The only team to be representing China in the Contenders Gauntlet, LGE.Huya has a lot to prove this upcoming week. With the best Tier 2 teams in the world as their opponents, LGE.Huya’s shaky history may result in some viewers discounting them early, yet this team has shown quite the significant improvement since the Pacific Showdown. They’ll be coming in as underdogs with a whole nation on their backs. However, like their rambunctious affiliated OWL team, the Chengdu Hunters, this team might be able to pull off anything.
LGE.Huya was formed almost at the same time as Overwatch itself under the name LinGan e-sports. Records of members from the team date back to August of 2016, and some early members don’t have any Liquipedia “join date” records. They’ve also had more members than one could possibly count, though a few are notable to mention; Chao “uNdeAD” Fang of the Season 1 Shanghai Dragons and both Li “Yveltal” Xianyao and Luo “Elsa” Wenjie of the current Chengdu Hunters. They also hosted Chen “U4” Congshan as a coach, who’s gone on to work for the Dragons and now the Hangzhou Spark. The team has been going for years, however their partnership with Chengdu and name re-brand to what it is today happened only in January.
This Chinese team looked strong before the Pacific Showdown, but lost both their first two matches brutally. This cost the Chinese Contenders scene one Gauntlet spot completely. They also lost the DPS player who helped them achieve a lot of their success, Zhong “Haker” Haotian and struggled in the next Contenders season after. However, in the playoffs, they managed to take down all three other Chinese academy teams in order to win the season. This gave them the one Chinese spot at Gauntlet, and they’ll look to redeem themselves this week. All of China will be rooting for them.
Huya’s roster consists of an interesting split of Chinese and Korean members. Their tank line is all Korean, their supports Chinese, and their DPS are one of each. The team actually only began taking in Korean members once they became owned by Huya Inc. LGE.Huya’s DPS members are Tang “KaMi” Yitao and Tae-min “MER1T” Choi. Mer1t is a hitscan formerly with experience on Kongdoo Panthera and Griffin in Korea before becoming the newest team member in August. KaMi has been with the team for well over a year, and plays a mix of hitscan and projectile damage.
Their Korean tank line consists of Dae-Han “JMAC” Choi and Eun-teak “Sven” Hong. As both are relatively new not much data exists on them. However, they’ve both been with the team since March and June respectively, and thus were there when the team won Contenders Season 2. The support line consists of some long term veterans of Overwatch, Chen “Lengsa” Jingyi and He “Molly” Chengzhi. Lengsa plays their main support, and has been with Team Celestial and LinGan in the past. Molly, on the other hand, is one of the squad’s OGs; he’s been with LinGan e-sports since their inception almost 3 years ago playing flex supports. All in all this is a very mixed roster of old and new, Korean and Chinese alike.
Out of the two brackets, LGE.Huya may have drawn the short end of the stick by being in Group B. With fellow group members Team Envy, Gladiators Legion, and Gen.G Esports, it’ll be a hard group to stay alive in. Facing Korean second seed Gen.G in the first matchup, Huya will hope for a miracle to win this one; expecting them to drop early to the losers bracket wouldn’t be a surprise.
After that, it’s a simple factor of not dropping the second game in order to make it to the next part of the tournament; so long as they take a single win before dropping two games they’ll stay in. Gladiators Legion may not be an easy opponent either, but the team that took down all 3 Chinese Academy teams should be able to win this one out. Regardless of their seed, Chinese fans should just hope to see this team finish in the top 3 of the bracket.
It’s do or die time for the members of LGE. They’ve struggled in the past after undergoing lots of changes, but this could be the true marker of redemption for them. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with representing China as a whole, and their path thus far may worry some. However, while these players may be underdogs, they have made it this far for a reason. It’s time to put all of China’s Tier 2 faith in these six players and hope they make it to the end.
“From Our Haus to Yours”