Role swaps don’t happen often in the League of Legends scene. And it’s even more rare to see them work. After all, learning a new position and performing on it to the level where you can stand against some of the best is by no means an easy feat. Yet that’s exactly what Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin seems to have accomplished.
What lies behind his role swap, and what does the future have in store for Team Liquid’s new mid laner?
The Longest Journey
Piglet’s road to success wasn’t a seamless one. After his victory at the 2013 World Championship as a part of the dominant SKT T1 lineup, Piglet made the decision to go to North America. It was then that the ADC decided to join Team Liquid—and his career took a turn for the worse.
At the time, there wasn’t any doubt that mechanically Piglet was one of the best AD carries in NA LCS. But other problems began to surface, and things like language barriers and the lack of team synergy weighed down his performances. These issues culminated in a disastrous 2016 Summer Split where Piglet often butted heads with the team’s head coach, Locodoco, and its jungler, Dardoch. It got so bad that Liquid released a documentary Breaking Point that was entirely dedicated to the team’s shortcomings.
And even though the team atmosphere got better for the 2017 Spring Split, Liquid still struggled to find success and lost one game after another. With the relegations becoming a very likely prospect, something had to change for this struggling lineup. And Liquid did what they’ve always done in dire times.
They’ve turned to Piglet.
Rise of the Midlet
With a 2.5 KDA, 8.3 CS per minute, and a middling 503 DPM, it was clear that Piglet wasn’t doing that great in the AD carry role. In fact, he himself has admitted in Team Liquid’s SQUAD series that the role started to feel stale for him.
But with Team Liquid’s current mid laner underperforming, another path opened up to their star player. And so Piglet turned his gaze to the mid lane.
When the move was first announced, few knew what to expect from such a drastic change. But now it’s fair to say that Piglet has adapted well to his role as the team’s mid laner. With a 3.4 KDA, 7.9 CS per minute, and 551 DPM, Piglet has already made his presence known in the mid lane. And he will only keep getting better as the season goes on.
In retrospect, Piglet’s good performance shouldn’t come as such a surprise. In his heart, he was always a playmaker that’s enjoyed leading the team from the frontlines. And, perhaps, that is the reason why he struggled so much to make an impact in the current supportive ADC meta. But the mid lane allows Piglet to unleash his aggression and become the carry that Team Liquid so desperately needed.
Something Ends, Something Begins
While it’s true that Piglet has found success in his new role, he still has a lot to learn. In particular, he needs to get better at vision control and working together with his jungler—something that can be only accomplished with practice and time.
Unfortunately, time is something that Team Liquid doesn’t have. They’re still on the verge of relegation and their schedule has them clashing with Dignitas, Phoenix1, TSM, and FlyQuest—all formidable opponents in their own right.
But with Piglet finally living up to the name of the team’s star player, there’s not a challenge that Liquid can’t take.
Do you think Piglet made the right move? Let us know what you think in the comments!