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Esports League of Legends

Legends of League: The Legend of xPeke

xPeke

Legendary mid-laner. Aggressive ADC. Filled support. Team creator. Back-door nexus destroyer. Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez has been known as many things throughout his League of Legends career, but one thing is certain – if fans have paid any attention to the European scene at any point since its inception, they know xPeke.

Though only long time fans remember it now, xPeke began his professional career in the top lane. After a couple of months with organizations like oSk Gaming and myRevenge, he was picked up by Fnatic. Coming in late due to passport issues, he joined them during the knockout stage of the Riot Season 1 Championship and took over for Bram “wewillfailer” de Winter to help secure first place in the tournament.

xPeke. Courtesy of Gosugamers.

Fnatic

After this short stint as a top-laner, he went to the mid lane, swapping roles with Maciej “Shushei” Ratuszniak. This switch lead to the most successful part of xPeke’s career, and the role where he truly became one of the Legends of League. Soon joined by other historic Fnatic players like Paul “sOAZ” Boyer, Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim, and Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, Fnatic furthered their journey to becoming a long term powerhouse in Europe.

Throughout seasons two and three, xPeke made a name for himself as being a highly skilled player with an impressive champion pool. He combined game knowledge, map awareness, and mechanical skill to be one of the top names in the league.

Despite having a long and varied career, what xPeke is possibly still most known for this day is his backdoor play at IEM Katowice in January of 2013. Though the team failed to win the tournament, they created one of the most famous and exciting plays in the history of the game. With nearly no health remaining, he snuck into the enemy base and took down their exposed nexus while evading two enemy champions.

 

 

Later that same year, he had another play that was equally impressive, yet less well known than his Kassadin game-winner. Though it didn’t result in winning the game for his team, this escape on Nidalee showcased exceptional knowledge of the champion, map, and enemy team. With a slight assist from sOAZ on Karma at the end, xPeke completed one of the most epic escapes of professional League history.

 

Origen

After three and a half successful years with Fnatic, xPeke parted ways with the organization to pursue an ambitious goal. He created Origen, a new team made up of experienced veterans and skilled newcomers. Leading from the mid-lane, xPeke and the new team joined the EUCS. They went nearly undefeated throughout the Spring Split, and easily qualified for the EU LCS, partially due to another xPeke backdoor play. This one wasn’t quite as dramatic as the other, but emphasized the level of map awareness and game knowledge that helped him become so successful.

Though Fnatic kept a firm hold on the top spot, Origen made an impressive showing in their first professional season. Battling their way through the split, they ended in second place, even taking two games off of Fnatic in the finals. This top-two finish brought some validation to his decision to leave Fnatic, create his own team and silenced some of his critics.

At the 2015 World Championships, they made their mark, not only making it out of their group, but becoming the first Western team to win a Best of 5 series when they defeated the Flash Wolves. Though they were knocked out by SKT who went on to win the tournament, Origen far exceeded the usual expectations for such a new team. At the head of this success was xPeke, providing a cool head in team fights as well as some impressive plays.

Following this international success, xPeke decided to take a half-step out of the limelight. He decided to take on a more managerial role for the organization and bring Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage in to share Mid Lane duty. He played only a few games during the split, and the team did well overall. However, things went downhill sharply after the break. With some members leaving, they had to swiftly rebuild the roster. By Week 4, xPeke was needed to fill in as the starting ADC, and did as well as could be expected considering the circumstances. The team struggled, and barely managed to avoid relegation.

Struggles continued

At the start of the next season, Origen showed up with a completely new starting roster, with xPeke as a substitute option once again. Somehow, they struggled even more than they had the year before, and halfway through the split, xPeke became their starting support in an effort to salvage their season. Unfortunately, all efforts proved futile, and Origen was relegated from the EU LCS.

Origen and xPeke mostly disappeared from the public eye after this, other than a failed Challenger Series run and a brief All-Star revival at the European Masters 2018, little was heard from them. That is, until it was announced that they would be partnering with Astralis, rejoining the LEC in 2019. The team found success this year, taking their season all the way to the Spring Split Finals, where they lost to G2 Esports.

So who is xPeke?

Though only those close to him really know Enrique Cedeño Martínez, millions of fans have gotten to know xPeke. Though not always successful in every position, he played every role but Jungler during his career showing an unmatched versatility in the game. Most of the big plays he is known for display the same qualities: nerves of steel, incredible game knowledge, and knowing what it takes to win. One thing is for sure, and that is that whether people love him or hate him, he is one of the Legends of League.

 

Find the rest of Nick’s articles here. If you would like to contact or keep up with him, Follow Nick on Twitter @_mrdantes.

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