Icon: "I really feel LPL mid laners are stronger than LCK’s"


In a sea of talented mid-lane players at Worlds, one can almost be forgiven for not immediately thinking of Xie "icon" Tian-Yu. One of the more experienced played on LNG Esports’ roster, he is one of the most unique players in his position. With a champion pool both deep and exotic, he is arguably the most versatile mid laner in the world.


Inven Global had the opportunity to sit down with icon, to discuss his thoughts on his team, his playstyle, and how he’ll play going forward.

In comparison to other junglers you’ve played with in the past, how do you approach playing with Tarzan as a mid laner?


Compared to Tarzan, the other jungler players that I have played with don't have much experience in the actual competitive space. Sometimes, they don't know what to do in the actual game.


Most people consider Tarzan to be an elite player — something not reflected much statistically. In your mind, what do you think Tarzan contributes to the team? What does he do well as a jungler?


Tarzan can really focus on his own farming, and he's also got the ability to just carry the whole game. So normally, in the actual plays, we would like to just help him a bit and just play around him and his tempo to win the game.


Vizicsacsi: "Armut is the best top laner in the West right now. He has very few downsides right now."


You had the most variety in champ picks in your region. What's LNG's process of picking the right mid champ for you, and how'd you get confident enough to pick so many champions in make-or-break matches?


I'm making my own mid lane champion choices. I really feel the mid lane priority is super crucial. So if I pick the mid champion first, I will try to pick more proactive champions if I know what the opponents would pick. I will pick champions that can give me lane priority in the actual laning phase. And also, I feel that the 2v2 mid-jungle synergy is very crucial when picking mid lane champions. So normally we would like to have some champion choices based on whether we'd be able to use the mid-jungle to carry the game, or be able to have some early-game skirmishes.

Kennen mid seems to be something that we only see in LPL. Why do you think that is? Why does LPL like him?


I feel all the Kennens in LPL were able to have a very good laning phase, and they can get some priority in the laning phase as well. In the LPL, we think Rift Herald is very crucial for all the teamfights and Kennen can really play a very huge role in those Rift Herald teamfights. So that's the reason why LPL likes to use Kennen in so many games.


Obviously, people are very excited about Doinb, but most people overall rate the LCK mids higher than LPL’s. How do you think you, Cryin, and Scout compare with the LCK mid laners? Explain you reasoning.


Generally, I really feel LPL mid laners are stronger than LCK’s, based on my own experience in solo queue and all the scrims, because I have played against the other region's mid lane players as well.


You’re definitely one of the veteran players on the team. What has this year been like, as far as mentoring the younger players? Was it what you expected?


All the rookies in my team have very high potential and they're very hyped in the actual games. So playing with them is a very interesting experience for me.


Max Waldo: "It feels like you’re always falling behind because [LCK & LPL] have better ways of accelerating themselves faster."


What team are you most looking forward to playing against going into groups?


I will choose T1, because everyone told me that they are a very strong team. And also I would like to play against Faker.


How would you feel going up against Faker? Do you think you're stronger than him at the moment?


No, but I think Faker and I, the two of us, have different playstyles. So we will just use our own playstyles to try and win every single game.


You guys won your match against HLE. Chovy is one of the most hyped players going into the tournament — what were your impression playing against him?


In this game, we didn’t have the 1v1 mid lane skirmishes with Chovy. We just won based on our own strategy. So next time, if I am able to play HLE again, I would definitely choose some more aggressive champions to play against him in the mid lane.

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