The Week in LoL Esports: When all seems lost, let TheShy play Fiora
Another week of competitive League has been and gone, and we’re here to fill you in on everything you might have missed: From Fiora top to Rogue’s surprising resurgence.
What’s good, gamers. After a break from the LEC and LCS, I hope you’re back and fresh as a lettuce for another week of LoL Esports. And if you’re not? Well, tough luck, because I’m going to tell you about it anyway.
In my week’s absence, I’m sure you were all chomping at the bit to find out the answer to the classic ‘The Week in LoL Esports’ segment, Can CLG Still Qualify For Worlds? (we’re workshopping a catchier title.)
I’m pleased to confirm to you that CLG can, in fact, still make Worlds. I’m less pleased, however, to say that their freefall down the standings continues — the only team they’ve managed to beat in their last five games is Immortals, one of the worst LCS teams I’ve ever had the misfortune of watching.
Elsewhere in the world, Rogue continue to rise, and Weibo Gaming somehow beat one of the best teams in the world because Kang ‘TheShy’ Seung-lok made the executive decision to actually plug in his mouse and keyboard for this specific series.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then here’s everything you missed in the last week of competitive League.
LEC: Death, taxes, and Rogue
Life is messy, and impermanent, and ever-changing. In this world, guarantees are rare, but there are three things you can always count on: death, taxes, and Rogue sneaking their way to the top of the LEC standings without anyone really noticing.
They’ve been muddling along near the top of the LEC since the start of summer. Not quite the best, but performing much more consistently than whatever the rest of the league has going on (I’m talking to you, G2).
But unfortunately, I’ve been burned one too many times by Rogue to be convinced that this will translate into any meaningful improvement come playoffs. I love Rogue — if I were to say I was a fan of any LEC team, it’d be this one. But they’ve come so close to greatness so many times only for it to all fall away during the playoffs.
So, no. Despite what my heart is telling me, I’m not letting myself get excited about Rogue pulling into a lead in the LEC. It’ll take more than a Week 4 show of strength for me to believe in this team for real again.
LCS: Once again, TSM is in an absolute mess
We have a lot of fun in these weekly columns. But if I may get serious for just a moment, watching TSM throw their supposed star player under the bus with a Reddit post has been yet another disappointing indictment of North America’s former golden child.
For some context: TSM made an announcement this week that they would be revamping their academy and LCS rosters (again) and that, as part of that, support Wei ‘Shenyi’ Zie-Jie would be departing the academy roster.
Now, they could have left it at that. But instead, this professional organization decided to say that Shenyi was a “liability” to the team, and that his “lack of motivation” and “absence of shot-calling” had “stunted the development of the Academy team as a whole”.
Here’s the question. Why are we using social media to call out an employee whose English is not strong enough to be able to defend themselves publicly? Any statement Shenyi could possibly provide in defense of this “lack of motivation” would almost certainly have to be translated by someone else, leaving a not-insignificant chance it wouldn’t be an accurate reflection of his actual feelings.
And, more importantly, why exactly do we think this player is suffering from motivation issues in the first place? Could it perhaps be because he was contracted by an organization that had no idea how to properly care for imported players who didn’t speak a common word of language with their teammates and coworkers, who were more than happy to demote him and let go of his teammate when they didn’t immediately improve the team’s worrying performance?
I’m not absolving Shenyi of all responsibility for his own level of play. Far from it. And, an important note, I am not damning TSM as an entire organization. But I think this Reddit post is an exceptionally bad look for TSM, especially as their CEO is currently undergoing sensitivity training and a hefty fine for allegations of workplace bullying.
TSM’s transparency over their roster changes so far this year has been admirable, and a very good example of an organization correctly implementing feedback from their fans. But I think this is potentially one step too far.
LCK: Let’s give Gen.G some love
Now I love Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok as much as the next League diehard, and I think he and his merry band of under-21s are a shoe-in for a World Championship semifinal, at least.
But you know who has a higher overall LCK win rate than T1 so far this split? Gen.G. Both sit at a 9-1 series record, but Gen.G actually only lost three games in the first round robin of the LCK, two fewer than T1.
It’s not a huge difference, but it’s a noticeable one. Gen.G lost the head-to-head with T1 0-2 (they’re yet to win a series versus T1 so far in 2022), and it feels as though they’re flying a little under the radar because of it.
But make no mistake — they’re an incredible team, and one that could be a real international contender. Jeong ‘Chovy’ Jihoon is at the top of his game, and he’s finally on a team where it doesn’t just feel like he’s pulling dead weight (sorry, DRX).
AD Carry Park ‘Ruler’ Jae-hyuk currently has the highest KDA of any player in the LCK at an incredible 11.9, and paired with Sin ‘Lehends’ Siwoo in the bot lane he’s just as much a force to be reckoned with as when he won Worlds five years ago.
LPL: TheShy has had his mandatory carry performance of the year
TheShy, also known as one of the best and least consistent top laners in the world, had his government-mandated ‘random pop off on a carry top laner’ series last week. With him at the helm, Weibo Gaming managed to take down a previously undefeated V5 from all the way down in the bottom half of the standings.
And of course, TheShy’s picks for that clean 2-0 were Fiora and Jax. Neither champ is particularly strong in the current meta, but that apparently doesn’t matter too much when you’re TheShy.
It’s refreshing to see TheShy back in form — although God knows how long it’ll last. He’s always been a pretty inconsistent player, but this split he’s gone from the worst Anivia top pick the world has ever seen to 714 damage per minute in two games against the best team in the world’s best region.
And he got to use his Fiora skin! A great day for TheShy fans everywhere.