Kim “Hanlabong” Dong-ha is regarded as one of the, if not the best top laners in Korea having found major success in the LCK within the past two years. Khan is a veteran in competitive League of Legends, having began his journey in late 2013 with Prime Optimus, a sister team for Prime Sentinel.
Departing Prime Optimus in July of 2014, Khan was recruited to China to join the Team WE Academy, the sister team for one of China’s best teams, Team WE / World Elite. There, he built up his skills and communication, before finally being noticed by a main team, Newbee. While Newbee was struggling in the LPL, this was Khan’s first big experience in the big stage. Unfortunately, Khan was moved to their sister team, Newbee Young due to the main team’s subpar performance, where he then spent his time as the team’s substitute top laner.
While Khan failed to find success with his teams in the LPL, he was noticed by those back home in Korea. This soon led him to being picked up by Longzhu Gaming, one of Korea’s top teams. While many remained sceptical of Khan given his absence from the LCK, this soon changed when he easily settled in with the team and immediately showed results. Having joined only in May, Khan and Longzhu went on to dominate the Summer Playoffs, claiming first place. While they fell short in worlds, being defeated in the quarterfinals, Khan demonstrated his ability as one of the best top laners in the world.
With Longzhu rebranding to Kingzone, Khan was now officially part of the ‘new’ team. While the team were strong in the first half of the year, cleanly taking out first in the Spring split, Spring playoffs and second in the 2018 Mid Seasonal Invitational, they fell short in the Summer season. There, Kingzone came third in the Summer Playoffs, losing their opportunity to enter Worlds. However, they cemented their position as one of the top LCK teams with a second place finish at the Korea Regional Finals of 2018.
Khan Domestic Career
Kim “Khan” Dong-ha began his LoL career under the name Hanlabong. He played for Prime Optimus in 2014 HOT6iX Champions Spring, and his team managed to upset SKT T1 S in the group stage. This was the end of the line for them, though, and Prime Optimus fell short with their 1-0-2 record (win-ties-losses).
After such a disappointing showing, Hanlabong changed his handle to Khan. He left Prime Optimus to play for Team WE Academy. Khan had a decent showing in the 2014 LSPL Summer Split, but he once again failed to break into the playoffs. Once the season ended, WE Academy took part in the 2014 NEST. Unfortunately, they suffered a crushing defeat in the first match against Team WE’s main roster.
In the off-season, Khan was moved to Team WE Future. They tried to make a splash at 2015 Demacia Cup Spring Season, but their first series against Qiao Gu Reapers ended in a 0-3 defeat. WE Future made up for it in the 2015 LSPL Spring Split. With a 3-2-1 record, they finished their group in second place. They had high hopes coming into the playoffs, but back-to-back losses to Qiao Gu Reapers and Vici Potential Gaming put an end to their ambitions.
With that, Khan left the team for Positive Energy. The up-and-coming lineup was instantly picked up by Newbee, and Khan entered the 2015 LSPL Summer Split under a new banner. Newbee had a shaky showing in the group stage, but they got a second breath in the playoffs.
They kick-started their run with a 2-0 victory over 2144 Danmu Gaming, although the subsequent defeat against Energy Pacemaker.All knocked them down to the loser’s bracket. There, Newbee scored a 2-1 victory against Khan’s old team, WE Future. It seemed like they were set to qualify for the finals, but a sudden 0-2 loss to their old opponents—2144 Danmu Gaming—knocked them out of the competition.
Fortunately, this showing was enough to advance to the Promotion Tournament. However, a 0-3 defeat in the first series against Team WE crushed any hope of Newbee qualifying for the LPL.
In the off-season, Newbee rebranded as Newbee Young, and Khan stayed as their starting top laner. They had a great start in the 2016 LSPL Spring Split, but they ran out of steam as the regular season went on. In the end, their middling 16-14 record wasn’t enough to advance any further. Khan left the organization to play for Seoul City in the 2016 LoL KeSPA Cup. His run turned out to be brief, though, as Seoul City lost 0-2 to the eventual finalists, Kongdoo Monster.
Afterward, Khan became a substitute for QG Reapers. He didn’t get to start in any games for the first half of 2017, and so, and he returned to South Korea to play for Longzhu Gaming.
Longzhu entered the 2017 LCK Summer Split with a completely overhauled roster. And while it was obvious they had a ton of potential, most fans expected a slow start as the entire lineup learned to work together. But inexplicably, everything clicked. Longzhu dominated the regular season with a massive 14-4 record and earned a bye to the playoffs finals. There, they clashed with the resurging SKT T1 lineup, dismantling it with a 3-1 score.
Longzhu made their presence known at the 2017 LoL KeSPA Cup. They defeated Jin Air and SKT T1 to challenge KT Rolster in the finals. Both teams traded blow for blow, but in the end, KT came out with a narrow 3-2 victory, and Longzhu walked away with the silver medal.
Then, the entire roster was acquired by Kingzone DragonX.