JD Gaming jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok has recently won his first international League of Legends title, taking down MSI 2023 while playing a champion for the very first time.
JDG took MSI 2023 in London, England by storm. Triumphing against fellow LPL representative Billibilli Gaming in the finals, and jungler Kanavi played no small part in that victory. After the series, when the recordings of JDG’s communications onstage, it was revealed that Kanavi had won the event first-timing a champion.
As far as anyone can tell, Kanavi pulled off the solo queue faux pas at the highest level — flawlessly.
Kanavi MSI finals play sees first-time Nautilus
In the first game of JDG’s victorious showing against BLG, Kanavi was given an unusual jungle pick in Nautilus. Nautilus is a primarily support-focused champion, serving as engage and peel for his team. He tends to lack damage and mobility, two things often needed by junglers.
Nautilus jungle hasn’t been a particularly meta for a long time, so when it was selected it wasn’t immediately clear who would be playing it.
Acording to Kanavi himself, he hadn’t played a single game of Maokai ahead of the MSI finals, not even in ranked. This is the first notable time since SKT T1 jungler Bae “Bengi” Seong-Woong played his first ever game of Nidalee on the Worlds stage. Most professional drafts tend towards patterns the team has practiced, but not JDG’s.
Not only did he pick an unpracticed champion, but Kanavi was the subject of much praise for his performance while doing it. JDG’s win at MSI throws many preconceptions about top-level play out of the window. If the best team can pick a brand-mew flex pick in their first game of an international finals, what isn’t possible?
This is just another detail to JDG’s dominant MSI win that makes them seem like favorites to reappear at Worlds 2023 in South Korea as contenders.