Like many rookies playing their first big league games on the League of Legends Championship Series stage, it has been a dream of Lawrence Lin “eXyu” Xu’s for a while. After getting to Diamond at the age of 12, Exyu has always had pro aspirations but really took off when he played on his first LAN at UC Berkley. From there, he was hooked.
“This was something that maybe one day, I can dream of doing,” eXyu said. “I grinded for Challenger and thought, now that I’m challenger what can I do to get to the LCS stage.”
The hard work has paid off as after playing on the Dignitas Academy roster all year, he got the call up to the main roster just days ago on Tuesday. But he still had Academy obligations on Wednesday. With only two days of actual scrims with the new-look roster that featured eXyu alongside rookies Lee “Hoon” Jang-hoon and Trevor “Spawn” Kerr-Taylor, the team marched out onto the stage to play one of the hottest teams in the league, 100 Thieves. Although the loss wasn’t what eXyu wanted in his debut, he’s taking everything in stride.
“For me it’s like seize every opportunity right like I get a chance to play against the best in NA,” eXyu said. “Even if I’m the absolute worst jungler in NA for the first few weeks, I can only get better from here.”
eXyu locked in the off-meta champion Hecarim in his first ever LCS game. But it was a pocket pick that he was practicing to bring out in Academy. But after feeling comfortable on the pick, he convinced his team to put faith in their new rookie jungler. The team believed in him and even used their very last counter-pick opportunity to pick it up. DIG kept the game relatively close for the first 15 minutes but 100 proved their individual and team play skill gap was too much to overcome. But Exyu isnt worried about it in the slightest.
“Considering they were a top team, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” eXyu said.
Going into the match, the DIG roster had no expectations; DIG’s roster moves this week show they’re waving the flag on the season and looking forward. Despite their lackluster season, however, the team’s morale is actually quite high. With these new rookies hungry to prove themselves, eXyu is trying his hardest to show that he is ready for the big leagues. Although there aren’t many expectations from others, eXyu is purposely putting pressure on himself.
“If it’s overwhelming, it can get to you; but having pressure isn’t a bad thing, and I really love when there’s pressure on me,” eXyu said. “I’m pressuring myself to do as well as I can in these last few weeks; treat every game as if it could possibly be my last one. I want to make the most of it.”
No one has any clue on what DIG will do with their roster heading into the next season but first impressions are huge. For DIG, they have one more game in Week 6 and then five more games until the end of the regular season. However, despite sitting in last place, playoffs are very much in reach. With a single game separating DIG and eighth seed, the goal on everyone at DIG’s mind is extending the season for as long as possible which means extra reps for the unproven new players.
“All of us are on the same page, we all have the same goal of making playoffs and then seeing what happens from there,” eXyu said. “We’re going to put in our all in practice and hopefully that will transition to stage.”
“I think all of us are very confident in our ability to perform.”