Top Esports proved to be the better squad against Vici Gaming, beating the team 3-1 to advance to the League of Legends Demacia Cup finals. The Chinese team will face off against Team WE to determine a tournament champion.
After taking down Worlds finalist Suning in the Demacia Cup quarterfinals, Vici knew it had another mountain to climb in the semis with Top Esports waiting. Unfortunately for the team and their fans, Top Esports’ incredible talent and macro play was too much to handle.
Classic Top Esports Dominance
Although Top’s players are still taking fights and skirmishes they definitely shouldn’t be taking (which did cost them their Game 3 loss), the squad’s classic style remained dominant and resulted in a 3-1 series win.
It’s the classic formula of Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan creating a small advantage here and a small advantage there, while the TES individual laners come out ahead against their respective lane opponents. This usually translates to a relatively calm early game, until Top Esports explodes in the mid-game, and knocks down the Nexus before the opposing team’s members even know what hit them.
It just seems like skirmish after skirmish, Top Esports just winds up ahead of its opponents. With the insane talent that all five members of Top Esports possess, they usually find their playstyle working for them, just like it did against Vici Gaming.
Karsa’s Turn to Smurf
Last series against FunPlus Phoenix, it was Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo popping off and styling for the side of Top Esports. Although the bot laner did put together some impressive performances against Vici, this time, it was Karsa’s turn.
With his excellent leadership and decision making on full display, Karsa was an integral component to Top Esports’ victory over Vici. When every skirmish and fight seemed to be going the way of Top Esports, it’s just a testament to the jungler’s game knowledge, quickness and decisiveness.
Additionally, what separates Karsa from so many other junglers in League of Legends esports is his ability to punish even the smallest of mistakes. The 23-year-old is constantly moving around the jungle thinking, “Who can I punish right now?” He’s constantly planning out ways to create advantages and punish his opponents all across the map.
This was seen when Vici support Fu “Hang” Ming-Hang used both his summoner spells trying to kill Zhuo “Knight” Ding. Even though Hang retreated back into his own territory after failing, Karsa knew he’d have no escape if engaged on. He quietly dashed over a wall and bursted Hang down for the free kill.
Karsa even capitalizes on the slightest overextensions, often resulting in significant advantages for Top Esports.
Zhuo’s Potential Showing
Replacing Liang “yuyanjia” Jia-Yuan as the Top Esports support, 19-year-old Wang “Zhuo” Xu-Zhuo has been exactly what the Chinese organization has been looking for.
Playing champions like Sett and Leona, Zhuo’s engagements have been nothing short of excellent, often winning flights for Top before they even start.
When combined with the mechanical prowess he has shown, Zhuo is heading into 2021 as one of the most exciting supports to watch in the Chinese League of Legends Pro League.
iBoy Showing Off Samira
Coming off an impressive performance against Suning, Hu “iBoy” Xian-Zhao continued to be one of Vici’s integral pieces against Top Esports.
With champions like Zoe, Aphelios and now Samira, Riot Games has been having fun designing these new champions. In his matchup against Top Esports, iBoy put Samira’s kit on full display.
The insane damage and healing coming out of the bot laner’s kit is massive to say the least, and it caused Top Esports a ton of issues throughout the series.
Picking Samira three games in a row, Top Esports finally banned the champion in Game 4. But that wasn’t before iBoy managed to hold a KDA of 21/9/18 over the three games he played it.
2021 is a New Year for Vici
Coming off a 2020 season where it placed ninth and 11th in spring and summer, respectively, Vici Gaming’s offseason improvements seem to have worked wonders.
Taking down Suning in the quarterfinals and giving Top Esports a run for its money in the semifinals is no small feat. The team is looking decisive, and its coordination looks to be on point. There are definitely still aspects of its game the team needs to work on, such as proactivity, which is massively important in today’s LPL.
Despite being sent home by TES in the Demacia Cup, things are looking up for Vici heading into the 2021 season of the League of Legends Pro League.
The Demacia Cup finalizes on Sunday, with Top Esports taking on Team WE to crown a champion.