Viper and Scout have finally blossomed with Worlds 2021 win


April showers bring May flowers and good things always follow a period of struggle. For EDward Gaming's Lee “Scout” Ye-chan and Park “Viper” Do-hyeon, this saying is right on the money.


In 2015-2016, Scout was an SK Telecom T1 trainee and a well-known solo queue star. But even the most promising mid laners of that era had to live in the shadow of Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, then two-times world champion, and Scout didn't have that many chances to play on SKT's roster. Eventually, in March 2016, he moved to EDG. 


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Immediately on his first season in the LPL, scout won the championship and continued to collect domestic trophies, winning 20126 Demacia Cup, 2017 LPL Summer, and 2017 Demacia Cup. From a Faker understudy, Scout blossomed to one of the best mid laners in China.


But while he showed strength at home, Scout's international results were tragic. At Worlds 2016, he was eliminated in the quarterfinals. In 2017, he couldn't even past the group stage. In 2018, he faced another top 8 elimination and didn't make it back to Worlds in the next two years, only qualifying again for Worlds 2021 with another domestic title — the 2021 LPL Summer Playoffs gold — in his cabinet.


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Compared to Scout, Viper has had a shorter career, but has been through way more turmoil. Viper's first team was Griffin, the most promising roster of the LCK (or at least before the DWG KIA era), which made it to three consecutive LCK finals only to succumb to internal issues, be relegated, and eventually disbanded. He moved to Hanwha Life Esports next, but that new outing ended in only 9th place. Had that happened a year earlier, before LCK's franchising, Viper would've played relegation matches again.


Despite his poor record at the tail end of his LCK tenure, Viper was still considered a world-class ADC and he was head-hunted by EDG for the 2021 season. Like Scout, Viper immediately showed explosive performance and became the ace of the team. He won the Spring Season MVP and a place on the All-Pro First Team. In Summer, he showed that a bot laner could still carry the team, even in a top-side focused meta, and led EDG to the championship.


That's how Scout and Viper reached — and won — Worlds 2021, going through insurmountable obstacles together, including a defeat over heavy favorites DWG KIA. Viper was as good as he's always been, if not better, and Scout made up for his underperformance in the earlier stages, winning himself a finals MVP trophy. And those who know them know this winning will likely not stop. Winning is what the duo is always thinking about. 


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"Viper is a player that has to succeed. He’s tough and extremely competitive. He works harder than anyone," Lee “CuVee” Sung-jin, a teammate of Viper's from HLE said. "He works harder than anyone.” One LCK official added: “Viper’s great in-game and out of the game. There are many great stories about him."


Over the years, Scout has become indispensable for EDG and the team will definitely want to hold to their star AD Carry, now considered the best in the world in his role. Everything points to a great new season for EDward Gaming, but it's still the LPL — four different teams made four different Worlds finals. Who knows what's in the cards for the reigning champs.


Source: Riot Games

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