LGD Gaming have officially swept their way into the League of Legends World Championship Group Stage after a quick three game set against Oceania’s Legacy Esports.
It was a shaky Play-In Stage for the League of Legends Pro League fourth seed, and for a while fans were wondering just how far the Chinese squad could actually make it. But after two clean sweeps of Rainbow7 and Legacy, LGD have officially qualified for the Group Stage of Worlds 2020.
LGD jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho continued his reign of early game terror in Game 1 of the series. In their sets against Rainbow7, Peanut was a massive force in early game ganks, helping to snowball their lanes. That trend continued into Game 1 against Legacy, with a quick first blood against top laner Kim “Topoon” Ji-hoon.
Although his early games have been impressive, jungle mains will know how easy your job is as a jungler when all your lanes are dominating. After giving up the early lead, coming back was a monumental challenge for Legacy. With Topoon on Gangplank, jungler Leo “Babip” Romer on Nidalee and mid laner
James “Tally” Shute on Galio, the Australian squad had no winning 2v2 matchups. Tally’s Galio was not doing well into Su “xiye” Han-Wei’s early game Twisted Fate, and Peanut was able to have much more control on Graves than Babip on Nidalee.
While Game 1 was nothing but domination on the side of LGD, Game 2 had a much different narrative. Standout Legacy bot laner Quin “Raes” Korebrits locked in the Draven and had LGD on their toes throughout the game.
Although the early game seemed to be going toward the same direction, as it took Tally over 20 minutes to press the “R” key on Twisted Fate, Raes and support Jonah “Isles” Rosario took control of the game.
Raes was an unstoppable force during the mid game on Draven, and it was looking like a clear cut Game 2 win for Legacy, but then xiye’s Kassadin hit level 16.
After a clutch dragon steal by Peanut, denying Legacy the soul, Xiye was able to completely shut down Raes in teamfights, and Legacy just didn’t know how to answer it. The game ending fight came at the baron pit, where xiye’s damage was just too much for the Aussies to handle.
Unlike their during the round robin, LGD stopped, for the lack of a better word, sucking during the early-mid game transitions. After a somewhat back and forth early game in the third match, LGD managed to find the fight that would lead to the game winning snowball. The game would end just four minutes later.
Xiye was awarded player of the series for his performances, shutting down Raes in Game 2, giving LGD the momentum to execute on the sweep.
So what was different for LGD this series? Why did they look so poor in the round-robin and so dominant in the best-of-fives? Well, the LGD solo lanes dominated. Topoon was no match for Xie “Langx” Zhen-Ying and Tally simply couldn’t keep up with xiye.
LGD just stopped blundering their mid games, and were able to successfully snowball their advantages created in the early on. Was this because of the massive, intense pressure from the millions of Chinese fans who absolutely gave it to them on social media? Or did they simply finally figure out how to play as a five man unit?
At the end of the day, LGD was just a stronger team. But Legacy shouldn’t hang their heads too low. Their run through Play-Ins was the most successful a team has ever been from the Oceanic region. All five of these players have bright futures ahead of them in competitive League of Legends, and fans should expect to see them back on the international stage before long.
With the win, LGD will be placed into Group C, along with Team SoloMid, Fnatic and Gen.G. The group is shaping up to be one of the more competitive groups out of the four. The Worlds 2020 Group Stage is set to begin Saturday, October 3, with North America’s FlyQuest taking on China’s Top Esports.