Giant Slayer


The Road to Worlds: CameronHanzo Player Profile

For this last player profile before the World Championship Qualifier Rounds, I want to tell you about a bit of a dark horse. He’s a control/combo player from the top of the ladder with (allegedly) no competitive experience to speak of and came in at number 31 on the Giant Slayer power rankings for the Rise of the Underworlds Seasonal. Despite this, he got a Worlds clinching 4th place. The name? CameronHanzo.

Admittedly, I heard about Cameron for the first time just before the Seasonal started. Someone wanted to add him to a discord that I was in, citing that he was sitting very high on the ladder while one-tricking Thralls. If you recall the Open Rounds meta, and by extension the ladder meta, it was a lot of Draven/Ezreal, Lulu/Zed, Sivir/X, Lee get the picture. If you asked someone to name the meta decks, it would be quite some time before Thralls came to their mind, if they even remembered it at all. Now there were 4 Thralls players to top the Rise of the Underworlds Seasonal (Cameron being one of them), and there’s something to be said about the company that you keep. The other 3 players were Seasonal champion MajiinBae, and repeat Top 32 players Briguy and NoTapper. Whatever Cameron saw in the deck was mirrored by some of the best players in the event.

Speaking of the company you keep, Cameron managed to find an incredible testing team leading into the Top 32. Of the 14 players he shouted out as his testing squad, 2 of them were Seasonal champions in their own right, and many of them were recognizable names within the competitive scene. For someone with no competitive experience (allegedly), he sure picked one heck of a team to put together to help him test for the top cut. Assuming he uses the same group for Worlds, a repeat Top 4 is very much within the realm of possibility.

But let’s talk playstyle - control/combo. I’ve seen a player or two in my time lie about their preferred playstyle to try and appear more sophisticated than they are, but not Cameron. Showing up to the Top 32 with a lineup of Thralls/Viego/Anivia, the only thing that could have made it more of a combo/control lineup would be the addition of a Karma deck. As to the level of play, it took a dedicated anti-control lineup from one of his testing partners to knock him out of the event in the Top 4. If not for that unfortunate run-in, it’s very possible that I would have written this article last week about your Seasonal champion. But I digress. With the meta being a bit of a wildcard going into the qualifying rounds, players like Cameron have a bit of an advantage. While we know he likes control and succeeded with it at the Seasonal, it’s the only performance of his we have to speak of. It’s dangerous to try and pigeonhole someone onto a certain lineup just because they brought it one time, as we really don’t know what he’s capable of. Control/Combo is a very wide, loosely defined spectrum after all.

The one thing that may catch up with Cameron is a lack of (alleged) experience. When I talked about Erigby, one of his hallmarks was his experience and the clutch situations it could pull him out of that a lot of us got to witness at his Seasonal win. This tournament is going to contain most of the biggest names in Runeterra today, and it’s easier to get nervous when you’ve had a taste of success. In the Seasonal, there were no expectations. But now the pressure is on. If I had to make the power rankings today, I’d probably place Cameron on the lower end of the middle of the pack. His testing group is stacked and he’s shown he’s in there for a reason, the only thing he’s really lacking is pedigree. But he’ll have a great chance to earn plenty of that if he can dig deep for one more Top 4 finish this weekend.

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