Former Gen.G jungler Ambition, part of Samsung Galaxy’s 2017 World Championship-winning team, ends a successful career that started back in 2011
After seven successful years playing at the top level, legendary jungler Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong has closed the curtains on his professional League of Legends career. A 2017 World Championship winner with Samsung Galaxy, Ambition announced the decision on stream. He did not re-sign with his former team, Gen.G, and remained a free agent for the entire offseason. This immediately led to speculation regarding his retirement. At 26 and a married man, retirement rumors became a regular thing for the player these past two years. This time, however, he finally confirmed them after Gen.G’s disappointing 2018 World Championship campaign. The team failed to make it out of the group stage, a first for any LCK organization.
Samsung Galaxy sold its roster spot to KSV before the 2018 spring split. The new team kept the World Championship-winning lineup unchanged. KSV rebranded into Gen.G for the summer split, and it captured Samsung Galaxy’s magic as its world champion-roster once again secured a World Championship spot. They won the Regional Finals gauntlet. Gen.G wasn’t able to repeat Samsung Galaxy’s success at the biggest stage, however.
But before he could reach the summit, Ambition had a rocky path to the top of the League of Legends world.
Ambition ‘s career: from mid lane to the jungle
A veteran who had been around the competitive scene since Season 2, Ambition began his career as a mid laner for MiG Blaze. He remained with Blaze until the end of 2014. The team, at the time, rebranded into CJ Entus Blaze. They then merged with their sister organization CJ Entus Frost to form CJ Entus.
Ambition moved to jungler following the merge, but did not enjoy immediate success at his new role. This led him to join a young but promising Samsung Galaxy roster as a veteran presence. With a rather unimpressive domestic showing, SSG would surprisingly win the Korean Regional Finals and earn a spot at the World Championship.
Samsung Galaxy’s World Championship Magic
SSG’s five-men roster, consisting of top laner Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin, mid laner Lee “Crown” Min-ho, AD Carry Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk and AD Carry-turned-support Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in posted a surprising 5-1 record during the group stage and topped a strong Group D.
With sweeps over Cloud9 and H2k in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively, Samsung Galaxy made it to the finals. Facing defending world champions SK Telecom T1. SSG dropped the first two games before mounting an impressive comeback to force the fifth and final game. It ultimately fell to the most successful team in professional League of Legends history, but SSG’s magical run certainly wouldn’t be forgotten, especially considering what 2017 had in store.
Rise to the top
Samsung Galaxy didn’t enjoy much success back home, scoring a third place in spring and a fourth place in summer. The team once again found its magic touch for the Regional Finals and won the gauntlet, qualifying for the World Championship once again.
Drawn into the group of death with European champions G2 Esports and LPL powerhouse RNG, SSG escaped their group with a 4-2 record and the second seed. Much like 2016, Samsung Galaxy had an almost perfect run to the finals. They swept defending LCK champions Longzhu Gaming in the quarterfinals and dropping a single game to Team WE in the semis. It would be SSG’s only loss during that playoff run.
Set for a rematch against SKT, Samsung Galaxy came into the finals as the underdogs. What we saw inside the Rift, however, told a different story. Dominant through the first two games, SSG resisted a strong start from SKT in game 3 to complete the sweep and end their rivals perfect World Championship record (three titles in three appearances).
Many considered Ambition to be the face of that team, and so Riot Games decided to pay him a well deserved homage. The PV for the 2018 World Championship theme song, RISE, by The Glitch Mob, Mako and The Word Alive, featured Ambition as the main character.
RISE (ft. The Glitch Mob, Mako and The Word Alive)
Rising from the bottom, the Samsung Galaxy jungler left behind his 2016 finals defeat and made his way up. His first opponent was G2 Esports’ mid laner Perkz, whose team got swept by SSG during the group stage. Drawing Kha’zix scythes, Ambition defeats Luka “Perkz” Perkovic, as his signature Yasuo pick, and moves onto the next challenge.
Going inside an Olaf-shaped cave, Ambition faced off against RNG’s superstar AD Carry Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao’s Vayne. The SSG jungler, this time as Sejuani, managed to get by Uzi, but it’s heavily implied that he did not manage to take down his opponent, as SSG lost both games to RNG during the group stage.
Ambition climbed up the final mountain to face off against his longtime rival Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, on his signature Ryze. Ambition, as Jarvan IV, recreates his outplay from the final’s second game and finally gets one over Faker, securing Samsung’s second World Championship win and his first.
Having finally reached the top, it’s fair to say that Ambition deserves to enjoy his retirement from the competitive scene.
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