There are many good players in the League. It would not be wrong to say almost all of the players in the pro League are skilled; to stand out among so many pros, one has to be exceedingly skilled. The top teams in the League often consist of such players. The ace players in teams placed 1st and 2nd would be well deserving of titles like “The Great”.
While many may claim such titles in order to assert their own power, the titles that hold real meaning are the ones earned and given. There are countless players who aim to become the best, to become truly “Great”, but only a few actually manage to reach that pinnacle. In order to be granted an honorable title, one must achieve a level of excellence that is never forgotten.
Within the history of Esports, who are the players worthy of being called the best? The names that likely cross your mind are Yo-hwan Lim, Jae-ho Jang, Kuroky, FalleN, Jkap… the gamer heroes of Starcraft, Warcraft, DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, and Esports.
There are also great players in League of Legends Esports, which have been ongoing since 2011. Despite having less time than players from other games, they proved themselves to the world, and their brilliance continues to inspire players and pros alike. One such individual is Min-ki ‘Madlife’ Hong.
The most unpopular position after the release of LoL was support. There were hardly any extremely fun or exciting moments to be found in that role. Other positions got to enjoy the thrill of the hunt or the challenge of dueling an opponent. Supports, on the other hand, could only experience indirect satisfaction when they help their team gain an advantage. Furthermore, there was rarely any acknowledgment; AD carries usually overlooked the help that their supports provided and attributed their victories to their skills alone. No matter how many wards, perfectly-timed CC skills, or how much peel they provided, the spotlight was ever brightest for the DPS players.
It was the same in pro games as well. Supports in top teams did not differ very much; their primary goal was to help their ADC get a better build earlier than their enemy. For pro supports, the general expectations and perceived skill level were only slightly higher than they were in solo ranked games.
However, Min-ki ‘Madlife’ Hong showed the audience that an entirely new world of possibilities could be found when your supporting goes beyond the mold. His Monsoon that blew away CLG HotShotGG Galio’s ult in just 0.5 second at the first League of Legends tournament, the OnGameNet LoL Invitational, or the expert shielding he gave RapidStar’s Cassiopeia, which ultimately allowed him to carry the game; these were just a few of the plays he made that shattered all expectations for how supports should play.
He proved to the audience that supports can carry the team too. During the League of Legends Champions Korea 2012 Summer Split Finals, his Blitzcrank grabs seemed to laser-guided, pulling DPS champs and victory itself away from the enemy team. He kept a perfect mark on Froggen’s Diana during the 5th set. Madlife told fans that support is not a role for those with less skill, it is instead a hidden position with the greatest potential.
There are many players who have shown amazing mechanics during their careers, but few if any have been as consistent as Madlife. The average career length of a pro gamer is quite short; many vanish from the pro scene after just one or two seasons. Out of all Korean players who participated in the first League of Legends tournament, the OnGameNet LoL Invitational, only Madlife and Score are still playing. Having consistently skilled plays in a world that constantly forces players to change and adapt is indeed a difficult thing to do.
Min-ki ‘Madlife’ Hong’s strong foundation is based on a professional mentality and thorough self-management. We were able to invite this legendary gamer to the Inven Global Esports Conference; with his addition, we will be able to learn quite a lot about the inner workings of the world of Esports.