FENNEL Shakespeare becomes first LJL woman pro

By Nicholas James


Jun 17, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

The professional League of Legends scene has had a new piece of history cemented, with support player FENNEL Shakespeare being the first woman to play in the LJL.

The LJL is the official Riot-supported Japanese circuit for League of Legends. This week, one player for the Japanese team FENNEL made history. Miyu “Shakespeare” Otomo served as the substitute support for FENNEL’s primary support Ian “Corporal” Pearse. After a 2-0 victory, Japan’s first woman pro player is undefeated.

FENNEL Shakespeare makes history

League of Legends has slowly become more accessible to women who want to play at the highest level. Ideally, this is a sign of the scene’s growth. North America had professional player Maria “Remilia” Creveling, and top-tier organizations like G2 Esports are fielding women-only rosters such as G2 Hel. Shakespeare isn’t a newcomer to FENNEL, becoming part of its sister team after her previous squad was acquired by FENNEL.

Shakespeare played Yuumi and Lulu, leading to a total series score of 3/1/22. This KDA would be an impressive display from a support in any major region. Shakespeare’s debut is one of the few examples League of Legends has of a woman signed to a developmental roster being allowed the opportunity to play at the highest level. Her success will hopefully continue to pave the way for other women, with mixed-gender rosters being one ultimate goal.

Shakespeare may not end up as FENNEL’s primary support despite her win, as first-string player Corporal is a veteran talent in his own right. Many fans are excited about a woman making it to a Worlds-qualifying region, but that’s a long journey. FENNEL is far from guaranteed a slot at the end-of-the-year international tournament, Shakespeare less so. Nonetheless, her debut on the LJL and LoL Esports stage is an important moment in League of Legends esports.


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