From the iconic 6 SSONG to RNG Mickey, there are many interesting bits of myths, gossip, and monikers throughout the history of LCK. The long-standing prestigious families are no exception in this regard. Notably, the M support family consisting of MadLife, Mafa, Mata, and ManDuPooh, as well as the B jungle family with Bengi and Blank.
MVP is known for having two successors in those families – Kyuseok “Beyond” Kim and Jongbeen “Max” Jeong, who both continue to captivate the fans with their explosive plays and are following in the footsteps of the great M and B families.
On March 22nd (KST), both Max and Beyond played a pivotal role in coming back against the LCK powerhouse KT, showing just what it takes to be one of the successors of the noble families.
Game 1: Giving them a run for their money
From the start, KT was heavily favored in the first game of the series. KT, which drafted the recently buffed Lucian, had the upper hand in trades against Varus, who was nerfed by the same patch. Score found an opening and got First Blood on Varus in an early gank attempt. To establish the early dominance, he also successfully dropped Elise, who invaded the jungle.
With this momentum, KT manhandled MVP starting from lane phase. Pawn’s Vladimir outplayed the enemy Ahri, while Smeb’s Camille pulled off a solo kill on Poppy. By the 25-minute mark, KT scored 12 kills against the opponent’s 3 kills. Evidently, KT had a clear edge over MVP in terms of comps.
However, MVP did not go down without a fight. In a teamfight around the jungle, MVP picked off multiple members of KT, earning them a chance for a comeback. Specifically, Max on Thresh showed off a precise Death Sentence and turned the tides of battle.
▲ MVP held their own against KT in the darkest hours.
Looking to shake up the game, MVP caught Vladimir out of position and proceeded to work on Baron about 29 minutes into the game. As usual, Beyond masterfully used Smite to secure the buff.
The second Baron attempt was nothing short of a miracle. The M family’s Max was able to give a literal Death Sentence to Baron and successfully stole Baron. On the other hand, it seemed like a repeated nightmare for Score, who once got robbed of Baron with only 2 health remaining.
▲ Max's clutch Baron steal.
Thanks to the two Baron buffs, MVP noticeably closed the gap. Down the line, MVP fought admirably while Poppy skillfully knocked off the enemy team, and the team secured Elder Dragon. In time, MVP eventually cornered KT in their own base. Unfortunately, it was not enough as KT won the subsequent teamfight around the jungle and closed out the game.
Although MVP ended up losing, Game 1 served as a testament to the team’s potential. Even when things were looking down, MVP maximized their teamfight capability to claw back into the game by securing two Barons. Suffice it to say that MVP was in it to win it.
Game 2: One support to rule them all
There’s a fine line between courage and foolishness. One thing is certain, though; if you never try, you’ll never win. Everything has a price, as there is a risk to every move. Innovative and unconventional attempts will always entail a risk, but they may also be just what the team needs to catch the enemy off guard.
Max’s Sion support is a case in point. When top and support suddenly swapped champions, it was more than enough to excite the fans. Granted, Sion support boasts a high win rate in solo queue, but he’s still considered an unverified pick in tournament settings. Viewers naturally expected to see ADD on one of his favorite champions, Sion, while Nautilus takes on the role of support.
Unlike in the previous game, MVP got off to a smooth start. At around the 4-minute mark, Score on Rengar invaded the jungle to pick a fight with Beyond’s Graves. Even though Rengar seemed to make quick work of Graves, Beyond calmly responded by killing Score first and then Pawn’s Taliyah, who came to cover.
▲ Beyond on Graves didn't lose nerves.
Yet, things quickly went south for MVP as the botlane struggled in the lane phase. Understandably, there was little to do against a Lucian-Karma duo who excel in early aggressive zoning. At 10 minutes into the game, Lucian was ahead of Varus by 3 kills and had two times as much CS.
With most turrets down in every lane and the global gold deficit nearing 10k, Max on Sion made the one play his team desperately needed. After picking off Vladimir, KT pursued the rest of MVP. That’s when Sion stopped four members of KT dead in their tracks. Meanwhile, Beyond on Graves cleaned out the stunned KT, and the game was now back to square one.
After securing Baron, MVP won the midlane teamfight in a convincing fashion. Just as Taliyah and Rumble’s ultimates seemed to connect, Max dropped Taliyah using his own ultimate and assisted in getting Score by dealing damage even after death.
▲ Quadra Kill on top of death kill upset the balance in Game 2.
MVP toppled the leads KT accumulated in just three minutes and made a dramatic comeback. Max’s Sion was on point in scoring a Quadra Kill after connecting a four-man CC. Additionally, Beyond’s Graves played the role of an unsung hero by dealing sustain damage in unfavorable situations.
Game 3: Daring determination combined with efficient plays
Through the victory in Game 2, MVP was right back in the series. Considering the team was down one game, going with an experimental support took an immense amount of guts. Having the courage to try out bold and meta-breaking moves has to be one of the fundamental aspects of strong teams.
Caught between a rock and a hard place, the M-family heir Max was there to save the day. In Game 3, Max showcased his wide champion pool by drafting Brand, the same support he used to defeat KT last month.
Being original just for the sake of originality can only get you so far, because victory takes daring determination as well as efficient plays. To complement Ian’s Orianna, Beyond went with Elise, rounding out the consistency of the comp.
In the final game of the series, MVP seemed to take the initiative against the LCK powerhouse KT. MVP comfortably engaged and resolved teamfights, thanks to the team’s CC heavy comp, which overcame KT’s high skill ceiling one.
▲ MVP taking an early vantage point against KT.
History repeated itself as MVP once again took down the giant. MVP proved with results that the last victory wasn’t just sheer luck. Instead, it was the pure talent of Max and Beyond.
It goes without saying that the two successors of each M support and B jungle family are not heirs by name alone. Through their daring and skill, they have proven that they are truly worthy of being in the prestigious jungle and support families.
That makes for all the more reason to look forward to their future along with the mesmerizing teamplay of MVP. As a meaningful challenger, MVP brings about the same excitement that i felt when I first watched LCK. Only time will tell how they’ll do in the rest of the season, and you can bet that I’ll be closely following their matches.