Kiin: one of the best players in League of Legends esports without a Worlds trophy

Today, we are looking at a Korean player who changes the way you look at top laners and unfortunately he hasn’t won a single Worlds yet, Kiin. Whether it be poor team choices or better teams not wanting to take him, Kiin has become an icon amongst LoL esports fans and players, but he has been away from success for a long time now.

Kiin is currently playing for LCK’s Kwangdong Freecs, fighting to get his team to play in this year’s playoffs. Let’s go down the history, examine his career, and have a look at his stats together. If you think that in order to be a great player, you need to win Worlds, I am a hundred percent sure that Kiin will change your mind.

Kiin’s career starts at Ever8 Winners

A young player with huge potential, Kiin started his career at Ever8 Winners, playing with other skilled and young Korean players like Malrang and Cepted. Although Helper was the starter at the start of summer season, Kiin came in and took his place, and played the promotion games too.

His team finished the season 3-15 and lost against CJ Entus during the promotion playoffs, losing their spot in the LCK. Following another disappointment at KeSPA Cup, Kiin left the team together with many players of Ever8. His next stop was Afreeca Freecs, the team that was creating a strong roster for the next season.

Afreeca Freecs and many disappointments

Image via Riot Games

Kiin replaced a legend at AFs, MaRin. He joined Spirit, Kuro, Kramer, Aiming and TusiN, coached by Ccomet and Zefa. However, starting their first season with 13-5, AFs proved to be a strong presence in the LCK. In 2017, Khan’s Longzhu disregarded the tank meta and put Khan on carry duty, and Kiin was considered a part of that culture, he was one of the players who was making sure the top lane stays alive.

Kiin and his team managed to impress the world, but they were defeated by Khan’s Kingzone DragonX in the spring finals. The fall of LCK started with KZ as they were very disappointing at MSI, and both international tournaments were won by Chinese representatives.

AFs showed a mediocre performance during summer, took the fifth place and were eliminated by an even better and more energetic young roster, Griffin. KT Rolster was the super team of the season, and they were expected to win the Worlds. However, Worlds 2018 was the second part of the fall of Korea.

KT Rolster drew Invictus Gaming in the quarterfinals and they were eliminated, Gen.G couldn’t make it out of the groups with a single win, and Afreeca Freecs had one of the worst results a Korean team has ever gotten, even worse than being eliminated in the groups: they were destroyed by Cloud9 in the quarterfinals. Kiin and his friends weren’t bad, but C9 somehow stole all the games, didn’t give a comeback chance and took the win with 3-0.

AFs is away from success

2019 was a disaster for Kiin and AFs. With their new roster, including some high potential players like Ucal, AFs couldn’t qualify for the playoffs in spring and took fifth place in summer. Kiin’s hype was gone and the Freecs went back to what they were a few years back, a random LCK team.

After winning the KeSPA Cup 2019, loyal LCK fans thought that Freecs could be coming back. However, while Kiin still impressed anyone who watched LCK, his team had bad luck. They missed playoffs in spring once again, and were destroyed by Gen.G in summer. Another disappointment at Regional Finals against T1 meant that another year wasted for Kiin and the Freecs.

2021 was even worse: ninth place finish in spring, and a sixth place finish at summer playoffs, instantly eliminated by NS RedForce. Even a roster with Lehends, Bang, and Fly wasn’t able to take Freecs to success.

During all these disappointments, Kiin managed to strengthen his name as a power house in the top lane. He has one of the best mechanics in the LCK, and he definitely deserved a better team.

Kwangdong Freecs

When AFs secured a new sponsor and changed their name to Kwangdong Freecs, it wasn’t flash news. Their new roster was. One of the significant stars from last year, Ellim, FATE, legendary Teddy and Hoit joined KDF, creating a very strong team.

Kwangdong Freecs wasn’t able to start well this season, but their opponents being unfortunate gave them a chance which they utilised, as all would. The Covid-19 cases in the LCK affected the competition, and after a very poor start, KDF is now back in the playoffs race. Considering theirs and their rivals’ schedules, they have a great chance at that.

It’s definitely not what we hoped for Kiin, but it’s a start, and if they can get better in summer, KDF’s roster looks very strong.

Kiin’s stats

Let’s have a look at some of the stats from Kiin. In his career, Kiin’s most played champion is Gnar, with 46.5% WR. Gnar is followed by 42 games of Aatrox and 35 games of Jayce. Not surprising, as these picks are three of the most picked champions in the LCK.

He also plays Gangplank, Camille, Renekton, Kennen, Ryze and Akali more than his first true tank, Ornn. In 2022, Kiin went for Graves the most with 7 times, and has a 57.1% win rate with him. If you don’t consider Graves’ new build tank, three of his picks this year were full tanks, Malphite and Ornn, each played once and Gragas, which he played three times.

His Kled is the best KDA with 13, but he played Kled only thrice. Playing Gangplank 34 times and having a 4.45 KDA seems more impressive. Overall, his KDA is 2.97 in 511 games.

This year, Kiin is third place on different champions picked, together with KT’s Life at 15. Two players picked more unique champions: ShowMaker and Keria, both at 16. Naturally, Kiin is the top laner with the most extensive champion pool in LCK. His KDA of 3.37 comes right after Zeus among top laners, taking second place.

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