LoL pro makes history as first LJL female player — and she could even go to Worlds
FENNEL League of Legends pro Shakespeare has made history as the first female player to compete in LJL, Japan’s top League of Legends competition.
Miyu ‘Shakespeare’ Otomo filled in for Ian ‘Corporal’ Pearse in FENNEL’s opening match of the Summer split of LJL. Playing on Lulu and Yuumi, she posted a combined score of 3/1/22 as FENNEL ran out 2-0 winners to get the split off to a good start.
Shortly after FENNEL announced that Shakespeare would be starting in the match, many in the League of Legends community celebrated the moment. The 20-year-old support became the first female player to compete in the LJL. She’s also currently the only female pro playing in the first division of a Worlds qualifying region.
“I’m happy to win my first LJL match,” she tweeted after the series. “The road I’ve chosen up until now has caused my mom and dad a lot of unease. I’m very happy to get a result like this.”
Shakespeare has been on FENNEL’s books since September 2022, when the organization acquired the LoL division of Rascal Jester. She came through Rascal Jester’s academy, which became FENNEL Academy, and was added to the main roster as a substitute in February 2022.
Despite the encouraging debut, it will be difficult for Shakespeare to break into FENNEL’s starting lineup. Corporal is an experienced support player who was signed by the Japanese team at the start of the year. In 2022, he attended the Mid-Season Invitational in Busan with Australian team ORDER.
After the match, Corporal had nothing but praise for Shakespeare: “She worked really hard and did really well. Thank you for your hard work.”
In order to qualify for Worlds, FENNEL will need to win the LJL Summer split. In the Spring split, the team finished top four, losing to Sengoku Gaming 3-2 in the playoffs’ semi-finals.
But winning LJL is a tall order. DetonatioN FocusMe have had such a stranglehold on the league that they have won nine of the last ten splits, with V3 Esports breaking that streak in the 2020 Summer Split.