Team Liquid star support Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in has become the first professional player from outside the European region to reach the top 100 of EUW’s challenger rank while practicing for the 2021 World Championship.
The race to peak the ladder as teams arrive for Worlds is always an exciting prospect. Being the first to enter the highest echelons of ranked play brings bragging rights and love from your home region. This year, Team Liquid’s former world champion support CoreJJ was the first international player to enter the top 100 players on EUW’s ranked ladder.
CoreJJ has been shredding through the ranks since he arrived in Iceland ahead of Riot Game’s year-end event. The all-star shot-caller was so committed to ranking up that before he’d even gone to sleep in Iceland, he was in Master tier.
Despite his great success, CoreJJ has been pulling out some unusual picks in his solo queue games. His most played champion is League’s saddest mummy, Amumu, who has been taking to the support role of late. It’s an unusual strategy, with Amumu seeing play near-exclusively in the jungle for years. Recent changes to allow Amumu up to 2 Bandage Tosses have given him more consistent engage potential, enabling greater presence in the bot lane. Whether this spicy new pick makes it all the way to the Worlds stage is yet to be seen, but fans of the champion can hope.
For the rest of his journey, CoreJJ’s been sticking to more traditional supports, with Rakan, Leona, Thresh, and Nami following up Amumu for most games played. Meanwhile, his laning partner isn’t far behind. Tactical too has reached EUW Challenger as of yesterday, though he has yet to break into the top 100.
North American teams have a lot to prove at this World Championship after regularly disappointing performances at international tournaments. However, should they manage to rally and reach past the group stage, these solo queue performances may be looked back on as where it all began. The 2021 World Championship kicks off on October 5.