Ming “ClearLove” Kai is one of the most seasoned veterans in the LPL. Despite his first few teams being relatively unknown, he would join World Elite (now known as Team WE) in August of 2012 and quickly became one of best junglers within the region.
World Elite was established in 2011 and performed well in several tournaments, but it wasn’t until 2012, the year ClearLove joined the team, when they cemented themselves as one of the best teams in the world and the most dominant Chinese team in terms of tournament performances. Their slow collapse as a top team started in 2013, and by 2014, ClearLove wanted to pursue a different opportunity. Together with Coach Aaron, he would leave World Elite and joined the newly formed Edward Gaming. Becoming a pillar of stability for EDG, he continued to rack up his 1st place finishes from 2014 to now.
But with the good comes the bad. Expected to perform well in every single game, the moment ClearLove stumbles and shows poor performance, fans are very critical of him. Ever since he left World Elite, he has been looked at as a “traitor” by a lot of Chinese fans. With the hostility from domestic fans and the spotlight that comes with being one of the stars on one of the best Chinese teams, ClearLove has had his fair share of tough times.
Often criticized for his play, the EDG jungler has been accused of having two sides to his play. The passive ClearLove was initially successful while he was on World Elite, as most of his lanes were able to drag out the game while going even at the very least, allowing ClearLove to powerfarm his jungle. This style had some success but eventually when World Elite began to show more and more weaknesses in the early game, ClearLove was heavily criticized for his style of play. Eventually he developed a more aggressive ganking style of jungling and used it to great success on EDG. However, he has reverted to his passive play on some occasions and that continues to be a constant worry for his fans.
Most recently, ClearLove had a weak Worlds’ performance. Despite showing decent play in groups, he was unable to show up in EDG’s Quarterfinals match against ROX Tigers, and EDG was eliminated once more in the same phase of the tournament. For ClearLove, this was the fourth time in a row he would get knocked out of Worlds in the Quarterfinals. One has to question at this point whether or not he’s a choker in international events or not. While the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational provides some evidence that he can perform well against other regions, four quarterfinal finishes in a row can’t just be a coincidence. ClearLove has to take some of the blame for them. Despite being a really consistent jungler and a star player, he can make or break a team which makes him an important player for any team he is on.
With all of that being said, one simply cannot deny ClearLove’s longevity and consistency as a player. With at least twenty-five 1st place finishes, four top 8 Worlds finishes and a Bo5 victory over SKT, the most dominant organization in the history of League, at the Mid-Season Invitational, ClearLove has already established himself as one of the best players of all time. Some would disagree with that, but the results speak for themselves and his success as a player can never be taken away from him.
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