Score, the prominent jungler
The Great Jungler. This was what the gaming caster Yongjun Jeon called Dongbin ‘Score’ Go at the match KT Rolster had against SKT T1 at the 2016 LCK Summer Split Playoffs. At the event, Score showed us what a true jungler carry is, pulling off miraculous ganks even when all lanes were being overwhelmed by enemies. All the casters and audience members praised him for his performance. Even SKT fans could not help but be awed by his god-like gameplay.
Score, who is one of the few 1st generation pro gamers still left playing in LCK, has been maintaining top performance for quite a while. He is a veteran who played at international tournaments like IEM, All-Star, and the World Champions; not only that, he is also the only player aside from Chanyong ‘Ambition' Kang who has played in every LCK tournament. And yet despite all of this, Score’s winning record pales in comparison to the impressive aptitude he’s displayed. The only victories he managed to grasp were at the 2013 Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games held in Incheon and the 2014 IEM Season 8 World Championship. Score has yet to claim an LCK victory, which is known as a ‘common’ victory that every top pro is said to have won at least once.
For 5 years, Score has driven himself to go on without rest, aiming for 1st place at LCK 2013, 2015, and the 2016 LCK Summer Split. Now comes his 4th attempt at victory.
From Top to ADC, then to Jungler
In the beginning, Score was a top laner. He made his debut when he joined StarTale, Korea’s first pro gaming team, as their top laner, and later changed to ADC to play in the 2012 LCK Spring Split, but unfortunately lost in the Group Stage. He went back to being top laner in the Summer Split that year when Yoonsub ‘Locodoco’ Choi joined the team, but they only made it to the quarterfinals. Score started receiving attention after StarTale disbanded and he changed his position to ADC once more to play for KT Rolster.
On this new team, Score started to come into the spotlight in the 2012-2013 winter season due to his overwhelmingly high KDA score. Score’s KDA was 9.8, which placed him in 3rd place at the end of the season, meaning his average death per game was 1.2. From that statistic alone, we could rightly say he had what it takes to be the best stable ADC.
However, Score’s safe playstyle at that time could turn poisonous depending on the team’s score and the game meta. This became obvious during the 2014 summer season; where KT Bullets ended up with the worst losing score in the Group Stage, and Score’s safe play was considered the biggest factor that contributed to the loss. At the time, the ADC-reliant meta was hot, and games where ADCs like Seungbin ‘Imp’ Gu and Hyukgyu ‘Deft’ Kim led the game became a trend. Because of this, Score’s safe and stable gameplay wasn’t working for the team. Score had to leave before he could do more. He needed a change that would help him overcome this slump.
What Score chose to do was suddenly change his position to jungler in 2015. As it turned out, that decision brought him back to the top. In an interview some time later, Score commented on how the situation hit him pretty hard when he changed his position and practiced. Rather than aiming for a reward, what drove him during and after his switch was the hope that things would eventually get better if he kept trying hard. And that effort came out crystal clear on the stage.
Score, who just had his debut in the pre-seaon, gained a bit of limelight, showing decent plays against Seongung ‘Bengi’ Bae and Sanghyun ‘Chaser’ Lee, who were both delivering outstanding performances at the time. As he kept on playing, his aptitude started to increase, landing him the title of best jungler in what seemed like an instant. Score carried this title as a world player, participating in international tournaments like the League of Legends World Championships and All-Star. But it wasn’t easy to seize victory.
What is number 2 to Score?
Even though Score had experience and talent, victory always seemed a bit far away. Several nicknames were given to him, all relating to him being stuck in 2nd place. This trend began in the 2013 LCK Summer Split, when his team won twice and lost thrice against SKT T1, placing them in 2nd.
After Score changed to jungler in 2015, he was once again forced to stay in 2nd place when his team lost to SKT in the Summer Split finals. The following year, they were again placed in 2nd at the 2016 Summer Split finals.
KT made it to the finals by losing twice but winning thrice against SKT T1 in the playoffs. Their opponent team was ROX Tigers, who displayed overwhelming talent in the regular season; regardless, KT couldn’t stand down. Both teams won each set and they were pushed into a 5th round, which would decide who the winner is. KT started to lead the game, gaining the advantage from teamfights and eventually going for Baron after they killed off Wangho ‘Peanut’ Han. If only they had successfully killed Baron, they would have had victory in their grasp.
However, the Baron went to ROX; Score’s Smite left 2 HP on Baron, which was then stolen by Gangplank’s ultimate skill, ‘Cannon Barrage’. From this point, the game was overturned and ROX had the lead in the game. At exactly 22:22, Seungchan ‘Hachani’ Ha made the critical mistake of getting cut off, and ROX won the game. The number ‘2’ seemed to be an omen following Score, appearing 5 times at critical turning points throughout the game. Not only that, KT was placed 2nd when they lost to Samsung Galaxy in the League of Legends World Championship Regional Qualifier finals.
Even after the team went through a huge roster change in the 2017 season, Score failed to part with the number ‘2’. He was placed in 2nd for all important figures like KDA, KA %, DPM in the regular season. Plus, the team’s nervous game performance and faulty teamwork seen in the regular season was nowhere to be seen in the post season finals, and they managed to place 2nd. Seeing all of this, Score’s fans began referring to him as ‘Number Two’. It seems Score can’t part from the fate of being number 2.
And he shall continue
Obviously, getting 2nd place isn’t something that could be looked down on, but one can’t help but feel a bit sorry in Score’s case, a pro who is considered one of the best, that has placed 2nd many times in his whole gaming record. Especially now that giants like Smeb, PawN, Deft, and Mata will be playing this season, Score will be desperate to win as he prepares himself for upcoming battles.
What is waiting for KT at the finals is SKT, the titan, who made it straight to the finals without any defective plays.But KT, who have been on winning streak by crushing MVP and Samsung in post season by 3:0 and made to the finals, isn’t a team to be made slight of. Also, they lost by 2:4 against SKT in the regular season, which was a close game that either one could have won. KT has proven what they were picked as faulty were either improved or solved in last matches . It’s hard to tell who stand in better position by just looking at the regular season scores.
Now the final day is not far away- Score will not stop to rest. Whether his effort and challenge at 2017 LCK Spring Split will finally bloom into victory or not will be found out at the match between KT and SKT held at Samsan Gymnasium in Incheon on April 22nd.