GameChangers – The Legend of Dade
With League of Legends maintaining its position as one of the most popular, if not the most popular esport in the world, new players constantly enter the competitive circuit. Ambitious rookies, mechanically gifted high schoolers, and top-ranked challenger players consistently breathe new life into the scene. However, it is because of this that sometimes we forget how good players used to be, and the legacy they carry. This series will take a closer look at some of the forgotten historic players of League of Legends. In our first part, we will look at one of the most forgotten but remarkable players of all time, Dade.
Dade was a mid-lane player throughout his career, with his playstyle gravitating more towards assassins. Assassin characters can cause large amounts of burst damage, but do not have sustained damage in team fights. The assassin playstyle revolves around being slippery and mechanically gifted, something dade got extremely good at.
Starting his career on CJ Entus at the age of 17, dade was a fairly innocuous player, doing his job but not necessarily standing out. The teenager played for CJ for a brief period of time but was dropped from the team after CJ decided to create two sister teams, CJ Entus Frost and CJ Entus Blaze. The young mid-laner was in luck, as he was quickly picked up by MVP Ozone, a team that contained the core of Samsung Galaxy White, the eventual Season 4 World Champions.
MVP Ozone qualified for the Season 3 World Championship in 2013, where dade was eager to prove himself. It had been the player’s first time attending a World Championship. Sadly, dade floundered at the event. The Korean player completely vanished from his team, playing at what appeared to be his skill floor. The League community even created the “dade award”, an award commemorating the player who failed the most at living up to expectations at large tournaments. Dade’s inconsistency would plague him his entire career. But not until after 2014.
In 2014, MVP Ozone rebranded to Samsung Galaxy White, creating a sister team as well, Samsung Galaxy Blue. When the two teams were created, both struggled. That all ended when news broke that the two Samsung teams would be switching mid-laners. Dade would be switching teams with the relaxed PawN. PawN joined SSW, who looked much improved with the calm and stoic player. For SSB, nobody could have expected what the team would become. Dade became a monster, one of the greatest players to ever touch the game. The team around him somehow allowed him to access a gear that no one knew he had. His skill, at its peak, allowed him to challenge Faker for the best mid player in the world. His Yasuo play was amazing, showing advanced movement with his dashes. However, the champion he was best known for was his Zed. The player could bait entire teams on his own with his shadows, and always found a way to get to a squishy target. On top of this, dade was the primary caller for the team. Bearing such a load on a winning team was inconceivable for a player of his caliber. For a brief period of time, everything dade touched turned to gold.
It was with this team that Dade won his very first domestic title, and capped off the year with a top-four placement at the 2014 World Championship, the very same championship that Samsung Galaxy White took home. Sadly, the team dissolved after the “great Korean exodus”, a moment in LoL history that resulted in a large number of Korean players leaving for other regions for large salaries, dade included.
This decision to move to China would be the end of dade. After briefly playing for WE Academy, the star was added to the Qiao Gu Reapers, a Chinese-Korean superteam including superstar uzi and breakout player Swift. While dade played admirably, he was eventually substituted for Doinb, another historical player. As this transpired, dade was eventually signed by Newbee, the parent company of Qiao Gu. For some reason the Korean player, having been transcendental the year before, vanished once again. Newbee did not live up to expectations, and dade was removed from the team.
Dade would eventually try to recreate his success with fellow Korean player Looper on Masters3, a Korean-Chinese hybrid team that would compete in the Chinese challenger circuit. What looked like an easy ticket back to the top for dade turned out to be the right decision, as the player was able to climb his way back into the Tier One scene with his team being promoted to LPL.
Dade’s story would ultimately meet a tragic end however, as the player lost almost all of his individual skill. The inconsistent dade was back in full swing, and this time more than ever. Dade eventually left the team after going 4-9-9 in the LPL 2015 Spring season, with the player retiring not long after. Seeing a player rise to the top and fall within the span of a year is very much an enigma in competitive LoL history. But regardless of how it all ended, dade was an electrifying player, becoming a god amongst men at his best. However, it seems time and the meta moved on without him. Regardless of how it all ended, dade has created a lasting impact on the game, that while many will forget about, deserves to be recognized.