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In the first best-of-five series of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, Beyond Gaming completed the second ever reverse sweep in Worlds history. With their beloved bot laner, Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan, at the helm, BYG took down Galatasaray Esports in a stressful duel to keep their Worlds run alive. Where others may have faltered, Doggo pressed forward, recalling his recent experience on that very stage to finish out the series with a win.
Just a few months ago at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, PSG Talon’s bot laner was unable to attend the prestigious event with the Pacific Championship Series victors. PSG was left without their full roster and without a substitute of their own, requiring them to field a temporary sub or forfeit.
Enter Doggo, PSG’s MSI bot lane substitute that captured the hearts of fans around the world with his brazen play, charming smile and, well, an endearing in-game name.
His short stint on PSG Talon was like a mini-study-abroad trip, where he was able to learn under a new system, absorb information and gain the experience of international competition in a foreign land and an unfamiliar stage. Just a couple of weeks later, Doggo returned home to resume his role as bot laner for Beyond Gaming with a whole new understanding of the game, which eventually led to a reverse-sweep of Galatasaray Esports and earned them a matchup with South Korea’s Hanwha Life Esports.
For those who have not meet Doggo from the PCS his the one on the ⬅️ (sub for Unified)
Michael our resident model/photographer is the one on the right ➡️
— PSG TALON (@PSG_Talon) April 26, 2021
His first trip abroad
Despite being a professional gamer, Doggo’s first trip to Iceland wasn’t just fun and games, nor did his holistic experience of MSI with PSG stop at the end of the tournament. Even though bot lane is arguably one of the simpler roles in the game, he wasn’t able to just plug and play seamlessly with his new teammates. He had to learn and adapt to keep up, and that process had lasting effects.
“It was a little rough at the start,” Doggo said, recalling the beginning of his time on the new squad. “After a while, it started to feel the same as Beyond Gaming where everyone was getting along very well.”
Through that awkward phase, however, Doggo started to learn new tricks that he’d eventually use with his main team later that summer. “When I was on PSG, I felt like their drafts were much more detailed,” he said. “Most of the players [on Beyond Gaming] are very inexperienced … the coaching decides a lot of [the drafts].”
Beyond drafting, Doggo brought back some macro tips as well, most specifically in the team’s objective setup and map rotations.
“We were able to communicate in much finer detail where to position in drake fights compared to spring,” Doggo said.
That’s not just a random sentiment or a false understanding that Doggo has about their recent growth either; PCS casters have noticed their improvement as well. Before Worlds, play by play caster Devin “PiraTechnics” Younge noted that shift in playstyle from spring to summer.
“They get a little bit smarter about how they move on the map,” he said. “Their rotations improve.”
The Return to Iceland
The majority of the Beyond Gaming roster have never been to an international tournament, and many have barely played other than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Doggo himself is only 18, with just the MSI under his belt. The BYG top laners are the only other members of the team who have ever played at an international event, both Hsieh “PK” Yu-Ting, who attended Worlds in 2018 and 2020, and Wu “Liang” Liang-Te, who also attended in 2018. That made Doggo’s trip to Reykjavík earlier this year just that much more important.
“I wasn’t surprised at all that we lost to Galatasaray [in the group stage],” Doggo said, “because there were a few players that were very nervous.” But, thanks to BYG’s “elder brother,” PK, and Doggo’s recent experience, they were able to calm down, shake off some nerves and regain confidence in themselves. Those skills proved essential Friday, when BYG once again faced Galatasaray and this time came away with a 3-2 win in a best-of-five elimination matchup.
“I can tell them how to adjust their mental on this stage,” Doggo said. “If you play Game 1 and you’re nervous, Game 2 will be a lot better.”
Doggo and the majority of the BYG squad may be at the start of their careers, but they’re taking advantage of the success they have created for themselves.
Due to PSG’s misfortune, Doggo caught a lucky break this spring, and he utilized that time to improve himself and absorb information to improve his team. With the knowledge he shared, Beyond Gaming were able to defeat PSG in their first encounter at play-offs. They nearly took them out in their second encounter too, giving the PCS powerhouse their first five losses in the entire season.
He captured the hearts of fans around the globe, who joyfully watched him command respect from handfuls of former MSI and Worlds victors in his first trip to the volcanic island nation. And, those hearts still beat for Doggo now that he’s forged his way back.
Even the team he almost tore down to steal the PCS first seed sends their resounding support to the 18-year-old bot laner every time he walks on stage at the Worlds 2021 play-ins.
— PSG TALON (@PSG_Talon) October 8, 2021
Doggo helps BYG hang on at Worlds 2021
Though Doggo was always a good and capable player, his experience with PSG at MSI helped lead to the second-ever reverse sweep in Worlds history. He helped his team develop in the summer, teaching them valuable lessons that they’d need to eventually turn the tables against Galatasaray in the knockout phase of the play-ins. His experience being in Iceland, physically on that MSI stage taught him how to remain calm and be a calming presence for his teammates.
“I wouldn’t really call myself a leader right now,” Doggo said, “I think I’m more of a companion.” And that companionship paired with the bright energy he exudes is exactly why fans adore him and why his team of mostly youngsters is able to refocus and play their game in a tough scenario.
In the first two games of their series, BYG got wildly ahead. But both times, they threw miserably, their nerves and inexperience causing missed smites and overextensions. But with their backs against the wall, they played their own game, ignoring the scoreboard and wiping out GS three times in a row to complete the reverse sweep.
Not only did Doggo help his team remain calm, he led with his play as well, putting up some of the most impressive individual stats in a Worlds best-of-five ever.
Doggo and friends aren’t in the clear yet, however. They’re out of the frying pan and into the fire with a match against the Korean fourth seed, Hanwha Life Esports, in the final qualification series to get into the group stage Saturday. They’ll need a bit more of their Game 3, 4 and 5 energy if they plan to make it to the Worlds 2021 main event.
League of Legends esports reporter and photographer for half a decade. Sometimes I try to touch grass.