Story of Impact: Staying at the top for ten years

A Korean top laner who won Worlds during the first years of his career is now an icon of professionalism and high performance. Impact, a part of the 2013 SKT roster, won the LCS with Evil Geniuses last week and it is the perfect time to talk about his success and dedicate an article to him.

After winning Worlds and spending one more year at SKT, Impact decided to leave South Korea to play in North America, like many of his peers who did the same either to NA or China. Although many people saw his departure as a loss, a career that could’ve been so much different, Impact’s decision to move to NA started another story. Let’s have a look at his career.

Xenics Storm and SKT T1

Impact started his career playing the support role for a mediocre team, but his success came after his swap to top lane and getting to the legendary SKT T1 K roster with bengi, Faker, Piglet and PoohManDu, coached by kkOma. After a rather disappointing spring season, that SKT T1 roster rose and shined during the summer, winning Champions (LCK’s predecessor), Korea Regional Finals and Worlds 2013.

As most of you know, that SKT T1 roster couldn’t make a similar feat during 2014. Although they won Champions 2014 Winter during January, spring and summer went bad and they were shadowed by Samsung teams. Following a 1-3 defeat against NaJin White Shield in the Regional Finals, they missed Worlds. Impact stayed to participate in the Champions 2015 Spring Preseason but after that, he went on to join Team Impulse.

First seasons in North America

Impact joined Team Impulse who invested a lot and the team managed to make top four in both seasons in 2015. However, After a 3-2 defeat against C9 in the Regional Finals, Impact missed Worlds once again, moving on to NRG eSports for 2016. Impact’s decision to move to NA was already questioned at this point.

Together with a player like GBM, Impact hoped to get NRG to MSI 2016, but once again, failed to do so. The team was stuck at fifth place with 9-9, and they were eliminated in the first round after a 3-0 loss against Team Liquid. For the remainder of 2016, Impact joined Cloud9.

Getting back to Worlds

Image via Riot Games

Playing for Cloud9 seemed to do the trick for Impact as finally he was challenging for the championship. With Meteos, Jensen, Sneaky, Bunny FuFuu and Smoothie by his side, coached by Reapered, that Cloud9 roster went on to play LCS finals but failed to defeat TSM. Fortunately for Impact, Cloud9 took down Immortals in the Regional Finals to find their way into Worlds 2016.

After last year’s disappointment where they started the groups with 3-0 but failed to win a single game after that, C9 was looking for retaliation. The team left behind Chinese I May and Taiwanese sensation Flash Wolves to do so in the group stage, making quarterfinals right after SKT T1. However, SSG was too strong for C9 to make a move, getting eliminated with a 3-0.

Cloud9 proved to be a great choice for Impact as 2017 went better compared to his 2015 and 2016. They were defeated in the LCS 2017 Spring Final by TSM 3-2, and got eliminated early in the summer playoffs, but made it to Worlds through Regional Finals a second time.

Coming from Play-In, Cloud9 was once again put in SKT T1’s group, and once again managed to make it to quarterfinals after them, surpassing Taiwanese ahq and Chinese EDward Gaming. An iconic quarterfinals series against Team WE saw Cloud9 eliminated but this time with dignity, losing 2-3.

Moving on to Team Liquid

Image via Riot Games

Impact joined Team Liquid after the end of 2017, and he started to dominate NA after that. They won both splits in 2018 with Xmithie, Pobelter, Doublelift and Olleh. However, they failed internationally, not being able to make it out of the group stage during both MSI and Worlds 2018. Getting 3-3 was enough for Impact during his tenure with Cloud9 both times, but it wasn’t enough for TL to make it out of their Worlds 2018 group.

Jensen from Cloud9 and former World champion CoreJJ from Gen.G joined Team Liquid at the end of the 2018, and the team repeated the best North American success in MSI following that. They played grand finals in MSI 2019 after taking down Invictus Gaming, but G2 took the trophy by defeating TL with the fastest best of five series in an international tournament.

TL won LCS 2019 Summer to become the champion fourth time in a row but getting 3-3 wasn’t enough to make it out of the Worlds 2019 group they were in a second time, and honestly, it was a tough group with DAMWON Gaming, Invictus Gaming and ahq.

Impact stayed with Team Liquid for another year and saw another roster change. Broxah joined from Fnatic, Tactical started to get more time and eventually took Doublelift’s place when he joined TSM, but LCS 2020 Spring went immensely bad for them while Cloud9 was dominating the league, they placed ninth and failed to make playoffs.

TL turned that around in summer, this time placing first in the regular season with 15-3 and securing a Worlds ticket during the pandemic. For the third time in a row, TL got eliminated from the group stage with a score of 3-3, surpassed by Suning and G2 Esports. Following the third Worlds disappointment, Impact was discarded by TL and he joined Evil Geniuses.

EG: 2021-22

The year 2021 was mediocre for Evil Geniuses. The team consisted of Impact, Svenskeren, Jiizuke, Deftly and IgNar, coached by former MAD Lions employee Peter Dun. Contractz also joined for summer, but after a third place finish, EG disappointed during the LCS 2021 Championship, missing Worlds 2021.

EG started with substantial changes in 2022. With his NA residency, strong and stable performance and reliability, Impact stayed for another year. One of the best junglers in Europe, arguably the best, Inspired joined the team. Two rookies, jojopyun and Danny filled presumably the carry positions, mid lane and ADC, and an experienced Vulcan joined to be the support of this roster.

Known for his ability to bring out the potential from a young player, coach Peter Dun affected EG roster a lot and the team played finals at LCS 2022 Lock In, defeated by TL 3-0. They went on to finish LCS 2022 Spring fourth place, and the playoffs didn’t start well for them.

TL bested EG 3-2 in the first round, and they had to take down FlyQuest to face Cloud9 in the lower bracket, starting their 12-1 series. Taking down C9, TL and in the grand final, 100 Thieves 3-0, EG took their first championship in NA. Impact will once again represent North America in the MSI, but this time with a different jersey.

Impact’s stats

Obviously, as a former South Korean champion, Impact has great mechanics, but he is known for his success on tank champions and he is a great teamfighter. During his career, Impact played 749 total games on 69 different champions for Xenics Storm, SKT T1, Team Impulse, NRG, Cloud9, Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses.

His most played champion is Shen (65 games), followed by Gnar (63), Renekton (51), Ornn (40) and Kennen (37). His win rate on Shen is impressive, a 70.8% win rate shows how well he is on the champion, and his KDA is 5.89. His best win rate is with Jarvan IV, 100% win rate on seven games. His Singed (83.3% in 12 games), Nautilus (73.7% in 19 games) and Shyvana (72.7% in 22 games) also look amazing. The best KDA record of his belongs to Zac, 6.77 in 7 games, but his record on Shyvana is arguably better, as he managed 6.47 KDA in 22 games.

This year, Impact played 49 games on 15 different champions. His most played champion was Gwen, she was the queen of meta for some time. He has 75% win rate in 8 games with Gwen. Aside from Aatrox and Sion which he played twice and won both of them, the best win rate belongs to Ornn, 80% in 5 games and Gwen. His best KDA also belongs to Ornn, 6.33 in five games.

That’s all from Impact’s career for now, but undoubtedly, he will go on to accomplish even greater things as he doesn’t seem to be bored of the game at all. If you are interested, find the best esports events, watch them live and place your bets on Luckbox.