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Bdd as the next Faker? Not so fast

CJ Entus made a coaching change and replaced Reach (Park Jung-suk) with Chae "Vinylcat" Woo-chul
After failing to re-qualify for League Champions Korea, CJ Entus made a coaching change and replaced Reach (Park Jung-suk) with Chae "Vinylcat" Woo-chul.
CJ Entus’ savior has taken the stage.

Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong has spent a year in the CJ Entus gaming house scrimming and training with the team. His performance drew plenty of attention, earning him comparisons to Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and hype built for the young “super-rookie.” After turning 17 on March 1, he took over Kim “Sky” Ha-neul’s station in mid lane the next day. CJ went on a four series winning streak, defeating Kongdoo Monster, SBENU Sonicboom, Samsung, and Longzhu Gaming.

Bdd’s impact for CJ is apparent. Unlike Sky, he creates impact on the map and draws pressure. Bdd is at the center of plays, boasting a kill participation of 85 percent while Sky lags behind at 69 percent. Their damage shares are comparable, as CJ’s established identity is around ADC Ha “KKramer” Jong-hu, but Bdd’s laning is better. Despite farming less creeps per minute, he averages CS leads over his enemy at 10 minutes, while Sky averaged deficits by passively farming.

Bdd is the steady, aggressive mid-laner CJ needed to draw aggro away from Kkramer, but does he stand as the second-coming of Faker?

Comparing the two is troublesome. Bdd is a 17-year-old who has been playing professionally for less than a month. Meanwhile, Faker is the best player of all time with three years of experience. It’s hardly fair to contrast their current statistics.

Looking back on Faker’s debut in 2013 poses its own trials: data from that time isn’t as readily available as it is now, and the metagames are vastly different. It was possible in Season 3 to snowball from an individual’s performance, especially the mid lane. Modern League of Legends, however, is structured around team play. One can note that Faker played seven unique champions in his first seven games, while Bdd has favored Azir heavily, but the distinct contexts render the point moot. Faker was the breakout carry star for his team, while Bdd is adhering to the established philosophy of CJ.

The only certainty is that Bdd’s start lacked the shock of Faker’s. In Faker’s first match, he solo killed Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong, then a reputable mid laner for CJ Entus Blaze, and took over the match while on Nidalee. Bdd played Lulu in his first game against Kongdoo Monster and lost because Kongdoo sieged around Suk “Hipo” Hyun-jun’s advantage. Bdd later redeemed himself with solid Azir play, showing the drive to command the game even if his execution occasionally fell short.

Bdd’s foundation as a player is solid, and perhaps one day he can stand as a rival to Faker. The next weeks will be telling for Bdd: SK Telecom, ROX Tigers, and KT Rolster wait to test Bdd and his limits. If CJ can pull of some wins, it will go far to establish an early legacy for Bdd.

CJ’s rebuilding is coming to an end. Winning spring is a far off dream, but it has already shown it can fight in the middle of the pack with victories over Samsung and Longzhu. Should CJ continue to develop in summer, Bdd’s path can twist to parallel Faker: Faker didn’t win his first championship until his second season. Bdd’s championship might be closer than expected.


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