Insec: The revolutionary jungler
“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” - William Pollard
Choi 'Insec' In-seok is a name that goes through everyone's minds when they think about who the best jungler ever is. The reason Insec is seen as one of the best junglers ever is based off of his raw mechanical skill and calculated aggression throughout the entirety of the game. Insec used these amazing mechanics and ability to apply aggression to become arguably the best jungler in Korea for a series of months and made his name synonymous with the aggressive jungle play style that was highly popularised by Diamondprox in early season two. Another thing that Insec has become famous for is his interesting off meta picks and ability to carry the game using these picks.
Insec started his career off playing in CJ Entus with other famous Korean players Dade, Space and the infamous Longpanda. This roster would attend IEM Cologne in late 2012 where they made it to the semifinals and faced off against Fnatic. This tournament would be where Insec first showed his ability to play aggressively and control the game with a handful of diverse picks. Playing four different junglers over the course of only six games Insec showed his large champion pool that catered to whatever his team needs. While competing in this IEM tournament CJ Entus were simultaneously competing in the 2012 winter OGN at the same time. This OGN tournament would see CJ make it to the quarter-finals against Azubu Frost. Again this series saw Insec showcasing his amazing champion pool playing four different junglers across five games. Sadly CJ lost 2-3 to Frost and were knocked out of the tournament. Following the disappointing OGN performance CJ decided to disband and the majority of their players ended up in separate teams. In February 2013 Insec joined KT Rolster B where he would play alongside Ryu,Score, Ssumday and Mafa. This star studded roster would head into OGN spring 2013 with their hopes high and with a large amount of hype surrounding them. Finishing second in their group with a 6-4 score KTB were looking promising going into the play-offs of the tournament. Coming into the quarter-finals KTB were up against MVP Ozone, a team who came third in their group and who looked like a very formidable opponent for KTB to test themselves against. The big story of this match was the two powerhouse junglers playing on either side, with KTB having Insec and MVP Ozone having Dandy these two junglers were both fighting to show the world who number one was. The first game of the series had Insec on the passive farming jungler Nasus and Dandy on the early game monster that was Lee Sin. Despite Dandy's best efforts Insec managed to use his amazing objective control to get KTB a significant gold lead and allow them to close out the game convincingly. Much to their dismay game 2,3 and 4 did not go the same way and they were defeated by the eventual tournament winners. Although KTB finished with a disappointing placing in this OGN it did not take away from Insec's amazing portfolio as a jungler, with him playing an amazing ten different junglers over the course of 14 games it was clear that Insec was still a top tier jungler whose diverse champion pool was key to his teams success.
Following this OGN performance Insec was voted by Korean fans as the jungler to represent them at the All Stars Tournament in Shanghai. This tournament would have Insec team up with 4 of the top names in Korean league of legends and perform against some of the best players from around the world. The line up that would join him would be Shy, Ambition, Pray and Madlife. Along with this team competition Insec would also compete in a 1v1 tournament to crown the best jungler in the world. This tournament would put him up against Saintvicious in round one and then against Diamondprox in the finals. The narrative surrounding this single player tournament was that it would finally bring a conclusion to the year long argument of who the best Lee Sin player in the world was. With Diamondprox being a long time Lee player since the beginning of his career and Insec being this new breed of aggressive jungler. Insec showed the European legend that his refined mechanical ability gave him the edge and following a swift all in at level two Insec managed to kill Diamondprox.
Although this 1v1 tournament was an amazing spectacle for fans all around the world, it was not the only high point of the All Star Tournament for Insec. This tournament really is where Insec really made himself a household name with his amazing mechanical outplay against Yellowpete that had fans around the world cheering his name. This outplay being his famous Insec kick using Lee Sin.
Although this play seems standard and quite straight forward when examined today this was an amazing play and revolutionised how Lee Sin was played and really raised the bar on what pro players should be doing when they play Lee Sin. This mechanical ability and dynamic game changing decision making is what allowed Insec to build his reputation and allowed him to get cement his place as one of the best junglers League Of Legends has ever seen. Following these amazing performances Insec would go on to win the All Star tournament with team Korea in a flawless 6-0 run.
The middle of Insec's career was a confusing time where KTB decided to switch him to top lane and use Kakao as their jungler. This decision was made because Kakao and Insec were arguably the two best junglers in Korea at the time. So the KT management decided instead of letting go of one of their star junglers and possibly having him fight against them on another team that they would rather just switch one of them to the top lane. Despite his lack of experience Insec's performance in top laner wasn't too bad with him having a 7.43 KDA over the length of his first OGN. Despite this impressive initial showing by Insec it was made clear quite quickly that he could not carry from the top lane with mechanics alone. Coming into the winter 2013 season with the teleport meta getting stronger and stronger it was clear that there was no place for carry oriented top laners and that this was not the right position for Insec to be playing.
Following this interesting time in the top lane KT decided to swap Kakao onto their second team the KT Arrows and allowed Insec to resume his position as the KT Bullets jungler. After this swap back to his original role Insec was set to prove that he was still a top tier jungler. His first major tournament was the IEM World Championship. This tournament would have Insec showcasing his skills against the top teams from all around the world. With KTB beating Millennium and Invictus Gaming in the group round they were up against IEM legends Gambit in the play-offs. The first game of the series had Insec's Khazix up against Diamondprox's Nocturne, Insec quickly helped KTB win the game and made the series 1-0. The second game of the series had Insec on Elise up against Diamonds legendary Lee Sin. Insec showed the world that he was back and ready to win as he out jungled Diamond and managed to bring KTB victory after an amazing base race between the two teams.
