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League of Legends

Jackeylove joins TOP Esports

What worked and what didn't in the LPL Spring split

The young prodigy carry has agreed to join TOP Esports, after taking a while off. Last seen on Invictus Gaming, Jackeylove left the squad after falling in the semifinals to FPX. Once the LPL had started, back in January, the curiosity of where JL would end up came crashing down, as no team had signed him. He now returns the LPL, joining TOP Esports, a team at the top of the table, looking to go all the way.

His History as a Player

JackeyLove joins TOP
Image Courtesy of Riot Games

First arriving on IG in 2016, at the age of 15, to join as a trainee, JackeyLove showed enormous promise as the team played him in the NEST cups, which had no age restriction. Once he became of age, he immediately joined the main roster since the at the time adc West was underperforming heavily. With him as their adc, IG smashed almost everyone in the round-robin of the spring split but fell short in the playoffs. Summer was much the same, granting them a place in the world championship. Placed in Group D alongside Fnatic, 100 Thieves and G-Rex, IG emerged in second, after losing a tiebreaker match vs Fnatic. In their first round of the playoffs, they faced off against the at the time favorites, KT Rolster. In a barnburner of a match, it went down to the wire, and IG took down KT Rolser 3:2. Moving along to face G2 in the Semifinals, it seemed like G2 had burnt themselves out to take down RNG, and fell in a swift 3:0. Facing Fnatic once again, this time it was for all the marbles at the world championship finals. Invictus Gaming won 3:0 and JackeyLove helped lift the world championship trophy on his first year as a pro.

A Rough End to a Rough Year

Jackeylove joins TOP Esports
Image Courtesy of Leaguepedia

The world champions had no issues during spring 2019. Facing JD Gaming in the spring finals, they took them down 3:0. Arriving at MSI as one of the favorites, they smashed their way through the group stage, finishing 9:1. Facing off against Team Liquid in the semifinals, it seemed like IG snapped. They lost 3:1 to Liquid and were sent home packing. In the summer split, they continued to underperform. After finishing in 6th place in the round-robin, they fell in their first playoff game vs LNG. Due to the large number of points made in the summer split, IG qualified for the Regional Finals. JackeyLove came up huge for the team, and they barely made it into worlds. Ending up in the same group as Damwon Gaming, Team Liquid, and AHQ, Invictus Gaming made it out in second place. Facing pre-tournament favorite in Griffin in the quarter-finals, it seemed like old IG was back, as they dismantled Griffin 3:1. Facing their old rivals in FPX in the semi-final match, IG were unable to topple them, falling 3:1 in a very bloody series. The team remained together, until November 21, 2019, when JackeyLove announced he was no longer part of Invictus Gaming.

A New Beginning

Jackeylove joins TOP Esports
Image Courtesy of Leaguepedia

TOP, JackeyLove’s new team, also changed in 2020. They brought in Karsa from RNG and promoted Photic and Yuyanjia from the academy team. Maintaining their star in the mid lane, Knight and TOP seemed set to contest for the title. However, when the LPL returned from it hiatus, TOP started to slip up. First vs RNG, then vs LGD and even in victories, they seemed shaky. Their bot lane seemed to be behind in every game, and it wasn’t till veteran Qiuqiu made it back onto the roster, that Photic seemed to stabilize. Even with the help of the veteran player, Photic still struggled to maintain his head above water, so unsurprisingly, JackeyLove was brought in. Joining a roster that already looked like a real contender, will JackeyLove be the final piece that TOP Esports needed?

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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay.

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