A Brief History of Everyone’s Favorite, GBM
GBM’s parents always said he was a unique, happy child, full of quirks and fun attributes. He excelled in math and art as a student, which he attributed to his focus: “I’m the type that can focus for long periods of time. When I’m in the zone, something can happen next to me and I wouldn’t notice it. With math, as long as you focus you can solve the problems easily.” GBM’s proficiency in art allowed him to copy other drawings and pictures he’d seen with great accuracy, which was the biggest reason he was able to become a pro. Before he started playing League of Legends, he would come home, and play different games and hone his skills, yearning for any form of positive recognition from his Mom; however, she would brush aside whatever virtual accolade he had achieved, regardless of how meaningful and impactful they were for him. That is, until he tried this new, promising game, League of Legends.
GBM played a wide variety of other games, but the one he dedicated the most attention to was League of Legends. He would play as often as he could, often forgoing his studies, much to the chagrin of his parents. His Dad, in an interview stated: “ When I come home, I see that he is playing games until three or four in the morning. I tell him to go to sleep son. Then I leave.” His mother, however had a much… stronger approach: “She would just storm in and unplug the cord. I would hide away the cords, I even hid the monitor before going to work.” It wasn’t until GBM attained high elo during Season Three (2100) that his Mother finally realized his talents could lead to success: “I said, ‘Mom, look, I am fourth place in this game.’ She would tell me to stop lying. So I showed her and she was surprised. She then realized that her son was capable of this much.”
GBM didn’t take solo queue by storm when he first started playing, similar some other professionals or solo queue stars, no, he took a much more… selective approach. When GBM first started to play, he was stuck in low elo (700-1100), and at the time he was very frustrated because of the low rank, so he did what some teachers and parents could only dream for their children. He applied his academic interests to the game and climbed with one champion. Orianna. “When I first started LoL, my ELO fell to 1100 points. That was about a year ago. In those days I played Gragas with lots of confidence, but sinking into the abyss I felt rather hopeless. So I made a new account and was thinking about what to main when I saw Ambition play Orianna. So from level 1 to level 30 I only played Orianna. In ranked games, too, I only played Orianna and got to 2100 ELO.” Using his knowledge from replicating drawings and pictures from art, he replicated laning skills, outplays, ganking, etc. from Ambition, which is how GBM climbed the ladder, and how he was recognized and recruited by his first professional team, CJ Entus Frost.
CJ Entus Frost
After gaining high elo, GBM formed a team with formed KT Rolster mid laner, Nagne, and other players; however, during Spring of Season 3, he got a call from the Coach of CJ Entus Frost, Son Dae-yang. At first GBM actually thought the call was a fraud because he just could not believe that a professional team wanted to pick him up for the next season. After he joined, the team environment was cheerful and positive, but GBM felt a ton of pressure, as most would have, because he, a rookie, was playing with well recognized players at the time such as CloudTemplar, MadLife, and Rapidstar.
He and Rapidstar were both mid-laners, but rather than competing to play in the next game, they tried to better themselves and developed a strong friendship. During the next season (June 2013 – Jan 2014), GBM played very well, and showcased innovating picks, but most of all he shattered expectations and previous power rankings with his extremely dominant Orianna, which is why at the time fans dubbed him “the Orianna master”, and regarded him as the best Orianna in the world. As the season went by, GBM played well, especially for his rookie season and was building confidence, right up until the final match they played against MVP Ozone for the third/fourth place spot and a trip to the Season 3 World Championships held in North America.