Following this victory against Gambit KTB moved on to face Fnatic in the final. In this match against Fnatic Insec showed incredible performances on carry oriented junglers Lee sin and Khazix and brought KTB a swift victory against the European powerhouse. Following this tournament the KT Bullets played in OGN Spring 2014. This was Insec's chance to show his home region that he was a top contender for the title of best jungler in Korea. KTB managed to get out of groups with a 4-2 score dropping games to only Samsung Blue and Najin Black Sword. Coming into the play-offs KTB would be up against Najin White Shield, a team whose play style seemed to be the best in this meta with their champion picks and strategy being based around quick map rotations and objective control. The first game of this series had Insec playing an incredibly strong early game jungler Pantheon to counter the weak early game of NJWS. This pick proved incredibly effective with Insec having an impressive 7-2-4 score and bringing KTB a 1-0 lead against NJWS. The second game of this series saw Insec play an interesting but effective jungle Jax with which he again had an impressive early game and brought KTB a solid 2-0 lead. The third and fourth games of this series were also great early game performances from Insec but despite his combined KDA of 8-8-17 the KTB team just crumbled under the late-game pressure that NJWS map control allowed them to have. With the series tied up at 2-2 it was time for blind pick, this blind pick game saw two mirror match-ups. With Ryu/Ggoong both playing Leblanc and Insec/Watch both playing Lee Sin this match really was going to be decided on which team had the better jungle/mid combo. Despite Insec's attempts to get Ryu ahead it was to no avail as Ggoong's Leblanc play just completely out-shined Ryu's throughout the entire game.
After another disappointing placing in OGN Insec would cut his tie's with the KT organisation and make a risky move over to China to play in the LPL with Star Horn Royal Club. Joining him in this revamped roster would be Corn, Cola, Uzi and fellow Korean Zero. This roster went into the Summer LPL split with a lot of hype surrounding them, with Uzi finally having a jungler who can keep up with his aggressive tendencies this team was looking to take the Chinese scene by storm. Following an impressive 18-10 score the team managed to score themselves third place in Summer Regular Season and secured themselves a spot in the play-offs. Here SHRC would meet OMG in the first round but would drop the series 2-3 which dropped them into the losers bracket of the tournament. In the losers bracket SHRC met LGD whom they quickly 3-0'd guaranteeing moving them into the second round of the loser bracket. After this victory they again faced team OMG but again lost 2-3 getting them third place at the play-offs. Following this performance at the play-offs SHRC qualified for the Chinese regional qualifier for worlds. At this tournament they would tart off by beating LGD 2-0 in the first round of the tournament. This would put them up against long time foes OMG. Despite what had happened in the past SHRC 2-0'd OMG and secured themselves a spot at the 2-14 world championship.
The 2014 World Championship saw SHRC seeded into a group with NA number 1 seed TSM, EU number 3 seed SK Gaming and SEA number 1 seed TPA. SHRC showed a convincing performance against SK and TPA with solid 2-0 victories against them and went 1-1 with TSM. This stellar performance in the group stage made SHRC the number one seed coming out of Group B and meant they would be facing their long time Chinese superior EDG. This series would be SHRC's first real test of the world championship, with EDG always being the powerhouse in China it was expected that they would quickly defeat SHRC and advance to the next round but this was not the case, SHRC were here to fight for their chance at a world championship and they wouldn't lose easily. With Insec having an impressive 3.0 KDA throughout the series SHRC took a convincing victory over EDG and moved on to the next round. The semifinals had SHRC up against their long time rival OMG. Both of these teams came in to this tournament with high hopes and both had shown that they meant business. With Insec pulling out impressive pocket picks Fiddlesticks and Pantheon he had an amazing showing against OMG and managed to clinch SHRC the close 3-2 victory.
Following these two impressive performances against OMG and EDG Insec and SHRC would go on to face Samsung White in the world finals. This series saw the classic match-up of Insec versus Dandy, two legendary Korean junglers who had both showcased amazing skill and intelligence when jungling. Sadly Samsung White and Dandy were just too strong as a cohesive unit and Insec and SHRC didn't stand a chance as they dropped the series 1-3 and took second place at the 2014 World Championship.
With this amazingly long and detailed career Choi 'Insec' In-seok can be looked upon as one of the greatest junglers of all time, whether it be his amazing ability to apply pressure onto the enemy jungler with champions like Lee Sin and Khazix or his ridiculous off meta picks like Darius, Shaco or Fiddlesticks Insec will always be a name that is synonymous with play-making junglers across the world. Taking a style originated by a European legend and then crafting it into his own art and spreading that throughout the Korean League Of Legends scene Insec has had a huge impact on the way the role of jungle is played. With his name ringing in everybody's ears whenever somebody pulls off an impressive Lee Sin kick or Insta-locks jungle Shaco. It is clear that Insec will always be a not only legendary but also revolutionary jungler.