The word “loyalty” is one that gets overused a lot, but it’s rarely actually seen in such high-level competitive environments like professional League of Legends. Many of the game’s best players have moved to different teams at least once during their careers.
While Faker has stuck with T1 for several years, a much lesser-known player in the LPL has also continued to perform at a high level under his original organization. Tian “Meiko” Ye has currently played 774 games in the LPL over his now eight-year career, all of which were with Edward Gaming.
The loyal support for EDG stuck with the team despite missing Worlds in 2019 and 2020 after poor finishes regionally and failing to make it out of groups at 2017 Worlds. It certainly helped that Meiko has also felt the rush of the highest highs in League, having captured regional, MSI, and Worlds titles with EDG as well. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the world championship title–Meiko has seen it all in the black and white colors of EDG.
Playing nearly 800 games in over eight years’ time as a support player within one team means Meiko has had a lot of duos in the bot lane across his career. Eight different AD carry players have teamed up with Meiko over the past eight years to form an EDG bot lane. Right off the bat, about half of Meiko’s games with EDG came with a current world champion AD carry. Meiko and Viper were the bot lane to bring the 2021 World Championship back to the LPL with EDG, but he also played 185 games with Deft to kick off his pro career from 2015 to 2016.
IBoy is a name that a lot of League fans might have forgotten about. He played AD carry for EDG from 2017 to 2019 a period of turbulence for the organization. This is where Meiko and the team were able to have a lot of success regionally, especially in 2017-18, only to falter in the international stage. Hope nearly totaled 100 games with Meiko and the duo played a huge role in EDG winning LPL Summer Split 2022, which catapulted EDG from Worlds hopeful to a secured spot in New York City. Now, Hope is an integral cog in Team WE’s roster.
While Meiko may not hold the record for most professional League games played (which is currently held by Faker), he has consistently performed in one of the hardest regions for eight years. Add in the true loyalty factor with Meiko staying with EDG through all their roster swaps and low points, and Meiko deserves all the praise.
Despite another off-season of roster swaps with only JieJie remaining from last year’s squad, Meiko is still balling out in the LPL with EDG, holding down second place with a 5-1 record in the young split. When Meiko finally decides to hang it up, he’ll go down as the most successful and longest-tenured EDG player of all-time, a record that may never be broken in the history of the org.