JackeyLove saw his 3-0 vs TL coming, and so did most of the fans. Here’s what he had to say.

The 2024 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI 2024) is in full swing, and Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo, the AD Carry for Top Esports, sat down with esports.gg to talk about his crushing victory over Team Liquid, lane swaps, and more.

Top Esports, the second League of Legends Pro League (LPL) seed, crushed League Championship Series (LCS) first seed Team Liquid in a decisive 3-0 series this morning. Afterwards, we got to chat to JackeyLove about the series, the meta, and his opinions on his competition this year. This interview was translated between Chinese and English by LPL host Wendy Shi.

TES JackeyLove interview at MSI 2024

Esports.gg: You're coming hot off of a 3-0 victory against Team Liquid to start off your Bracket Stage. How do you feel about the series today?

JackeyLove: It feels like maybe, for today, all of us were on a high note and able to have very good momentum. Because of that, we were able to have very smooth games. We're very happy about that part.

It seemed like this series was going to focus heavily on you and the bottom lane, and that played out today. Were you ready for the heavy focus on bottom lane that came your way this series?

It feels like, maybe, from the beginning of the pick/ban phase, yeah. We just paid more attention to the bot lane in the pick/ban phase. Actually, to be honest, we expected this to happen. They targeted us for the bot lane champion choices a little bit. But still, after that, we were able to get competent picks for the bottom lane duo.

In Game 3, your team lane swapped after Team Liquid invaded your Blue Buff-side jungle and saw 369 on the top side of the map before lanes started. Was this a prepared lane swap or was this a reaction to Team Liquid seeing 369?

To be honest, we had some preparation about the lane swap beforehand. But in Game 3, it was more about the real-time reaction because we got K'Sante for the top lane against the opponent's Renekton for this. For this top lane matchup, K'Sante can really face very huge pressure. But if we got a lane swap, if the bot lane goes to the top lane against Renekton, this can really help the laning phase so much. After that, it feels like, coming into the late game, Renekton plays less of a function than K'Sante did. So it feels like lane swap can be a very good strategy at this time. It also feels like, maybe, in facing our lane swap, our opponents didn't deal with us very well.

Photo of JackeyLove (Image via Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)
Photo of JackeyLove (Image via Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)

It's been many years since we've seen lane swaps take over competitive League of Legends. How do you feel about this strategy coming back to the meta and how is it best used?

For lane swapping, the most crucial choice is about the champions for the top and bottom lanes. It's about whether we can get an advantage in laning phase for the side lanes. So, for top and bottom lane, if we put ourselves at a disadvantage in the pick/ban phase. Or if one side faces really huge pressure in the laning phase, lane swaps can be a very good strategy to deal with this kind of situation.

369 was talking about western teams being stronger this year, but FlyQuest fell out in Play-Ins and Team Liquid just lost 0-3 to you. How do you see western teams this year?

So the main difference of western teams is that it feels like they hold a very different playstyle than us. Team Liquid today felt like they wanted to use very good synergy to drag the game out to the very late game and focus mostly on team fights. Sometimes, they can beat some teams in their own regions, but if they play against top teams that can be really aggressive, in terms of the international stage, it feels like they haven't managed to get the victory. It feels like teams from different regions have very real differences in their playstyles. It feels like all the teams could be super strong, but it's a matter of whether the team can make huge improvements throughout the tournament and on the big stage.

You're one of the more prominent LPL players to many western fans. You're very mechanically skilled and are always exciting to watch. Do you have anything to say to the fans watching you this year in other regions?

I really want to give my appreciation to all the fans, I'm glad you like my playstyle on stage. I'd like to wish Happy [Lunar] New Year to the fans in other regions.