A recent high school graduate, Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung played with a level of composure and intelligence fans would be impressed to see from even the most seasoned of veterans. Making his Phoenix1 and NA LCS debuts, the league’s latest rookie impressed from the outset.
The competition for the Phoenix1 jungle slot has been provided with a new challenger. 18-year-old MikeYeung, signed as a team sub during the mid-season break, made his first ever competitive start for P1 during Week 3.
Heading into the two weekend fixtures, Phoenix1 sat rock bottom with an 0-4 record. Although the rookie jungler was unable to provide his team with their first victory of the split, his remarkable performances have provided cause for optimism amongst the ranks.
MikeYeung’s age is deceptive. The NA LCS pro started playing League of Legends at just 11 years of age, reaching the region’s Challenger tier by the age of 13 and maintaining his slot for four consecutive seasons since.
Having dreamt of playing professionally and after graduating from high school during Week 2 of the Summer Split, MikeYeung wasted no time in seizing his moment on the big stage.
The struggling Phoenix1 roster has been crying out for a whisper of resilience. The combined effects of William “Meteos” Hartman’s return to the scene, coupled with Rami “Inori” Charagh subsequent resurgence, catapulted Phoenix1 to a third place finish in Spring.
Perhaps the remedy for the team’s Summer woes could well be the renewed enthusiasm of MikeYeung.
Facing off against joint league leaders Team Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming, MikeYeung would need to hit the ground running to have any sort of debut impact.
The pressure did not appear to affect the rookie, who entered the NA LCS rift for the first time as Kha’Zix, applying a tremendous amount of early game pressure onto Dignitas’ Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun.
Though the game ultimately fell apart for P1 after a string of poorly managed team fights, MikeYeung would not be deterred from applying his high-pressure style in Game 2.
Locking in the Lee Sin upon which he had established such a feared reputation in the North American challenger scene, the rookie celebrated his first competitive game victory with a scoreline of 5/2/11, unrelenting in his cross-map pressure and demonstrating a high level of mechanic prowess to set up key moments for his team.
— lolesports (@lolesports) 17 June 2017
Unable to secure Phoenix1’s first series victory of the split despite a solid level of performance, MikeYeung retained his seat on-stage to face the oppressive jungling style of Counter Logic Gaming’s Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett.
Confident enough to pick the ‘feast or famine’ jungler Nidalee into Dardoch’s Gragas, MikeYeung solo-carried for the majority of Phoenix1’s Game 2 victory over CLG.
Pheonix1’s faith in their young jungler paid off, with MikeYeung pouncing upon Choi “HuHi” Jae-hyun’s Lucian early on to secure first blood. Repeatedly ganking the top lane to snowball his teammate Derek “Zig” Shao, MikeYeung ended the game with an impressive 9/2/10 scoreline on one of the meta’s most challenging junglers.
Back on his trusted Lee Sin for the decisive game of the series, MikeYeung produced yet another strong performance, refusing to lie down even when his teammates continue to throw the advantages he had acquired for them.
Answering every team death with a kill or an assist of his own, the P1 jungler served as a beacon of hope throughout a dramatic final game. Yet after Counter Logic Gaming killed every other member of the P1 lineup and secured baron, the battle was lost for MikeYeung.
Although unable to earn a deserved victory on his debut weekend, MikeYeung provided plenty of reason for optimism amongst Phoenix1 fans. Unfazed by the pressure of the competitive stage, the 18 year old is already shaping up to be a firm favourite for the Rookie of the Split award for the summer.
Given time to improve the synergy with his P1 teammates, MikeYeung may well be the catalyst that triggers Phoenix1’s recovery.