As Team SoloMid suffered a shock 2-1 series defeat at the hands of ninth place Team Liquid, much of the post-match criticism was aimed at TSM’s bot lane and the duo of Jason “WildTurtle” Tran and support, Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. Last season’s ‘Rookie of the Split’ has been a target of assorted criticism throughout the Spring Split, as his play has dipped since earning his first regional title at the end of last year. Irregardless of whether Biofrost’s level of individual play has declined, the plaudits earned by professional supports are often directly correlated to, and limited by, the quality of their ADC partner.
If you had the opportunity to cherry pick a player to start your career next to as a support, veteran Yilliang “Doublelift” Peng would be towards the top of nearly every list – provided that neither NV’s Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong or Austin “Link” Shin considered swapping to the support role.
As a seasoned player with a wealth of LCS experience and in-game knowledge, Doublelift has much to offer as a mentor. In addition, he is still one of the most mechanically gifted AD Carrys in North America, and provides a shot-calling presence to any team that will encourage growth and development amongst his teammates.
The spotlight on a support’s performance is directly correlated to the quality of ADC alongside him: each of the supports in the NA LCS considered to be the best in the region currently have, or have had, some of the regions best ADC’s as lane partners.
When discussing the top supports in the NA LCS, the debate often revolves around a combination of Biofrost, Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black, and Andy “Smoothie” Ta. Each of these three players have benefitted from having one of NA’s best ADC talents by their side, with a group that includes Doublelift, WildTurtle, Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, and Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes. Even up and coming support (and Spring Split kill participation leader) William “Stunt” Chen plays alongside arguably NA’s current best ADC, No “Arrow” Dong-hyeon.
Playing alongside Doublelift has undoubtedly hid some of Biofrost’s flaws and created a buzz that would not have existed had he played alongside an AD Carry who was not in the league’s top tier. Speaking ahead of the Team SoloMid vs Team Liquid series, Doublelift provided testament to this theory:
Further validation to this ideology is reinforced when considering the inverse situation: supports who have poor ADCs as their duo partners. Generally speaking, there are no supports who play alongside the bottom tier ADCs of the NA LCS that are considered to be amongst the best in their role – too often we judge the play of these supports based upon the struggles of their ADC – Echo Fox’s Austin “Gate” Yu serves as a prime example.
While Biofrost’s play may have dipped since Doublelift’s departure, he remains one of the most promising support talents that NA has to offer. Still only in his second split of the NA LCS, Biofrost has plenty of time to continue developing as a player, and with Doublelift’s likely return to TSM at the end of the split, he should once again return to the form we saw from him during the 2016 Summer Split.
To truly assess the skill and strength of Biofrost, we can frame one simple question: Would Biofrost still be considered a great support on a bottom-tier team? If instead of TSM Biofrost, it was NV Biofrost or FOX Biofrost, would he still be considered amongst the best supports in NA? It’s quite likely the answer to this hypothetical would be no. Without a great team and AD Carry alongside him, our opinion of Biofrost would likely be very different.