Scout, the Forgotten
On November 6, 2021, the world reeled in shock as the reigning world champions in Damwon KIA finally fell in an epic five game series to the reigning Chinese champions, EDward Gaming. For a Worlds Finals that felt heavily Damwon favored, with all eyes on ShowMaker and his potential to challenge Faker’s legacy, it comes as a shocking upset to many fans when EDG were able to triumph over the Korean powerhouses and shut the door at their potential dynasty before it ever bore fruit. And at the center of it all was Faker’s apprentice and the man who would take revenge for his master’s loss – Scout, the Forgotten.
In His Shadow
Lee “Scout” Ye-chan’s League of Legends career is quite an illustrious one, and it makes it all the more fitting that he wraps the final bow on it with a legendary Worlds Finals victory – one he was crowned as the Finals MVP in. Formerly on SKT as a substitute for the greatest player of all time, Scout always lived under Faker’s shadow – there was no chance he would ever get to shine when Faker was peaking in Season 5 and 6. One can only imagine how much the young Korean mid laner learned whilst he was an understudy to Faker because it was laid bare for all to see when he went to China’s EDward Gaming during the interim of Season 6, the team that beat SKT in the famous MSI Finals. Moving to EDG was poetic in Scout’s legacy, going to a team that beat his Faker and SKT, could only spell what kind of fate awaited this budding mid laner.
Scout’s rise was apparent, immediately winning the Summer Split when he transferred over to the Chinese leagues, with EDG having a record-breaking split that year. He will go onto win two more titles, establishing himself as one of the best mid laners in China. However, even with this much success, Worlds would always elude him; EDG were infamous for performing very well in their domestic region but not being able to make it past the Top 8 of Worlds – a shadow that followed them all the way through to this Worlds. Coming into this Worlds, Scout’s legacy hung in the balance – while he was definitely talented and very accomplished, he was set to fall, as all of the mid laners touted to be “the Next Faker”, under the crushing regime of ShowMaker and his dramatic ascent to not only replicate but also surpass Faker’s legacy.
One semifinal, which pitted ShowMaker’s Damwon against Faker’s T1, resulted in a blood-boiling series that went the full distance, with people all around the world touting it as the “real finals.” Faker and his team of promising rookies put up a titanic battle against the the reigning World champions, showcasing the future potency of the T1 roster in the years to come. However, they were narrowly beaten by Damwon, with ShowMaker himself taking control of the series, particularly in Game 4, savagely brutalizing Faker and crushing the hopes of the T1 faithful and denying Faker a chance at a historic 4th title. Going into the final, it felt as if the universe was coming together in all of its ironic, poetic glory; ShowMaker personally dispatching Faker and ascending to an unprecedented possibility of back-to-back Summoner’s Cups – a feat only Faker has managed before – dawned on the rest of the world as EDG was relegated to an unfortunate afterthought. Given EDG’s rocky history at Worlds, the fact that they had even made it to the Finals was already a remarkable feat; they were supposed to kneel down with the rest of the world and cover in the face of the unstoppable Damwon dynasty, with ShowMaker leading the helm.
However EDG did not admit defeat so quickly. The team that came out second of their groups (ironically to Faker’s T1), the team that managed to string together a historic 15 games in the Knockout Stage of Worlds, winning every series with a close 3-2 (the first time that this had ever happened at Worlds), the team that everyone but the Chinese fans had written off not only rose to the occasion but surpassed all expectations. And at the center of it all was Scout, ever stoic in his approach. He was up against a man who seemed favored by fate itself but he did not falter in his games and rose to the occasion and performed on par with him. Scout, unlike ShowMaker, was never a flashy, brilliant player throughout all of it – if ShowMaker is like a maelstrom of lightning and fire, then Scout is cool like water and calm like a breeze. Scout’s steadfast poise and resolve in powered EDG through many of their nail-biter moments within their run, as well as his clutch accuracy on his signature Zoe that gave them so many chances to pick opponents off and turn entire games around. Scout was able to go toe-to-toe against his other, great Korean mid lane brethren and pull out the victory, often from a 2-1 series deficit.
What is most impressive about Scout during his run was his unwavering play, especially during dizzying late games where a single misclick of the mouse could cost either team their entire year’s worth of practice and hard work. Scout was exemplary during these moments, whether it was his ability to teamfight appropriately on Ryze, dodging, ducking and weaving between spells that was very reminiscent of his predecessor’s movements or his killer sense of initiative, finding the smallest window to teleport and pick someone off on Twisted Fate. Scout’s gameplay was excellent in every facet and aspect, and it all culminated into defeating a ShowMaker who was also lauded for being seemingly invincible whilst on the Rift. After the finals, Scout spoke up wanting to secure revenge for Faker and take down ShowMaker. As stated previously, even though Scout did not see play while he was on the SKT lineup, he seems to have learned quite a bit from observing the greatest from an enviable distance and has built up quite the respect and admiration for Faker. Even though this story doesn’t have the world conqueror Genghis Khan ending that many would have predicted, it is a bittersweet story of an apprentice succeeding in avenging his fallen mentor’s pride and building himself a legacy in the process.
What does this all mean for Scout? The 23 year old has spent the last 6 years grinding away for the Worlds Trophy – and now he has a Finals MVP to boot. Does he hang up the jersey and live off his well-deserved glory for the rest of his life? Or is this simply the beginning of Scout’s legacy – of him joining ShowMaker and all the other talented mid laners of the world to try and chase after the seemingly insurmountable legacy that Faker, his old teacher, left behind. One thing is for certain; while everyone was lauding Chovy for his robotic mechanical talent and impatiently waiting for ShowMaker to usurp Faker and challenge for the title of the greatest League of Legends player of all time, the world had Forgotten about the monster that hid in plain sight: the world Forgotten about the mid laner that was building this legacy with his own blood, sweat and tears: the world had Forgotten about Scout, and now the world can do nothing but gawk at his towering magnum opus, six years in the making.
Mathushanth Ravichandren is a video game and Esport article writer specializing in League of Legends. When he is not lamenting the fact that he is hardstuck Platinum, he is trying to figure out new and unique ways to inspire discussion around the game we all love to hate.
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Who is Scout?
Scout, whose full name is Lee Ye-chan, is a professional League of Legends player. He was born in Korea and previously played for the legendary SKT T1 organization before swapping over to the Chinese powerhouse EDG in 2016. He is the Worlds 2021 Finals MVP.
Will Scout retire after winning Worlds?
Nothing of note has been said in interviews so it is safe to assume Scout still plans on playing professionally. At 23 years old, he easily has 2 more peak years left in him for esports standards.
Is Scout the best League of Legends player in the world?
Scout is extremely good; he was able to match his fellow Korean mid laners such as Heo “ShowMaker” Su, Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, and his longtime master Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, quite easily and even outperform them during clutch situations. He demonstrated a robust champion pool which helped EDG greatly in draft. Calling him the best player in the world might be a tad bit premature and might depend on personal criteria, but he is very easily in the top 7.