At the LPL Spring Split, Team WE makes its 2019 debut with a loss to SinoDragon Gaming.While JD Gaming takes down Rogue Warriors in an exciting match.
SinoDragon picks up its first win as Team WE struggles again
It’s fair to say that 2018 wasn’t Team WE’s dream year. Following a run to the Worlds semifinals in 2017, the team suffered a sweep at the hands of RNG in spring and failed to make it to the playoffs in summer. The team’s fortune doesn’t seem to have improved much for 2019. Legendary AD Carry Gao “WeiXiao” Xue-Cheng has made his return to the competitive scene. This time however as WE’s head coach. The team’s fortune hasn’t improved much though. With its first result of the year being a 0-2 loss.
Game 1: WE fails to make its advantage count, SDG wins
Following a slow start to the match, things started to heat up when SinoDragon committed four players to an aggressive bottom lane engage. Walking away with two kills to open the score. The team however failed to take the turret down. And instead decided for a lane swap. WE used the numbers advantage to force Jiang “Changhong” Chang-Hong (Akali) out of the bottom lane. This secured the additional gold for the first turret. WE’s top side turret fell not too long after that and SDG continued to press on. This added a second top lane tower to the count.
The two teams continued to trade kills and objectives. With two elemental buffs for each side, WE held the lead in kills (6 to 5) and turrets (4 to 3). At the 30 minute mark, WE won a skirmish and forced SDG back using the opportunity to go for the Baron. The five SDG members made it to the pit in time, and while Zhou “Magic” Jun-Xuan (Xin Zhao) managed to smite it down. SinoDragon took three WE players out thanks to a great play by AD Carry Chen “GALA” Wei (Kai’sa). The play bought SDG enough time to reset the map in its favor. Taking down two turrets on WE’s side, they rendered the Baron power play very much useless.
Once the second Baron spawned, the two teams kept fighting to control the area around the pit. SDG made a daring call by committing three players to the objective. But thanks to GALA’s massive damage, managed to take it down under WE’s nose. GALA single-handedly secured the first Elder drake of the 2019 LPL spring split. This meant that SDG could go for a final push holding two major buffs. Team WE still tried to go for a desperate engage on GALA, but SinoDragon scored an ace to open the series’ score.
Game 2: SDG stomps WE, sweeps the series
Following an intense 2-on-2 trade bottom lane trade, a well timed gank by Wang “Xiaopeng” Peng (Nocturne) zoned AD Carry Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun (Kai’sa) out of the fight, forcing support Lou “Missing” Yun-Feng (Alistair) to stay behind as GALA (Xayah) grabbed the first kill. SDG won another two fights around the bottom side of the map, securing an Infernal drake and then going for a lane swap. WE’s top side outer turret went down before the 14 minute mark, meaning that SDG also got the full gold from the tower’s plating. SinoDragon then turned its attention to the Rift Herald, using it to take down the mid lane turret while Changhong (Aatrox) created even more problems for Team WE with his split push.
24 Minute Mark
The game-defining moment happened at the 24 minute mark, as WE overextended around the mid lane. Xiaopeng went deep into WE’s backline, and while SDG walked away with a single kill, the damage dealt was enough to force WE back. SinoDragon melted down Baron in an instant to set up the final push. With a top lane pickoff, GALA secured a triple kill and SDG simply walked into WE’s base to complete the sweep.
JD Gaming scores a comeback win over Rogue Warriors
Following a highly successful 2018, which saw the team nearly make it to the World Championship, JD Gaming made its 2019 debut with a comeback win over Rogue Warriors, who are now 0-2 to start the year. JDG lost its star player Kim “Clid” Tae-min to SK Telecom T1, while AD Carry Lee “LokeN” Dong-wook, another important player for the team, joined LPL rivals TOPSPORTS Gaming.
Game 1:: Levi makes his LPL debut but Rogue Warriors comes out on top to open the score
Clid’s replacement, former Gigabyte Marines star Do “Levi” Duy Khanh, made his much anticipated LPL debut. Levi spent most of 2018 with 100 Thieves LCS Academy team following his stunning MSI and World Championship showings with Marines. With his signature aggressive style, Levi (Reksai) went for an early mid lane gank. His flashy play however was countered by Li “Xuzhu” Yu-Qing’s (Xin Zhao) awareness, turning the fight around with mid laner Huang “KongMing” Yi-Jun (Galio) to secure two kills.
