25 Sep 2020 5:22 PM +00:00

Echo Fox: SSONG's do-or-die stand

Image Credit: Riot Games

Before they even got the chance to play their first game, Echo Fox were deemed mediocre. Their 2019 roster seemed to suffer from a distinct lack of star power, and it was hard to imagine them being anything other than a bottom-2 team in the league. 

Now, three weeks into the 2019 LCS Spring Split, Echo Fox are surprisingly competent. They get early leads, secure Dragon control, and pull the trigger on teamfights and skirmishes. And while their 3-3 record doesn’t exactly scream “top of the league”, there’s no denying that Echo Fox are performing much, much better than expected. 

It’s easy to look at the potent duo of Apollo and Hakuho, or the strong lane presence from Fenix as the main reasons behind this momentum. However, there’s another figure guiding Echo Fox from the shadows. That’s head coach Kim "SSONG" Sang-soo, who’s doing everything in his power to set them up for success and redeem his past failures. 

When SSONG made his North American debut on Immortals, the odds were heavily stacked against him. Immortals were coming off a seventh-place finish in the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split. They also just parted ways with their main carry Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett and brought in an (at the time) underperforming CLG jungler—Jake Kevin "Xmithie" Puchero—as a replacement. By all means, they were destined for failure.

But SSONG didn’t believe in destiny.

It took him a single split to build up Immortals from missing the NA LCS playoffs to qualifying for the World Championship. Combine that with him winning the coach of the split award, and SSONG’s stock was at an all-time high by the end of 2017. It’s clear from his interviews that he wanted to stay with Immortals and keep the momentum going into 2018, but fate had other plans. 

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