Le “SofM” Quang Duy, the genius jungler who doesn’t need any championship to mark his name as one of the greatest players. Let us give you an insight peek at the name who shook China’s biggest League of Legends tournament at that time.
We are looking back at the story of the boy who, at the time, was only 18 years old in his first ever LPL match between Snake and Newbee. It was indeed a turning point for SofM to reach the top of his career. He has still, until this day, been a prominent name throughout LPL jungle history.
Right before the match, Newbee’s head coach, BanBazi, told his players to keep an eye on the new rookie, as known as Snake’s new jungler, SofM. “That kid looks very promising, don’t let a rookie embarrass us”. However, when Swift and Dade heard that, they all laughed loudly in the strategic conference room.
It was a very hot summer day in Shanghai once Snake entered the match against Newbee, and not many people would have dared to believe that Newbee, who owns Swift, the god jungler, could lose even 1 point to an unknown rookie jungler. Nobody has any idea who SofM is, even for the audience except the rumors that he is the Vietnamese player who had successfully climbed to Challenger on Korean Sever (he had reached the top 1 at some point), playing with a poor connection of 100 pings in every match.
That day, the taciturn 18-year-old boy, bashfully followed Flanders, Jiezou, and his teammates to the podium. It was only until he could sit on his chair that he was a bit more comfortable. That was his very first game in front of the whole mainland audience, millions of eyes turned to the stands awaiting what kind of playstyle that could be pulled out by a non-Korean player. Before SofM came, the LPL was a tournament entirely dominated by Korean players.
People were also asking whether Newbee had not researched his competitor, or was it the first time that the LPL saw such a playstyle of SofM performed that day.
Whereas Swift, who at the moment was proclaimed “the LPL jungle god,” still managed to clear his first jungle route as well as controlled dozens of wards in tactical positions around the map, the anonymous rookie who had just joined Snake decided to take a brilliant move. It was right after he had just finished the first red buff, that he dashed straight into the middle lane where “Prince” Dade was holding. No one knows what crazy playstyle that SofM was actually performing at that time.“It’s just your first match, don’t intentionally draw too much attention”, these are the words that LPL fans were telling each other while watching the gank.
Everyone who watched the gank was dumbfounded when SofM held Graves’ six-barrel gun vigorously pointed to Dade, he lying down within only 3 shots-even after using 2 Spells. Just then, people started wondering “Who the hell is this guy and where did he come from?! SofM completely destroyed Swift’s Kindred in that match. The 18-year-old boy completely played in a way “I don’t care who you are, I only know that your jungle camps are mine”. Swift showed a frustrated look on his face when, all of a sudden, he got out leveled by an unknown rookie throughout the entire match.
As a result, Newbee, after two matches, through their jungler movements and ganks, were completely predicted as a book that SofM had read numerous times. LPL’s illustrious jungler, Swift was truly admired and finally succumbed to an unknown jungler with a very fancy name: SofM.
Ever since that day people have started talking more about SofM, how he had brought three consecutive victories for Snake without having to lose one. LPL analysts have many questions to each other with the irritating aggression playstyle of the 18-year-old boy: is that what the LPL jungle needs? This style really needs to be learned and researched by the LPL teams.
SofM’s opponents might later say that they were really serious about analyzing this playstyle, but it was not enough to deal with his unique gameplay. The match between Team WE and Snake on June 19, 2016, was also a remarkable milestone for SofM when he first took Lee Sin rushing Tiamat’s ax to the Professional Tournament. With his fantastic Lee Sin performance, SofM and Snake won a dramatical 2-1 over WE. Team WE acknowledged in the post-match interview that they were all training and planning for SofM’s Graves, however, they were completely shocked for Lee Sin, which rushed Tiamat’s ax and Boots of Mobility.
The following matches were terrible days for all LPL junglers, SofM was marked as an absolute nightmare for Cpt, Kid, Eimy, Condi,… The 18-year-old boy’s name had been remarkable in LPL 2016. His performances with RekSai, Lee Sin, Graves, Hecarim have always been the obsession of enemy teams when they have to faceoff. The way he farms two camps at once, casts Nidalee spears at the moment when monsters are spawned, or Redemption Olaf,… all of which SofM invented and then was replicated by top junglers from around the world seeking to re-learn it.
That year, it was only when the “big guys” of LPL were seriously concerned about SofM that he was actually disabled, which to mention MLXG and Clearlove. Nevertheless, what SofM left to LPL that year was indeed a revolution in the old and obsolete LPL jungle playstyle, instead of that, they finally learned a new concept: with a lot more invasion and assaults in the jungle aggressively.No one, even the experts, could deny the legacy that SofM left, his contribution to this huge shift in the play style of the LPL. SofM was honored as the best rookie in 2016, and so far, his name is still neatly on the LPL’s annual gold list.
2016 was telling SofM ‘s story, the Vietnamese genius player who led Snake into the playoffs and kicked the world champion Eseayhoon out of the tournament. It was only after a tough series of 10 consecutive matches that prevented him from going any more.
What SofM left after 2 years of playing at LPL can be said to be too much as a top tier jungler. Whenever it was snow, summer, or rain, he was always there with Snake, but the fact is, no playstyle will last forever, that his aggressive jungle styles were eventually being researched, and that even himself had to change, obviously. Contrary to the “beast” he used to be, there were certain times when the “Funnel strategy” has favored his “lamb” side. Not to let anyone down, SofM uses his Rengar to turn the whole of China’s attention on this funnel. He was like a death machine, causing the sublimated WE to wave their white flag.
Life is ever full of ups and downs, and for SofM, it’s been no different. Snake’s rosters as well as the LPL had to change continuously, and the fact that his new teammates were unable to make themselves matched with SofM’s aggressive playstyle prevented him from progressing any further in the later tournaments.
Four years later, SofM is now a 22-year-old boy. SofM’s journey continues with Suning, even though he has steadily lost his destructive form over the years, partially due to the excessively controlled safety playstyle that has been re-establish by the LPL coaches, and he was forced to follow the meta. After all, with all great respect for SofM, as the person who instilled a fire in the LPL’s attacking playstyle, the flames are now being kept by Tian and Kanavi.