A hero from 2018 is back: Rookie

While Victory Five is having a perfect season at LPL, let’s use this chance to appreciate their legendary Korean mid laner: Rookie. Spending his last 7 years in China, Rookie is a resident of the CN region right now, and a shared legacy between both Korea and China. In both countries and worldwide, Rookie faces a lot of love and is the idol for many players. If you heard about him this year or want to take a look at his career once again, this is the place for you.

Starting his career in KT Rolster Arrows, Rookie spent years in Invictus Gaming, building up his and iG’s legacy, which reached its climax in 2018. He is known as a player with superb mechanics and a leader for his team. This year, he finally took on a new challenge, joining Victory Five and making a change after so many years. Let’s get to business.

Rookie years

In his first year of professional play, Rookie played for KT Rolster Arrows, a worldwide-known organization. He played with names like ssumday, KaKAO and Arrow. Their first split wasn’t so impressive, but KTA finished the summer season in first place and moved on to Regional Finals, exceeding any expectations and marking their breakout.

Although an unlucky series against NaJin White Shield prevented them from participating in Worlds 2014, the roster proved their capability, and KaKAO and Rookie went to China together, to Invictus Gaming.

Years in Invictus Gaming and finally a world championship

Image via Riot Games

Rookie and iG had a very shaky year in 2015. Showing a great performance for a new team but not being able to finish strong, they finished Spring Season third place. That was followed by a third place finish in Summer Season as well, getting eliminated by EDG. However, they were able to find a Worlds 2015 ticket through Regional Finals. It didn’t go well at all.

Worlds 2015 was a disaster for iG. In a group that was considered to be a free quarterfinals ticket for them, they started with a poor performance, getting destroyed by FNC and C9. Although they took their first win against ahq, they took another loss in the second round against them. Fnatic once again defeated iG, and even though they were able to win against Cloud9 in the last game, that only made C9 miss the quarterfinals, and couldn’t help iG themselves.

After a disappointing performance at Worlds, 2016 didn’t help iG as well. Two bottom finishes left iG without a chance of making the Worlds, the most important event in LoL esports. Their strong performance in NEST 2016 at the end of the year however fired up the fans.

2017 became a year of rebuilding for Invictus Gaming and Rookie. Now-experienced mid laner was able to show his skills once again. Spring playoffs ended early for him, but the real disappointment came in Summer. After getting eliminated from Summer Playoffs and finishing third place, iG played in Regional Finals against Team WE. When the series was 2-2, Rookie’s monster Syndra wasn’t able to stop xiye from carrying a team fight that opened the game. After that, xiye was able to come back and finish it all with a backdoor.

This disappointment didn’t stop Rookie. He was even more motivated, and he was ready for a bigger challenge next year. A strong start in 2018 by finishing first in their conference made Rookie fans think “what if?”, but their run ended early in the playoffs. However, they came back even stronger in Summer. Just like the Spring Season, they went 18-1 through the regular season and made it to the playoffs.

That’s when another disaster happened. In a game where Rookie wasn’t able to show up and run it down with TheShy, RNG took the 3-2 win.

That didn’t stop iG either.

Their group stage run wasn’t perfect, losing the tiebreaker and first place against Fnatic. That didn’t stop them either. They played against KT Rolster, the tournament favourite: guess what, one move from JackeyLove meant KT was finished as well. The only thing remaining between them and the Worlds trophy were weak Western teams: Cloud9, Fnatic and G2 Esports. They crushed G2 and Fnatic with two 3-0, with their superstars Rookie and TheShy showing such a performance that people would ask if they were the peak of their roles.

Rookie found the trophy that he most definitely deserved for years.

The fall of iG and moving on to Victory Five

Image via Riot Games

After that, although we don’t know why, iG has fallen down. They won LPL 2019 Spring convincingly, but lost MSI 2019 in semifinals, against an NA team, Team Liquid. Following that, FPX crushed them at LPL 2019 Summer Playoffs finals, and once again at Worlds 2019 semifinals.

Throughout those crushing blows, one thing remained. Rookie played consistently, and was praised by everyone watching Invictus Gaming. He was the last man standing while TheShy was called an “inter” and his team lost JackeyLove in 2020. With a weaker roster, iG wasn’t able to show up during 2021. Rookie was once again praised for his efforts, but it wasn’t enough.

In the end, the team split, and Rookie was picked by Victory Five.

Today, V5 is leading the LPL with a score of 11-2. They are considered the best team right now, and Rookie is on top of his form, accepted by many esports authorities. Rookie has a strong team with him, Rich on top lane, superstar Karsa as his jungler (they have created a great synergy) and Photic and ppgod as his botlaner. He is where he deserves to be, and he is a contender for Worlds once again.

Rookie’s stats

Throughout his career, Rookie played 923 total games on 55 different champions. Although he is mainly known for his Syndra, Rookie played Orianna the most, 107 times with an impressive 65.4%. His highest win rate with a champion that he played more than 10 times is Ahri, with 75% win rate in 16 games.

Rookie has a 59% win rate overall, with 4.12 KDA. While his champion pool consists of a wide range of champions from Syndra or Orianna to Renekton or Aatrox, the five champions he has played the most are mages or burst mages. This year, he has played Viktor the most,losing only once in six games, and Orianna 5 times without any loss. His KDA in 2022 is 5.48, he has played 14 different champions in 27 games.

The legendary Korean mid laner today fights for Victory Five in the LPL. If you want to watch his games and place your bets, or find more esports events and keep track of them, visit Luckbox.