Afreeca Freecs’ Song “Fly” Yong-jun has been criticized by many for his poor performances to kick off LCK Summer 2020. However, he silenced the crowd against KT Rolster, taking down the veterans 2-0 in a commanding performance that strays from his usual playstyle.
Fly has arguably been the weak point of Afreeca’s Summer 2020 season. Sandwiched between Kim “Kiin” Ji-in and Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon on the top side, and Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun and Nam “Ben” Dong-hyun on the bot side, Fly hasn’t had the chance to spread his wings as a carry.
However, he managed to take matters into his own hands in a crucial game against KT Rolster in Week 3. Up against Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng, the 471-game veteran dismantled his former team on his signature Orianna, as well as putting up a commanding Syndra performance to lead Afreeca to another 2-0 victory.
In Game 1, he combined perfectly with Summit’s Volibear and Mystic’s Ashe to lock down KT’s engage-heavy composition, picking them off on their own terms. Game 2 was a different story, with Fly sitting back and playing a supportive role on Syndra to help Mystic dish out the damage on Kalista.
The series was a big turning point for Fly in Summer, who many have regarded as a passenger. He was firmly in the driver’s seat against KT, with the mid laner admitting he needed a change of mentality ahead of the crucial series to start coming online.
“It was a crucial match for us, and we got a clean sweep victory, so I’m very relieved,” he told the LCK casters following the series.
“I think everything went smoothly, unlike my usual self. [I’m usually] very sluggish, but I tried to be as proactive as possible.”
Despite the arguments that Fly hasn’t been performing well, his stats do tell another story. He currently sits with the third highest KDA out of all mid laners with 5.48, and the highest kill participation of all starting mid laners with 76.1%.
He’s a team player through and through, and although he admitted he hasn’t been too confident in himself, his team has been helping him.
“I wasn’t feeling too well prior to the match, but the coach [Chae “VinylCat” Woo-cheol and Han “Rigby” Earl] gave a good pep talk and massage before the game, so I think that heavily contributed towards my good performance,” he said.
It’s also a rough meta for the mid laner. While he managed to extend his Orianna win rate to 79.5% in 39 games, it’s a far cry from the Aurelion Sol, Lulu, and Lissandra picks he made himself a name on Gen.G and KT.
While he would love to dust off some of those iconic picks, in a meta dominated by Corki, Azir, Galio, and others, his homebodies have no place on the Rift.
“I tried to use [Aurelion Sol] in particular matchups, but I haven’t really found the opportunity, so I don’t think he’s not really viable at this point.”
He has managed to buck the trend in some regards though. Syndra has an abysmal win rate in LCK Summer 2020, with four wins across 13 games. However, he did manage to pick up a win on the notoriously tricky champion thanks to a “near perfect” performance.
“I think maintaining a certain range and hitting targets with her skills are very difficult, so I think that’s the biggest reason why Syndra hasn’t been good. For me, I did a great job today — near perfection,” he said.
The win against KT Rolster was an important confidence booster not only for Fly, but for Afreeca as a whole. The team now sits in third with a 4-2 record, joining the race for the title. With discussions of a Big Four in the LCK, Fly wants everyone to know that Afreeca should be a part of it.
“I heard the commentators talking about how it should be the Big Five instead of the Big Four, and I think today’s clean sweep should open it up to changing to Big Five, and we should be a part of it as well.”
To cement their place up at the top though, they have some tough competition to beat in Week 4. With a dance with Damwon on the cards, and a match against arguably Korea’s best mid Showmaker, Fly will be tested. However, he’s ready to stand up to the task — even if he’s scared of facing off against the Rank 1 prodigy.
“I’m actually afraid of Showmaker because he’s such a stellar player, so I think I will rely on my teammates to carry me [against Damwon],” he said.
Afreeca take on Damwon Gaming on July 9.