JD Gaming defeated TOP, crowning themselves as the champions of the LPL Spring Split. Taking down their opponents 3:2, this was the team’s ninth match victory in a row. This is the first LPL title under JD’s belt, with their previous best placement being second place last spring. Here is how they did it.
Preseason and the first week
Compared to other LPL teams, JDG had a quiet off-season. The only roster change they made was to bring Loken back from TOP. While Loken has always been a consistent player, he never was in the conversation regarding the best carry in the LPL. Coming into the season, members of the English broadcast didn’t rank JDG high up, with most putting them at tenth or eleventh. JDG’s first opponent was OMG, who they dispatched with a clean 2:0. Their second opponent, team World Elite, was also defeated in a clean 2:0 manner. Despite all players playing well, the highlight was jungler Kanavi, who won MVP in both games versus OMG. After having a quiet Summer split last year, Kanavi seemed like an entirely new player, having better synergy with his laners and exerting far better map control.
Return of the LPL and mid-season struggle week
During the LPL hiatus, JD Gaming started playing 705 in the top lane. When the online scrims first started up, 705 was the top laner instead of Zoom. During the online scrims, JDG continued their dominance, finishing 3:0 in their matches. When the LPL returned, 705 was still the top laner for the team, and despite falling in their first match back versus FPX, JD Gaming soon regained control. It wasn’t until the end of week 3 that JDG started to struggle. In weeks 3 and 4, they lost to EDG, TOP, and RNG, with 705’s rookie status showing. Without a stable top laner, Kanavi found that he didn’t have the reliable top laner he was used to having. They did manage to bounce back versus Suning, but it wasn’t a convincing win by any means. While this is unlikely to be the last time that 705 is played, he still needs more time to fully develop into the starting position. When the other person competing for the starting position is Zoom, he would really have step up his game to contest the starting spot.
Zoom returns to the roster
After their match versus Suning, Zoom finally returned to the starting line up. Hailed as one of the best top laners in China, if not the world, Zoom returning to the roster gave the team a second wind. With the roster once again being complete, team synergy looked much better. Alongside his mid laner, the Dumpling Brothers would demolish their opponents with smart rotations and clean calls. Kanavi was once again free to roam the jungle since he knew his top laner would cover him. Historically a bruiser player, Zoom loves to play with side-line pressure and wave manipulation. With picks like Sett or Mordekaiser, Zoom could shove and split push, and always be the first to rotate to team fights. That said, Zoom has never shied away from tank picks. With Ornn being a contested pick this season, it’s his most played champion of 2020. He becomes an unkillable team fighting machine on the Forge God, helping turn the tides in JDG’s favor.
Playoffs and the Grand Finals
Moving into playoffs, JD Gaming started their playoff escapades against FPX. In a rematch of 2019 Spring semifinals, once again, JD Gaming emerged victorious. With Loken stepping up in the bottom lane, the current world champions were unable to stop the onslaught coming out of JDG. And so, JDG faced their final opponent of the split: TOP Esports. JackeyLove has historically been JDG’s kryptonite, but this time it wasn’t meant to be. JD Gaming came into the series with an 8 game win streak and left with a championship. LvMao won the Grand Finals MVP, after his extraordinary series on Yuumi, Thresh and Bard. In what was an exciting and close series, JD Gaming have been crowned the 2020 LPL Spring split Champions.
You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers.
Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay.