Why will YSKM be the next great League of Legends star?

Why will YSKM be the next great League of Legends star? ...

In the 2023 LPL Spring Split, a new rookie has already established a name for himself.

YSKM has become one of the most anticipated League of Legends players of the year, showing off impressive plays and exceptional mechanics, including solo killing veteran top laners like RNG's Breathe, who is regarded as one of the best in his role.

But who is YSKM, and why is he so hyped up against the other rookies? Will he be recognized as one of the league's top top laners?

YSKM and his competitive background so far

Chau "YSKM" Shu-tak is a Hongkongese top laner who is currently playing for Invictus Gaming.

Before the split, his nickname was a mystery, to the point where Chinese fans began to question it and use funny names like "Yu Shuang Kai Men," which refers to Chinese desk host Duan "Candice" Yu-Shuang.

YSKM stands for "You Should Know Me." Fans have quickly compared him to TheShy, a Korean top laner who won the World Championship with IG back in 2018.

YSKM started competitively in 2021, joining IG's academy team, iG Young, as a substitute top laner. At the start of 2022, he was promoted to the starting position and finished seventh in the 2022 LDL Spring, one spot away from playoffs.

He left iG Young for Frank Esports in the PCS in the summer, finishing fifth in the regular split. The team was unfortunately eliminated in the first round of the PCS playoffs after being dominated by Deep Cross Gaming.

Despite his recent performances, IG decided to bring him back to the team. This time, though, as the top laner of the main roster. Upon his return, he explained how his stint in the PCS helped him grow.

"I was a natural predictor of competitive play when I first joined iG.Y, but later it became an obsession and I started playing poorly," he said. "At that time, my mindset was flawed, and my playstyle on iG.Young was thoughtless, so I returned to the PCS."

YSKM loves to push himself to the limit and create high-variance situations where the player who has better mechanics wins. In most instances, he wins over his opponents, satisfying fans with astonishing outplays.

Expert's opinion on YSKM

On January 18, League analyst and LPL expert Molecule said his thoughts about the player and why fans should not raise their expectations too high for the rookie.

“I was previously an analyst in the PCS, and during MSI I got the chance to talk to some of the LDL Hong Kong kids and see if they were interested in playing in the PCS,” he said. “He just knocked down Liang and Likai, two solid PCS top laners with lots of experience, in virtually every scrim.”

YSKM is well-known for playing damage-oriented bruisers in the top lane, such as Fiora, Camille, and Jax, to the point where most of these champions are pick-or-ban for him during the LPL matches, although it's almost impossible to target-ban him without leaving other strong meta champions open in the champion selection.

“If he’s on his champs (Fiora, Camille, Jax, or Irelia), he will look fantastic and know the lethal thresholds better than any other pro when playing them,” Molecule said. “On the other hand, his wave management is suspect, and his macro was awful. He wants to have that one-on-one action, but after just two games on IG, I can see he has already learned a lot.”

Molecule's statement appears to be in line with his current stats, with YSKM having the third-highest DPM out of all LPL top laners so far, behind NIP's Invincible and EDG's Ale, who both have only played two games at this point. He's also the player with the highest KDA among those who have played more than one series.

Molecule said when asked what they should expect from YSKM this year, "they should be enthralled but drop their expectations as soon as he's not on his champions." For him, the current meta is working perfectly for him and IG has a lot of experience and is taking this year very seriously.

YSKM has a "X factor" that goes beyond his abilities.

YSKM has an unsurpassed level of confidence, particularly as a rookie in the LPL, aside from his current form and ability to play. He has the confidence that only elite players have, and is proving his worth on the Rift.

When asked which players or teams he would like to face in particular in an interview with IG on January 18, he replied: "I want to surpass TheShy, because I want to surpass him."

YSKM's incredible self-confidence, keen eye for skirmishes, and meticulous testing give him an enjoyable playstyle that the League esports scene has lacked for quite a while. He defies all these concepts and proceeds to play his own game, knowing that he has the X factor to overcome the limitations. In the following weeks of the LPL, we will find out.