Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Bi-weekly Gamer: Smeb best player in world

October 5, 2016 by Adam Boyle, contributing writer

When I originally wrote this, I planned on doing a ranking of the top five players at League of Legends World Championships. As I was writing, it hit me: I would run out of room just trying to talk about how awesome Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho is.

The 21-year-old top laner is the best player in the world right now. Some might say, “Now, Adam, what about Faker?” Fair question, and thanks for asking; Faker is the greatest player of all time, but not the best in the world right now.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

Now, honestly, Smeb is the backbone of Korea’s ROX Tigers. His ability to carry games with hardly any help and utterly demolish his opponent in lane—to the point of them often going on tilt for the whole series they’ve played—has landed him the reputation of someone you do not want to face off against.

Smeb, who was part of the original lineup of the Tigers, showed hardly any promise at the start of his career. After leaving his starting team, Incredible Miracle, due to poor results over the course of two years, he joined the Tigers and destroyed anyone in his way.

Leading into the 2015 worlds, the Tigers were not the fan favourites. Still relatively unknown to the western world, it wasn’t until they swept European favourites Fnatic 3-0 that viewers really started to view them and Smeb as a serious threat. The Tigers finished second in the tournament, falling to SK Telecom T1 in a 3-1 match.

In 2016, the Tigers stormed through the spring and summer splits, with Smeb winning back-to-back season MVP titles. Now, the Tigers head into worlds as the top seed and with Smeb being the best player in the world; they look ready to finally win. What was just out of reach previously can—and probably will—be snatched up by the Tigers this year.

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