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League of Legends

Player Profile: Bvoy, A Talent Starving for Opportunity

Bvoy

When Misfits announced Ju “Bvoy” Yeong-hoon as their starting ADC for the 2020 LEC Spring Split, many fans reacted negatively. The European community has a lot of pride in its talent pool and with good reason. Two LEC teams have reached Worlds finals for the last two consecutive years with zero imports in their lineup. Particularly, the absolute dominance of G2 both within and outside the region in 2019 proved the true potential of Europe’s players in many people’s eyes. Even disregarding “Super teams”, the other EU representatives had very respectable performances in the international stage these past couple of years.

With a large amount of promising rookies to choose from in the regional leagues, why would Misfits decide to bring in a Korean player who had a very underwhelming stay in the LPL?

A Promising Start

After a brief period as a member of Royal Club in 2016, Bvoy obtained his first real opportunity at competitive play as a member of Young Miracles. A participant in the LSPL, China’s secondary league (comparable EU or NA challenger leagues), the team is famous for producing some of the region’s best talents, such as World Champion Jungler, Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang.

As the ADC of Young Miracles, Bvoy found an exciting amount of success. The team managed two second places both in the Spring and in the Summer of 2017.

Bvoy
Courtesy of Ingrid Mühlenbrock and Riot Games

The Korean mainly played Varus and Jhin while Kalista became more prominent in the second half of the year.  All in all, Bvoy looked like a future star.

However, 2018 represented a time of change both for China and for its organizations. The LDL replaced the LSPL as the developmental league. Furthermore, after a strong 2017 the Young Miracles decided to drastically change and expand their roster. All former members were dropped with the exception of Bvoy, who now had to compete with new ADC Chen “Kane” Hao for his spot in the starting lineup.

The team encountered several difficulties after making these changes and ended their Spring Split on a disappointing 7th place. Regardless of the reasons that caused them to underperform, Young miracles quickly dropped Bvoy and definitely replaced him with Kane.

A Fall from Grace

After leaving Young Miracles, Bvoy had an uncertain future ahead of him. He spent much of the rest of the year without competing at all. In the entirety of 2018, the Korean had only played two games in Spring and lost both of them. The situation was quite severe. After having two exceptionally good rookie splits in one of the best developmental teams, this young promising talent encountered a screeching halt. With how short and volatile professional gaming careers tend to be, undermining an entire year’s worth of time is very damaging and potentially lethal to a player’s efforts.

However, Bvoy would be offered an incredible opportunity ahead of 2019. JD Gaming picked him up as a member of their roster, which meant a promotion and an opportunity to finally compete in the LPL. Overcoming the failure that was 2018, Bvoy finally had a chance to prove himself in the highest level of play.

Bvoy
Bvoy is declared MVP of a match against IG. This was one of his few memorable performances (Image courtesy of Riot Games)

Sadly, what seemed to be the promise of a bright future quickly turned into yet even more disappointment for the Korean. Although expectations were not very high, his performance in that year’s Demacia cup was underwhelming, going 1-3. Bvoy would go on to play a grand total of five games in the LPL and once again had a losing record of two victories and three losses. Even though his victories were against defending world champions IG, the first half of 2019 as a whole was yet another wasted opportunity for Bvoy. The Korean would leave JDG in May.

An Unexpected Redemption

A year and a half of struggles left Bvoy in quite the precarious position. At that point, it was unlikely for an LPL or even an LDL organization to recruit him. In terms of replays and VODs, he had few and underwhelming performances to offer coaches and talent scouts.

But there was one team that nevertheless decided to put its trust in Bvoy; a team that was having some difficulties of its own. Furious Gaming is a Latin American org which has existed and competed for a long time, since all the way back in 2013. The team became a staple of the scene, raking in several first and second placings in a variety of tournaments and leagues throughout the years.

Bvoy
Bvoy as a member of Furious Gaming (Courtesy of Riot Games)

However, much like in the case of Bvoy, 2018 was a shaky period for the organization. Though they didn’t perform poorly, they ended on an underwhelming 4th place in both the first and second half of the CLS season. In both cases, they lost in the Playoff Semifinals. The team switched up their lineup in coming into the brand new LLA, Latin America’s unified competitive league. However, their performance in the 2019 opening season would lead them to end on a very disappointing 7th place, the lowest the team had placed in any event since 2015.

The beginning of the following season promised to tell the same story, as the team would have a 2-5 record. It is at this point that coaches and management decided that they needed help. They needed to strengthen their weakest points. They needed a voice that could show them the way. They needed someone who would be willing to intervene in the middle of the season and save an underperforming squad. Luckily for them, Bvoy was starving for such an opportunity..

A Bright Future

Much could be said about what Bvoy contributed to Furious Gaming, but the numbers speak for themselves. From 2-5 Furious Gaming ended on a 10-4 record and began dominating the opposition.

Bvoy
Bvoy happily celebrating his birthday with Misfits (Via @Bvoylol)

Despite the upset in the following playoffs, the intervention of Bvoy helped to completely turn the fate of an entire team around. It speaks volumes that an ADC, the role that supposedly is one of the most dependent on its team and requires limited knowledge of macro (as some may argue), had so much influence in the performances of a professional team.

Bvoy finally found his time to shine, not on an elite squad, not even in China. A well known yet struggling Latin American team finally allowed him to prove what he was capable of.

Naturally, critics will point to the fact that winning in Latin America is no big achievement. Ultimately, these opinions don’t matter.

What matters is that the proof that Bvoy is a valuable talent is out there. The footage displays him on a stage as the savior of a team, and it’s there to be seen by everyone. Luckily, an LEC team took notice, and it’s giving Bvoy his long awaited and well deserved opportunity to compete on a large stage yet again.

 

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