League of Legends Hall of Fame contenders: jungler edition
Bengi League of Legends

League of Legends Hall of Fame contenders: jungler edition

Which players mastered this key, nuanced position?

With more than 10 years of competitive League of Legends history to look at, it seems only proper to trace through the list of players who shocked the world with their skill or left their mark on the game. Next, let’s look at some League of Legends Hall of Fame contenders in the jungle.

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Jungle is a role with immense intricacy and nuances. A jungler is the most important player in the early game when the rest of the team is in the laning phase. As a facilitator, junglers can ensure that their teammates are safe from external pressure while attacking enemy players all over the map. Sometimes, junglers take on a more carry-oriented role by maximizing their resource acquisition for mid to late-game teamfights. But regardless of how they accomplished it, here are some players who mastered this intricate role across League of Legends esports history.

Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong

Bengi League of Legends
Time and time again, Bengi was there to save his team when they needed him. | Provided by Riot Games

Bengi was a part of the SK Telecom dynasty alongside Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok for all three years they won the League of Legends World Championship. Bengi was the silent guardian in the jungle who ensured his teammates were safe from the opponents’ attacks.

He often sacrificed his game state to enable his world-class carries. Due to this style, Bengi did not receive as much attention as his mid-lane partner. Many fans and analysts alike took every chance to declare Bengi was outclassed by his flashier competitors.

Despite all this, Bengi was the primary difference-maker in the most crucial moments in SKT’s history. During 2015, Bengi shared time with Im “Tom” Jae-hyeon, and Tom played the first two games for the 2015 SBENU LoL Champions Korea Spring Playoff versus CJ Entus. Bengi subbed in Game 3 when the team faced elimination after losing the first two games.

With Bengi’s support, the SK Telecom carries could mechanically outperforming their opponents. Along with the legendary stall by Jang “MaRin” Gyung-hwan, Bengi became the savior of SK Telecom as they went on to 3-0 the GE Tigers in the final. After the series, Bengi earned the title he is most known for among the Korean community: The Jungle.

Bengi would win the world championship with the team and stay at SK Telecom for 2016. This time, he shared time with Kang “Blank” Sun-gu. SK Telecom attended the 2016 World Championship alongside ROX Tigers and Samsung Galaxy.

SKT faced ROX Tigers during the semifinals match. While SKT started the series with a win, the Tigers swiftly struck back through their dominating Game 2 and 3 wins driven by Han “Peanut” Wang-ho’s stellar jungle performance and Kang “GorillA” Bum-hyun’s Miss Fortune support. It was up to Bengi to save his team from elimination.

To make matters worse, Kim “kkOma” Jung-gyun made a critical error in the draft that forced Bengi on Nidalee. If SKT had not taken the champion, they would be surrendering the pick to Peanut, who had terrorized his opponents with Nidalee for the entire split. This was the first time Bengi had ever played Nidalee in a competitive game, and from this game on, no one ever doubted his mechanical excellence.

From four minutes into the game until the end, ROX Tigers were helpless against Bengi’s endless aggression. After winning Game 4, Bengi finished the series with his signature champion, Lee Sin. At the end of his career, Bengi had proven he was not a player who was lucky to have Faker as his partner. He was the best jungler to ever play the role.

Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan

Karsa
Karsa consistently performed at the highest levels throughout his decade-long career. | Provided by Riot Games

Karsa is the best player currently playing competitive League of Legends to have not won a world championship, and that’s worth a spot in a potential Hall of Fame. Karsa was a part of many dominant rosters in League of Legends Pro League after he departed from the Flash Wolves in 2017. With Jian “Uzi” Zi-hao, Karsa led Royal Never Give Up during their dominant run by winning both League of Legends Pro League splits, Mid-Season Invitational and Rift Rivals.

In comparison to Bengi, Karsa does not boast a plethora of titles. However, his uniqueness comes from his consistency throughout his career. All the teams he took part in were top performers in the LPL thanks to his carry performance. Regardless of the jungle meta, Karsa always found a way to be an invaluable asset to his team. Out of the many champions he can utilize, Lee Sin has remained his go-to comfort pick, and he boasts a 63% win rate across 33 games.

Karsa finished the 2022 spring split losing to Top Esports, mainly due to the team’s inconsistency in draft and Guo “ppgod” Peng’s underperformance. Despite this crushing defeat, Victory Five have proven through their regular season that they will be strong contenders for the world championship. Karsa will get another chance to show the world he has what it takes to compete at the highest level time and time again.

Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong

Ambition has overcome every obstacle to rise to the top. | Provided by Riot Games

Ambition is one of the most fabled players in League of Legends esports. He was one of the first superstar mid laners in Season 2. Unfortunately, he had the misfortune of playing against Faker in his debut game, where he solo killed Ambition under his tower to signal the beginning of his dynasty. As the years passed, the quality of mid laners in Korea began to skyrocket. As such, Ambition switched his role to jungle. This decision ended up being the turning point of his career.

Ambition was a carry jungler in a way no other jungler could match. His comfort champions were Sejuani, Gragas and Jarvan IV, which aren’t typically considered carries due to their low damage output. But Ambition’s skill came from his immaculate teamfight positioning, built across years of experience. He saw initiation windows no one else did.

His potential peaked during 2017 World Championships when he ended the SK Telecom dynasty with his jaw-dropping plays. Yet with the changes in League of Legends, Ambition’s playstyle is irreplicable today. As such, his success acts as a Hall of Fame worthy, historic landmark of a League of Legends esports era while showcasing Ambition’s dedication to doing whatever is necessary to reach the top.

Author
Image of Michael "Miko" Ahn
Michael "Miko" Ahn
League of Legends and Overwatch coach and tactician. I will never stop talking about movies and literature.