CJ Entus defeated the Jin Air Green Wings in a surprising 2-0 sweep Wednesday, and even more surprisingly did it on the back of a Taliyah mid lane. In the hands of Kim “Sky” Ha-Neul, Jin Air was constantly caught out by the earth bender’s continuous roaming until they split Jin Air’s nexus in half twice. Sky was acknowledged as the MVP of both games, and in a post match interview came out to cheers and screams worthy of a K-Pop star. Sky shared his happiness and said that there was going to be a reward after his excellent play.
“(My teammates) told me that I did really well today, and that we should eat something really good for dinner,” he said.
The topic quickly became about his amazing Taliyah play in the mid lane and just how long he was preparing to pull her out in League Champions Korea. Sky said his inspiration to practice as her came from a fellow mid laner.
“I started practicing her by watching (Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok’s) Taliyah play,” he said. “That was about five days ago. Then I played nothing but Taliyah in scrims until they started to auto-ban her against me, and I also played her in solo-queue with my old account.”
What was even more interesting was the lack of a Taliyah ban after Sky stomped Jin Air in Game 1, allowing Sky to carry the game again on solid ground. The curious lack of a ban just meant he would play her again.
“I really thought (Jin Air) would ban her out, and I don’t know why they didn’t,’ he said. “So I just thought I should play her again. I was confident no matter who I was going to face in the mid lane.”
Sky’s solid Taliyah play is especially ground breaking because in Korea, the term “Taliyah” is automatically followed by the word “trash” in Korean search engines. Sky was of course aware of her reputation, but it didn’t deter his practice.
“At first when I started to play her in solo queue, I kept getting told that she was terrible and I shouldn’t play as her,” he said. “But when she’s in the right hands she’s a very good champion. You just have to land her q, w, and e, and also use her ultimate to create roaming ganks in order to win.”