The play set Levi’s early game-reliant Rek’sai significantly behind, while Xuzhu had complete control over his opponent’s side of the jungle. JDG did secure the Rift Herald, but released it on the mid lane with a poor setup, taking down a mere two plates. However, the team held a significant push advantage towards the bottom side as RW’s put itself into a bad Vayne versus Ezreal matchup for the early game.
JDG recovered from the early mishap, taking the lead heading into the mid game. RW’s turnaround came thanks to a bold Baron call at the 23 minute mark, as the team brewed the perfect storm with both top and mid pushing in its favor while JDG had no vision around the pit. By The time JD Gaming realized what was going on, Xuzhu had already secured the objective. JDG forced the engage, trying to take away some buffs, but RW easily turned the fight around, taking three kills and resetting the map in its favor.
With JDG’s base completely exposed, support Liu “Killua” Dan-Yang (Rakan) found a perfect engage going for JD Gaming’s backline, allowing Rogue to pick up three more kills in order to close out game 1 in just under 29 minutes at the LPL Spring Split.
- More: 2019 LPL Spring Split [W1D4] Recap
Game 2: JD Gaming ties the series on the back of a dominant macro play
Following Levi’s shaky debut, JD Gaming subbed in Sung “Flawless” Yeon-jun, who would be facing his former team. Xuzhu (Gragas) found an opportunity to invade Flawless’ (Lee Sin) jungle, flanking JD’s bottom lane. RW’s AD Carry Mei “ZWuJi” Hong-Hui (Varus) picked up the first kill of the game. JD Gaming made the top side of the map into its primary win condition, as Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran (Ryze) pushed back RW’s Liu “ZhaoYun” Shuang-Yin (Ornn) to create an opening for the Rift Herald. JDG happily traded the top side turret for its bottom tower, as the Herald still managed a hit on RW’s inner turret at the LPL Spring Split.
JD Gaming also held the mid lane priority, creating plenty of space for some early rotations. Rogue Warriors soon found themselves having to deal with some intense pressure coming from the three lanes. As the team tried to secure a Mountain drake, JDG collapsed, with Flawless stealing the objective Zeng “YaGao” Qi (Zoe) secure the kill on Xuzhu. With no jungler on RW’s side, it became an obvious early Baron call for JD Gaming, only 22 minutes into the game.
Utilizing Zoe’s poke while keeping Zuo “LvMao” Ming-Hao (Alistair), Flawless and Gu “Imp” Seung-bin (Lucian) as threatening presences for an engage, JDG set up the siege. YaGao hit a perfectly aimed Paddled Star to burst down an already low Xuzhu, and with the three inhibitors already down, JD Gaming turned its attention to the Nexus, tying the series and forcing the decisive third game.
Game 3: Down two inhibitors, JDG completes a miraculous comeback
JDG got stuck into a bad bottom lane matchup thanks to RW going with a Lucian pick for ZWuji and an off-meta Fiddlesticks for Killua. The team responded with an early swap, picking off ZhaoYun (Urgot) for the first blood, while JDG traded it for an uncontested bottom turret. With another rotation, JDG secured the bottom lane turret while RW grabbed the Rift Herald and used it to take down not just JD’s outer top lane tower but the inner one as well while rotating to take the mid lane as well.
Closing out the LPL Spring Split
As JDG tried to pickoff ZhaoYun again, RW went for the reengage and secured its first three kills of the game while leaving JGD down to three inhibitor turrets only 19 minutes in. Four minutes later, Rogue found the opening to go for the Baron. JG did not have enough vision to contest the call. RW’s initial push opened up both the mid and the bottom lane inhibitors, but the buff expired before the team could do much more.
Holding a significant advantage, Rogue chose to play it safe and wait for a second Baron spawn. JDG however had the chance to contest, with Zoom and Flawless finding a good flank to help the team secure two kills while also taking over the objective. Relying on the much more powerful second buff, JDG quickly turned the game in their favor. LvMao (Rakan) found a good engage inside RW’s base and JGD won a key fight, securing four kills to two. With only ZWuji left, JD closed out the game to complete the unlikely comeback at the LPL Spring Split.