For the longest time, the trajectory of LNG Esports’ mid-laner, Lee Ye-chan “Scout”, resonated with the tale of Franz Kafka in the world of League of Legends. It’s one thing to be recognized posthumously, but quite another to remain overshadowed during the prime of one’s career. At the recent Worlds, Scout’s breakout performances finally commanded the spotlight, a contrast to his previously subdued presence during other championships.
Humble Beginnings Amidst Giants
Scout initiated his journey as a backup for the renowned Lee Sang-hyeok “Faker”, a time when the intricacies of League of Legends were still being defined. When he got his major break in 2016 with EDward Gaming, he continued in a shadowed role alongside Heo Won-seok “PawN”, the 2014 world champion. Despite his consistent performances, it wasn’t until 2017 that he truly received accolades for his skill, clinching the MVP title in the LPL. Nevertheless, he was often overlooked due to the meta emphasizing bot lane gameplay.
In the Shadows of Other Greats
It wasn’t without reason that stars like Li Yuan-Hao “Xiaohu”, Rasmus Winther “Caps”, and Son Eui-jin “Rookie” often overshadowed Scout. With their notable achievements and impactful plays, they naturally drew most of the attention. In 2018, even when Scout outperformed Caps in lane during the quarterfinals, it went largely unnoticed.
Scout’s journey bears similarity to that of Rookie. Both often missed out on global recognition due to the overpowering presence of other mid lane stars. Despite Scout’s individual brilliance, he was absent from the 2019 and 2020 Worlds, making it hard for many to track his progress. It was only in the 2021 Worlds, where he claimed the Finals MVP title, that his capabilities truly garnered mainstream acknowledgment.
Rising from the Ashes
As the 2023 Worlds progressed, Scout finally found himself part of the “world’s best mid-laner” conversation. While the debate remains open with contenders like knight and Jeong Ji-hoon “Chovy”, acknowledging Scout’s exceptional performance in 2023 rectifies many past oversights. This season, the accolades he receives are long overdue and serve to balance the scales of recognition.
Scout’s Newfound Flamboyance
This World Championship isn’t just about Scout’s in-game dominance; his off-field presence has been equally captivating. His inclination towards trash-talking, especially against Western teams, has added spice to the tournament. Notable instances include his remarks post a game against Fnatic and comments during an interview with Ashley Kang. Far from the stereotype of Asian players being robotic, Scout’s demeanor brings an added layer of thrill to the Worlds.
Simultaneously, his dedication to mentoring his top, Tang Hua-Yu “Zika”, showcases his commitment to the game and his teammates. These multifaceted contributions both within and outside the gaming arena ensure that Scout’s recognition isn’t a case of too little, too late.
Lee Ye-chan “Scout” embodies the essence of perseverance and growth. From his understated beginnings to finally basking in the glory he rightfully deserves, his journey serves as an inspiration. As Worlds continues to unfold, the anticipation surrounding Scout’s performance, both in-game and out of it, remains a focal point for enthusiasts and competitors alike.