For Beyond Gaming AD carry Doggo, the 2021 League of Legends World Championship is the final stop on a year-long tour across the game’s professional scene.
After playing in two domestic circuits in the PCS and attending two international tournaments with the region’s two best teams, PSG Talon and Beyond Gaming, Doggo is in a prime position to jumpstart a career that, in relative comparison to much of the game’s talent pool, is already remarkable.
This season, Doggo made League history by playing in both the World Championship and the Mid-Season Invitational during the same calendar year with two different teams—PSG Talon as a temporary substitute and Beyond Gaming as a full-time starter.
Doggo has racked up more international experience in the last few months than most players do in their entire careers—and he’s only 18 years old. But for Doggo, who’s among the youngest players at Worlds this year (only two others at the tournament are younger), age and experience don’t go hand-in-hand. He’s not letting the 100-plus players at Worlds with an age advantage on him pose a threat.
“I don’t think age actually makes much of a difference, but experience definitely does make a huge difference,” Doggo told Dot Esports in a post-match interview earlier today. “Someone who is 18 and someone who is 23, for example, and who are both coming to Worlds for the first time, are at the same [level].”
But compared to the other two players at Worlds younger than Doggo—Hanwha Life jungler Willer and DWG KIA substitute Rahel—the Beyond Gaming ADC already has a plethora of service time on the international stage thanks to his tenure with PSG Talon earlier in the season. This season alone, Doggo’s already played in 23 international games, more than (or just as many as) fellow play-in stage attendees like Hanwha Life’s Chovy, LNG’s Tarzan, and PEACE’s Vizicsacsi have throughout their entire careers.
The difference between the experience that Doggo received back at the Mid-Season Invitational compared to now, though, can be found in the role he plays within Beyond Gaming’s leadership hierarchy. When he was filling in for PSG Talon at MSI, Doggo was nothing more than a supplemental piece added to an already-developed roster. Now that he’s back with his home organization, the 18-year-old is leading the charge and allowing each game of League to flow in his own direction. Despite making his first impression on the international scene with PSG Talon, Doggo is doing everything in his power to become the face of Beyond Gaming.
“When I was playing on PSG Talon, I was rented over there and wasn’t familiar with any of the players,” Doggo said. “On Beyond Gaming, I’m familiar with everyone, and I can tell them how I want the game to go. I have more control over how we cooperate, and it’s a great feeling.”
Furthermore, Doggo’s ability to control the game flow of each contest comes from his unparalleled ability to get ahead early and twist the knife. Across his first three games at Worlds, Doggo leads his lane opponents by an average of 526 gold at 10 minutes, according to League stats site Oracle’s Elixir—a mark that’s drastically up from the 147 gold he led his opponents by through 10 minutes at his Mid-Season Invitational games.
Once Doggo and Beyond get the ball rolling, it’s unlikely they let go of any advantage. Dating back to the start of the Summer Split, Beyond holds a 78-percent win rate when ahead at 15 minutes, according to League stats site Games of Legends.
“Whenever we do have a lead, we do become more assertive in our leadership,” Doggo said. “I think after my experiences at MSI with PSG, I have a more clear picture on how to actually get those advantages.”
Thus far, Beyond Gaming hold a record of 1-2 in the group play portion of the Worlds play-in stage. The team, according to Doggo, is “focusing on the here and now,” especially because there are more games left on their immediate schedule. But with a spot in the knockout round of the play-ins all but locked up, it’s unlikely that Beyond Gaming and Doggo stand on the precipice of elimination any time soon.
Worlds is a grueling marathon for any League player, but considering Doggo has already dipped his toes into international waters just as much as almost every other player in the tournament’s preliminary round, it’s fair to say that he and Beyond Gaming are in it for the long haul. The team returns to the Worlds stage tomorrow, Oct. 7, for a best-of-one match with Galatasaray Esports out of Turkey.
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