlds, then it’s unlikely that Damwon will be able to stand up to other contenders considering how important Nuguri has been to his team’s success this year.
Damwon recently got the first seed at Worlds following a win against DRX. This victory comes after a split of success rivaling that of 2015’s SKT T1 lineup, spearheaded by MVP Showmaker with one of most consistent performances of his career, receiving MVP for his performance.
This series was one that looked as though it was over before it had ever begun. Damwon entered the best-of-five as clear favorites, with their recent defeat of DRX still fresh in the minds of many LCK viewers. Although DRX were able to put up somewhat of a fight, drafting mechanically intensive outplay champions for mid laner Chovy in an attempt to snowball a lead, Showmaker’s consistency and prowess proved insurmountable. MVP of the series went to top lane Nuguri, who showed a masterful performance on both tanky and lane-dominant picks in Ornn and Renekton.