JDG Ruler discusses learning from other ADCs—including his next opponent at MSI

Taking "knowing your enemy" to the next level.

The rematch of the 2023 LPL Spring Split finals at this year’s League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational saw JD Gaming coming out on top once more on May 14. With a clean 3-0 victory over Bilibili Gaming, JDG closed out the match in dominant fashion. But one player in particular led the charge toward the enemy’s Nexus.

Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk’s commanding presence on the Rift was pivotal to his team’s success. By channeling all resources toward their AD carry in the early game, JDG set up Ruler to triumph later on in the match. “We know we have more potential in the late game, so we wanted to make better preparations for late-game teamfights by going for picks that are good for that,” Ruler said in an interview with Dot Esports.

And thats exactly what JDG did, starting with giving Ruler Aphelios in game one, Jinx in the second, and then closing with Zeri in game three. Ruler’s prowess shown on these champions in the series against BLG, which ensured him over ten kills on Aphelios and fifteen on Zeri, has sparked discussion online around where the Korean player would rank among the best ADCs of all time. 

Despite his strong performance in the series against BLG, Ruler believes that mastering certain champions still requires a little help from other playersespecially for a difficult champion such as Aphelios. “I was trying to watch some of the best Aphelios players and I tried to copy their moves and then I was able to establish my own play,” Ruler said.

Related: MSI 2023: Scores, standings, and results

Although he is considered one of the best Apehlios players internationally, Ruler said he’s always kept an eye on three players when they play the champion: Deokdam, Teddy, and Gumayusi, the last of whom will face Ruler in their next MSI match.

League fans are excitedly anticipating the MSI upper bracket finals between T1 and JDG, hoping for a head-to-head match that will fire up the Copper Box Arena. But Ruler is confident his team will be able to “punish” T1’s aggressive moves. “Yesterday Guma was trying to make really aggressive moves so I want to attack that,” Ruler said, explaining that in the current meta, ADCs need to “take a step forward” during teamfights. It’s something he believes JDG will be able to easily counter in their matchup.

The LPL first seed will face Faker and T1 on Thursday, May 18 for the chance to be the first squad to reach the 2023 MSI grand final.

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