The challenge to become a world champion is not always a path filled with glory. A rookie top laner, hyped as the ‘Next Big Thing’ up in Top lane, failed to successfully make it past the quarterfinals at Worlds 2019. Jang "Nuguri" Ha-Gwon of Damwon Gaming was awarded the "dade Award" for this year.
What is the "Dade Award"?
According to Gamepedia, the "Dade Award" is a community created label assigned to the most hyped up player coming into Worlds, but failed to deliver results.
This dishonorable, but fun-to-see award was created and awarded by MonteCristo and Thorin on the show Summoning Insight from 2013 to 2016. Even when Summoning Insight was cancelled, the League of Legends community continued this tradition.
From play-in stages to groups, Nuguri definitely displayed his prowess not only in the EU solo queue, but also in the tournament as well. Nuguri claimed the No.1 spot in the EUW ranked solo queue ladder, which is full of world class players, such as Faker, Caps, and TheShy. He also received a lot of the spotlight because of his unique take on the current meta; picking Kleptomancy on most of his champions.
However, Nuguri performed very poorly when DWG faced this year’s MSI champions, G2 Esports. Despite having the highest damage percentage(29.7%) in all 4 games, his KDA was 2.6, which is the lowest among his team members. G2 tenaciously engaged skirmishes against Nuguri and successfully harassed this hyped rookie out of lane, rendering him almost useless throughout the game.
Nuguri expressed his disappointment in the press interview after the match against G2:
"I’m very disappointed in my performance today. What I should’ve done is that I should’ve decided on one style of play, which is either to just play how I always do, or be more adhesive to teamplay. I was able to learn a lot about how I can increase my synergy with the team, and how I should approach the game, in terms of my attitude. Obviously, I’ve learned a lot in-game as well, but the things that I really need to improve as a player lies outside the game.”
For this young Korean talent, it’s a hard lesson learned, but definitely a meaningful one. With many excited to see how much DAMWON will have grown from this year, Nuguri looks to become an even stronger player and hopes to not receive the award next year.