The series was down to the wire with both teams having two wins. The last game decided who went to Worlds as Korea’s last seed. In Korea, if the series goes to a game five in a best of five series (bo5), the game is blind pick, not draft which means there can be two of the same champ in one game. Dade, widely regarded as the best Zed in the world at the time and called the “Zed General” by fans, locked in Zed along with GBM. “Honestly it was a game where GBM was having a hard time. Despite that, all our other lanes were doing well. While GBM was put behind, our team felt we were in a better position to win.” CJ started dominating fights, and GBM became more and more elated, CloudTemplar described him as “drunk on excitement.” They called for baron, and as they were rushing over there, Shy, their toplaner, told GBM he had to shadow dash over the wall to help kill Baron as fast as possible, as Dandy would be up soon. GBM was still dwelling on the last fight that this barely registered in his head and as he neared the wall, he prematurely dashed, too far away from it, so he was not able to make it into the pit. Seconds later Dandy dashed in as Lee Sin and stole the Baron, devastating CJ. It was a close game in that was in CJ’s grasp from the last fight; however, GBM’s euphoria was the reason they lost the series and were not able to compete at Worlds. This was a harsh lesson for GBM, which later became known as “getting over a wall”, a symbol in his career. After the team lost to MVP Ozone, GBM was dropped from the roster.
Jin Air Greenwings
In the next season, GBM joined Jin Air Green Wings Falcons as the starting mid-laner. At the first tournament they attended, the HOT6IX Champions Spring 2014, the team did not play very well, and were swept 3-0 just in the quarterfinals. After resolving some issues, and developing as a team, they attended the next tournament, HOT6IX Champions Summer 2014, where they were considerably better, having fixed issues in macro play and communication; however, they were still eliminated fairly early. The string of defeats was too much for GBM, as he quit after the last tournament.
In 2015, OGN ruled that sister teams would not be allowed (there could be no more CJ Entus Frost AND Blaze or SKT Telecom T1 S AND K), which is when GBM rejoined the combined JAG roster. He competed with the team in the SBENU Spring and Summer Champions 2015. In the Spring they were a dominant team and GBM was able to showcase his skills once more, but once they made it to the playoffs, the team faltered and were swept by his old team, CJ Entus. In the Summer, the team lacked in performance and finished sixth, qualifying for Korea’s regional championships, where they made it to the finals but were taken down 3-1 by KT Rolster, achieving second place in the tournament and just missing another qualifying spot for worlds once more.
When JAG announced that GBM would be playing in NA for Season 6, there was a reddit load of hype and excitement. People were unsure as to whether he would be on his own team, or if some other members of JAG would come as well; however, once the starting roster for NRG eSports was announced, the team looked solid coming into the NA LCS Spring Split 2016.
In the beginning of the split, the team as a whole looked dominant, especially with GBM and Impact. The team looked as if it had great potential as well, with a rookie jungler and a fairly inexperienced support, but as the season went on, NRG’s situation became worse, as it appeared they were not growing as fast as other teams were. When they did clinch a spot in playoffs, they lost to Team Liquid 3-0, with disappointing performances from the team all around. From there, all but GBM left, and a new team was crafted around him, consisting of Quas in the top lane, Santorin in the Jungle, Ohq as AD Carry and Kiwikid on Support.
The new team this Summer Split had awkward games and fluctuating performances with Santorin providing an insane amount of map pressure compared to his last split on TSM and Quas sometimes appearing dominant and other times looking like it was his rookie split. Ohq and GBM appeared fairly complacent; however, even with all of these performance setbacks, a quote from a very quirky Korean comes to mind: “During the times I did poorly, I always thought, other pro gamers had times where they didn’t perform well. They all endured it and rose above it. I believe that if I am diligent and work hard, I will gain experience and a good opportunity will definitely come my way.” With his team relegated, I can only hope that GBM will get over this wall.
As a reference to GBM failing to dash over the wall against MVP (which led to CJ Frost losing the game and not attending Worlds), these are used to describe a struggle in his career, one that he needs to overcome.
GBM is often seen wearing bow ties. This is because of his fondness for the show Doctor Who. He also brings a backpack to LCS that is another Doctor Who reference.
Off Meta Picks:
GBM was in the first wave of people to take Teleport on mid laners, play mid lane ezreal, mid lane Kog’Maw and numerous other off meta picks
Written by pendrite
Edited by William “Williaf” Ferdinando
Featured Image provided Riot Games