In the high-stakes realm of League of Legends, where the meta shapes the game, Team BDS’s toplaner Adam “Adam” Maanane stands as a beacon of defiance.

This top laner doesn’t just participate; he disrupts, challenging norms with his daring off-meta champions, reshaping top lane combat.

Adam’s rise to esports fame grew during LEC Summer 2021, where the secured a notable second place with Fnatic. His standout moment was daringly selecting Darius, typically reserved for solo queue, in a crucial best-of-one for the 2021 Worlds qualification.

ONE Esports featured image showing Fnatic Adam on Darius
Credit: ONE Esports

Boasting a 6/2/7 KDA, Adam’s Worlds attendance in his rookie year garnered widespread acclaim for his performance.

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Yet, his glory was short-lived: he experienced an early departure from Worlds 2021, subsequent left Fnatic. He then signed with Team BDS for the 2022 season, who made their way into the LEC after FC Schalke 04’s departure in 2023.

Struggling throughout the season, the team barely made it to Worlds by qualifying via the Worlds Qualifying Series and narrowly succeeding in the play-ins in reverse sweep best-of-five series.

Team BDS’ reverse sweep marks most epic end to Worlds 2023 Play-In Stage

Embracing off-meta picks with ferocious tenacity, he captivated audiences globally at Worlds 2023. This was never more apparent than in the thrilling last play-ins match against PSG Talon that captivated 1.3 million peak viewers, making history.

Post-victory, in the glow of triumph, Adam tucked in for an exclusive tell-all with ONE Esports, peeling back the layers of his journey.

League of Legends Team BDS Adam blows a kiss to his fans during 2023 Worlds play-ins
Credit: Riot Games

The Birth of GODS — but it may need to change soon

Gaming wasn’t a mere hobby to Adam, it was his life’s soundtrack. “I was hyperactive as a child,” he shared, recounting his early memories. “So my parents had to find a way to entertain me. They put me in front of the screen.”

From the pixelated playgrounds of pinball to the immersive realms of Club Penguin and Habbo Hotel, Adam was a digital native.

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At 13 years old, he chanced upon League of Legends at his cousin’s house, which was when he found his calling. “I started downloading the game to see how it was, and I couldn’t stop playing,” he said with a chuckle.

He improvised a lot in-game, experimenting with roles before stumbling upon his love for the top lane almost serendipitously.

“I don’t think there was much question behind it,” he said. “I just picked it on the flow. I was just having this perma routine of picking top and top, so then I just stayed.” The thrill of combat defined his champion preferences, epitomized by his early favorite, Darius.

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However, since Darius is often banned in solo queue, it prompted him to adapt with picks like Olaf and later, diversifying with Garen and Sett, completing his ‘GODS’ moniker.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 8: Team BDS at the Worlds Qualifying Series rehearsal at League of Legends World Championship 2023 on October 8, 2023 in Seoul, South Korea.
Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

“They both want to fight,” he explained. He had picked up Sett ever since his release, and started playing Garen last season.

So, what’s on the horizon for this season? None other than Tryndamere, a champion that has recently ensnared Adam’s attention. He divulged to ONE Esports his burgeoning affinity for this character, which might change up his usual gameplay roster.

“I always try to be who I am,” says Adam

Adam’s champion choices, a defiant mix inspired by instinct, stand testament to his credo.

“I don’t like doing what people tell me to do,” he declared. “My ego tells me to be different. It just works like that sometimes.”

This philosophy transcends gameplay, as it’s rooted deeply in his belief in fun and authenticity. “If you are having fun with the champs you are playing, it increases a lot the stakes of winning. I want to dictate my own meta,” he affirmed.

But such an unorthodox approach comes with certain challenges. Off-meta picks demand strategic finesse, which in turn takes time to master.

In addition, he stresses the need for team synergy when using off-meta picks. “It can go both ways. If my teammates don’t understand how I play those champs, they cannot play with it,” he said. “Everyone on my team knows what our champs do, and it makes my pick way stronger.”

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