The South Korean esports organization, ROX Gaming, known mostly for their League of Legends team, the ROX Tigers, has announced a new addition to their roster: legendary pro Tekken player, Jaemin Bae, better known as Knee (pictured above; image by ROX Gaming). This signing marks the first time ROX has brought in a fighting game player, making this a very noteworthy entrance into the world of the FGC, as Knee is name well-known to anyone who follows competitive Tekken by even the smallest amount.
In the press release, Eliot Namgung, director of eSports for ROX Gaming, brings up Knee's talent and demeanor as major reasons for signing the player: “We were impressed with Knee’s consistent level of play and his ability to perform at the highest level for over a decade now. With the Tekken World Tour being announced this year, it was a no brainer to pick him up to represent our organization. His personality, skill level, and class all align with the ideals that ROX instills in its players and teams.”
Knee's most recent high profile accomplishment was reaching third place at Evo 2017, but he's taken home many championships over his career as pro Tekken player, which spans about fifteen years. Earlier this year, Echo Fox signed other top Korean Tekken players JDCR and Saint, who have been going on a rampage around the world, constantly taking first and second place at different tournaments in different continents. Now that Knee has a team, perhaps he'll be seen in more events outside of Asia, where he can possibly intercept his fellow countrymen and put an end to their reign?
Will ROX Gaming continue their expansion into fighting games by signing other players? Hopefully this encourages other esports organizations to follow suit, as the FGC is loaded with big fish stuck in small ponds; elite players trapped in their own country and unable to experience competition around the globe due to lack of exposure, despite how skilled they are. ROX Gaming's initiative in the matter could help in opening the door for more individuals within the pro fighting game world to be given the opportunities they deserve to succeed.