Jeong “Impact” Eonyeong is one of the most well-known faces of North American League of Legends. He has led an LCS team to the Worlds stage each of the last years, by making a quiet statement in the top lane. He is often left off ‘best top lane’ lists since his regular-season performances tend to be overshadowed by his teammates.
It is once he sits in that chair, on the Worlds’ stage that he truly begins to shine and show off years of experience and why he is a League of Legends World Champion.
The phrase ‘Top Die’ has become synonymous with his strength in the top lane and how he manages to crush opponents in 1-vs-1 matchups. He especially thrives when he gets to play a tank champion.
This was especially evident in the first match of the 2020 World Championship. Team Liquid faced off against Europe’s Mad Lions in a Bo1 and nobody expected the North American squad to win. Mad Lions had dominated their season which made them the favourites to get out of group A in first place.
What made Impact’s performance so eye-catching and impressive though?
He is well known for picks such as Shen, Singed and Mordekaiser and even though he tends to fall behind in cs in the early game, Impact can still make game-changing plays later on in any game.
Impact will often be left to his own accord in the early stages of the game. This was especially evident in the previous years when Team Liquid had Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng on their team. The whole playstyle focused around the bot-lane and getting them ahead which often left their toplaner to defend himself against ganks.
This deficit in the early game does not slow his playstyle though. He is one of the best teamfighters in League of Legends and in the mid-to-late game is the key point to any team composition, shielding his team or coming in with a well-timed flank for a kill.
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This strength was made obvious during the play-in phase when he was given his comfort picks of both Shen and Mordekaiser. In the game against the LEC fourth-seed, he managed to pick up Mordekaiser while Mad Lions' toplaner Orome picked up Camille. Camille should technically have the upper hand against a champion like Morde, but Impact managed to stay toe-to-toe throughout the laning phase.
At 13 minutes, Camille accumulated a 10 cs lead but was still solo killed by Mordekaiser through a smart outplay. Impact waited until the last second to ult his opponent and pull him into the death realm and end them right then and there.
But as we mentioned before impact thrives when it comes to teamfights. He is able to turn any fight around due to his smart positioning as well as his flanks. This can once again be seen during the Mad Lions loss at the 29-minute mark.
Mad Lions engages in a fight, heading straight towards Team Liquid who manage to hold them off. Impact uses his teleport to access the backline. The weakened Mad Lions champions retreat but run straight into Impact who cleans up the end of a messy fight, giving his team the opportunity to head towards the Baron.
So even though, Impact might not get an advantage straight away in lane, he will play safe and try to defend as good as he can, until the mid-game when he will pop off and become a key part for his team to succeed. Sure, his playstyle isn’t flashy like that of TheShy or Nuguri, but he is the rock-solid base of any team composition which Team Liquid drafts.
He has multiple picks which he can perform on, as well as some pocket off-meta champs, like Singed, which always pose a threat to the opposition. His strength also lies in his experience, having gone to so many international events, having won the World Championship before, it all adds up and makes him a true contender every international event he goes to.
What do you think of Impact and his playstyle? Do you believe he can be considered an underdog? Let us know on our Twitter and Facebook. FOr more information regarding the play-in stage, as well as anything else related to League of Legends, make sure to keep reading on EarlyGame.