Shortly after the release of Goo "Rb" Sang-min (구상민), DRX DRX Korea Rank #1 have parted ways with roster veteran Kim "Zest" Ki-seok (김기석). The former in-game leader leaves the organization with a squad of five and enters the market as a sought-after free agent.
With a competitive career alongside the same core dating back to June of 2020, Zest and the rest of Vision Strikers Vision Strikers Inactive dominated their regional competition while amassing a famous win streak of 102 matches. Riding the momentum, they took to the international stage by frequenting appearances in the biggest events over the years.
Their most successful season was in 2022, where the team took home two top-six placements at both Masters events capped off by a third-place finish at Champions. Eager to reach new heights in 2023, DRX made a run to the semifinals of LOCK//IN, where they eventually fell to LOUD LOUD Brazil Rank #1 after a failed reverse sweep.
Zest and DRX exceeded expectations throughout their stay in Istanbul. (Photo: Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)
The team's top four placement at São Paulo was their best achievement of the year, as they exited Masters: Tokyo among the top eight and were unable to break past the top six at Los Angeles' Champions.
Shortly after their season was over, DRX participated in the AfreecaTV Valorant League, but could not advance past the group stage after suffering losses to grand finalists Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #5 and Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #1 . Following their lackluster results on home ground, the organization opted to bench Rb and Zest while promoting Cho "Flashback" Min-hyuk (조민혁) to the main roster.
After nearly four years with the organization, Rb was eventually released, but quickly signed with Titan Esports Club Titan Esports Club China Rank #8 to compete in the upcoming Chinese Kickoff. No longer contracted to DRX, Zest remains a free agent and has almost a month to sign with an organization should he choose to turn his attention to the regional leagues set to commence in February.