Hunter C. April 6, 2019
In a development few saw coming, JD Gaming took down Team World Elite in a stunning 3-1 upset in the LPL playoffs.
Game one quickly looked to be in favor of JDG. Support player Zuo “LvMao” Ming Hao opened up the series with two quick kills on Rakan before the five minute mark. LvMao’s team then followed his lead and held a 4-0 lead in kills before 10 minutes ha passed in game. The rest of the game went in quick fashion to JDG as the underdogs pulled off a massive victory, shutting out World Elite and finishing with a kill count of 16-0.
WE thundered back in game two on the back of top laner Kim “Poss” Mincheoi’s oppressive Yorick play. Poss dominated the opposing Vladimir during the laning phase and WE raced out to a 5-0 lead in kills before the 10-minute mark. World Elite would keep its foot on the gas pedal for the rest of the game, finishing with a win and 20 kills totaled to JDG’s six.
Game three was a completely different story, however. JD Gaming jungler Sung “Flawless” Yeon-jun picked Jarvan IV and his team never looked back. It wasn’t as easy for the decided underdog, but JDG eventually pulled through on the back of Flawless’ stellar play to take the game and the series lead.
It was in Game 4 that things got a little weird. JD Gaming’s Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran pulled out a rare Gnar pick in the top lane, and LvMao locked in a Fiddlesticks support. This unconventional strategy turned out to be the exact tactic JDG needed to put WE away for good, as JDG finished the series with a final map count of 3-1.
Through unconventional champions and a willingness to adapt, JDG proved that they’re more adept than their eight seed position might imply. Things only get harder from here, as JDG will move on to face Royal Never Give Up, who placed in the top eight at the 2018 World Championship and won the LPL Summer Split in 2018.
But while the road won’t get any easier, JDG might just be up to the task of pulling off another upset.