Giant Slayer


The Road to Worlds: Xeloo Player Profile

When I started guiding you all down the Road to Worlds, one thing I mentioned was that I’m interested in tracking the distribution of players who made it from the different qualification methods. While ranked ladder and Seasonal points were nearly tied when it came to the overall qualified group, if we look at just the Americas shard, only 1 player made it through from the ranked ladder. Funnily enough, just as Realkey was first in line on the Seasonal point waitlist, Xeloo was first in line on the ranked ladder waitlist. Even funnier is that Xeloo already has a leg up on the competition, being the only Americas player to defeat another Worlds player in the qualification round when he knocked Realkey into the lower bracket. And while we’re on the topic of things that make Xeloo unique, it’s worth mentioning he’s the only South American representative outside of Brazil moving on to the round of 16, hailing from Chile.

One of the concerns many analysts had about the ranked ladder representatives was how much tournament experience they had. While it's obvious that Seasonal representatives have performed well in at least ONE event, ranked players can have a varying level of experience. That said, Xeloo’s tournament experience dates back to the early days of LoR. He’s got a few wins under his belt from Fight Night and community tournaments alike and even used to participate in the Liga Latinoamericana de Legends of Runeterra (LRA) for Team Gears. He’s a well-rounded player who seems to have tried just about everything once and succeeded at it. The only area I can conceive where that might not be the case is in the kinds of decks he can play. While of course, I haven’t seen Xeloo in every game of Runeterra he’s ever played. But when speaking about his tournament success specifically, I can’t think of any time I’ve seen him play a control deck. I know that Xeloo likes 2 things; Bilgewater and aggro. But he doesn’t always like to mix the two and is keener on something like Discard Aggro than Pirates. While there are elements of this in his Worlds qualifying lineup of Plunder/Bandle Tree/Sivir Demacia, it doesn’t really stand out as a ‘Xeloo lineup’ if that makes sense. It’s easier to spot looking through his Fight Night history, where he recently found success in the 2 deck tournament with Deep and Azir/Irelia. While many of the players I’ve written about seem to have found a formula that works for them, Xeloo seems a little more free form. Sure I’ve still never seen him play a control or combo deck, but that doesn’t mean he can’t. 

Xeloo being at the World Championship does shift the atmosphere a touch. Players don’t need to rethink their lineups to the level of someone like Mr eMOEtional showing up, but Xeloo’s affinity for aggro is something that's going to be hard to ignore when you’re lying awake the night before the tournament, especially if you’re in his group. While at this point I think people have stopped falling for Moe’s Twitter antics of Will I Or Will I Not Bring Aggro, Xeloo seems to do it more on a whim. If you tech too hard for anti-aggro, you could very reasonably run into Standard Lineup Xeloo and lose the mirror matches due to improper prep. While he’s not on a team at the moment, Xeloo is a popular figure within the LATAM community and should have no problem gathering the strongest testing group the region can provide. No matter which Xeloo shows up, I’m confident he’ll be well prepared to deal with anything the meta throws at him. 

Xeloo’s carrying a lot on his shoulders heading into the Worlds Championship. Since he’s the only representative from the Americas without a Seasonal top cut, it’s possible that many of the North American viewers won’t know much about him. But he’ll be carrying on the hopes of ladder players, and more importantly LATAM. He may very well have one of the largest dedicated fan bases going into the event as North Americans are torn on XxWhatAmIxX vs MajiinBae and Brazil has to pick between Realkey and KevinLoR. We’ll see how far a large backing combined with razor-sharp play can take a person as Xeloo gears up for action September 16th-17th.

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