EDward Gaming is the reigning LPL champion, with a roster of players who have long had chips on their shoulders.
What players make up the roster of this Chinese juggernaut aiming for the Worlds 2021 title? And how did they get to this point? It’s worth going over the history of EDward Gaming’s players and the brand itself.
EDward Gaming entered the LPL, China’s main competitive League of Legends league, in 2013. The team acquired the spot of LMQ, which some early fans may remember from the early days of League’s esports scene. The organization was an instant success, taking first place in both 2014 LPL splits and placing top eight at Worlds in its first year.
Despite domestic dominance, EDG has never made it past the quarterfinals at the World Championship. For Worlds 2021, the team has assembled a roster of killers who could bring the Summoner’s Cup back to China.
EDward Gaming’s roster at Worlds 2021 includes the following players:
In the top lane, EDG has Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun, a longtime LPL talent who’s found a resurgence with EDward Gaming after spending time on Snake Esports and Royal Never Give Up.
This year’s summer split victory was Flandre’s first domestic title after years of trying. Flandre has a distinct knack for dueling, with his most played champions of the summer summer being Gwen, Renekton, and Sett. In playoffs, Flandre leaned harder into Renekton and other lane bullies like Jayce and Kennen.
That pattern has continued at Worlds 2021, with Flandre only playing Jayce and Graves. So far, his job has been to shove the enemy laner under their tower and destroy them in individual trades, and it doesn’t look to be changing.
Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie is EDward Gaming’s jungler. He only joined the competitive scene officially in 2019, with his first split of professional play coming in the summer. Jiejie’s love for skirmishing junglers and the small engagements they excel in says a lot about his playstyle.
The only two champions for Jiejie that have a throughline from the LPL’s summer split all the way through playoffs and into Worlds are Lee Sin and Xin Zhao. While he enjoyed picks such as Diana and Volibear in the summer, Jiejie’s clamping down on his champion pool in time for Worlds, only having shown Jarvan IV alongside his signature two.
Lee “Scout” Ye-chan is the team’s mid laner and long-time franchise player. Scout has only ever played on two teams professionally, the lauded Korean T1, the greatest team in League of Legends history, and EDG. Scout has been sporting EDG’s colors since 2016 and has been winning events practically every year since then.
Scout is a monumental talent looking to set the tone for his career at Worlds 2021. The legacy of EDward Gaming may as well be the legacy of Scout at this point. Scout has favored Sylas and Leblanc throughout the year but looks to be expanding his pool at Worlds 2021, playing 6 unique champions so far.
EDG’s bot lane duo is formed of Griffin alumni Park “Viper” Do-hyeon and EDG graybeard Tian “Meiko” Ye, who has been on the team since 2015. Viper is likely the best bottom lane carry in the world, able to flex between roles flawlessly and still outperform his more specialized opponents. Viper made his name as the rising star of the LCK’s Griffin, before controversies sent Griffin into a downwards spiral from which it would never recover.
Rather than remain in Korea, Viper headed north and joined forces with one of the longest-standing players on any roster, and the combination is deadly.
This team stands as one of the favorites to take home the Worlds 2021 trophy and were the safe bet for the Crystal Ball Pick’Em.
With dramatic monikers like FunPlus Phoenix and Royal Never Give Up, EDward Gaming’s name seems a bit tame next to some of its LPL fellows. EDward Gaming got its name from Edward Chu, the team’s founder and owner. Edward Chu is a wealthy Chinese businessman and investor who used EDward Gaming as a method of entering the absolutely massive esports scene in China. EDward Gaming has been around for eight years and has become a staple of Chinese League of Legends and maintains a presence in other esports as well.
EDG’s games returns in the Worlds 2021 playoffs to face Royal Never Give Up on October 23.