Former MAD Lions jungler Shad0w reportedly joining LGD Gaming

Christian Vejvad • May 26, 15:09

Former MAD Lions jungler Zhiqiang “Shad0w” Zhao is looking at a potential comeback to the professional scene, as he is reportedly joining LGD Gaming in the LPL. 

After taking a break in the most recent spring split, the young jungler might be making his debut in the top Chinese competition. Shad0w has Chinese residency, which means that he can join the league without taking up an import slot. After Shad0w has played his whole career in Europe for teams including MAD Lions and mousesports, it seems that he is now making a big move to become the first pro player to play in both the LEC and LPL. 

The rumors started on the Chinese site Weibo, saying that an official announcement from LGD was expected soon. The Chinese organization is one of the biggest in League of Legends and has a long track record in the LPL. The last time LGD won an LPL title was back in 2015, with names such as Lee “Flame” Ho-jong and Gu “Imp” Seung-bin on the team. 

Since then, LGD has had some shaky performances but has continued trying to reach the top of the LPL. The 2021 LPL Spring Split resulted in a horrible 4-12 record for LGD, placing the team far away from playoff contention. With the summer split coming right up, it’s no surprise that the team is looking to bring in new firepower.

What happened to Shad0w?

Shad0w took a break after a poor performance at the 2020 World Championship, and it’s hard to predict how well Shad0w will be playing now. In the LEC with MAD Lions, he was performing well and looked like one of the best rookies. Unfortunately, his performance at Worlds wasn’t as impressive and this led to him leaving the team. 

In the LEC, Shad0w was a jungler who took initiative in the early game and showcased great performances on mechanical junglers such as Lee Sin and Nidalee. This will likely be valuable for LGD, as the LPL revolves a lot around aggressive play and early-game advantages. In the right light, Shad0w could be the guy to enable the rest of the LGD roster.

While nothing is official yet, it’s expected that Shad0w will be announced as the LGD jungler soon. The 2021 LPL Summer Split kicks off in June.

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