KOI's jungler shows up when it counts
Our LEC MVP for Groups Week 1: KOI Malrang
After a somewhat unimpressive regular split, KOI looked transformed in the first week of Bo3s and a lot of it was due to the standout performances of their jungler, Kim "Malrang" Geun-seong.
The second stage of the LEC 2023 Winter Split brought another change in pace, as instead of the typical single game matches that we had been used to, the remaining European teams switched to a "two out of three" format, commonly referred to as Bo3. KOI came in as somewhat of an underdog in a group featuring SK Gaming and Team Vitality, but by the end of the first week, these two teams were soundly defeated in a pair of 2-0 sweeps.
KOI came in one of the heavy favorites to win the split, being 4/5ths of the 2022 Rogue roster that took the summer split title. In that roster, Malrang was initially the big gamble, a relatively unknown Korean jungler who had spent the previous year on DWG KIA´s substitute roster. However, he quickly developed a reputation for early aggression and while a few naysayers expected him to get exposed and punished, he settled in as being one of the LEC´s best junglers. KOI did not fare well early on this season, however, and many expected that in the groups the team would sink or swim on its jungler and mid laner duo. When it came time to take on the two top teams in the group - SK Gaming and Team Vitality - Malrang stepped up.
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The first series of the week saw the KOI jungler pick Sejuani twice, once against Maokai and once against Amumu. In both, he played nearly immaculate games to set his lanes for success, not even conceding a single death as he led Rogue to victory. His matches against Team Vitality were somewhat bloodier, but still very impressive - he pretty much hard-countered VIT´s prodigy jungler Zhou "Bo" Yang-Bo with his signature gank-heavy style and gave the team´s carries - especially the ADC Markos "Comp" Stamkopoulos the opportunity to ramp up and take over. It was dominant week for Malrang and we hope he maintains his form for the rest of the season as this will make for some great games.
Overall, Malrang maintained a 8.8 KDA over the four games he played, but this does not tell the full story. He went deathless against SK and while he did suffer 5 deaths - out of a total of six - in the last game, he was leading the charge for his team and went on an early game rampage with his Xin Zhao.
|Game 1: Sejuani||4||0||5|
|Game 2: Sejuani||0||0||18|
|Game 3: Vi||1||1||9|
|Game 4: Xin Zhao ||8||5||8|
- G2 and KOI Dominate LEC Groups
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- LEC Week 3: Fnatic and Excel out of Winter Groups after Disappointing Last Week
KOI will face off against G2 Esports in a rematch of their exciting 2022 Summer Finals. Will Malrang make the difference in that series as well?
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