SinoDragon upsets Snake Esports for the team’s first ever series victory and after a slow start, RNG scores a comeback win over LGD
SinoDragon sweeps Snake Esports for its maiden win
Snake’s spring split got off to a strong start following a surprising win over EDward Gaming. However, the promising debut performance stands as the team’s solitary win in three series. This time around, Snake suffered an unexpected sweep at the hands of LPL newcomers SinoDragon Gaming.
Game 1: SinoDragon wins a game for the first time
SDG’s Jiang “Changhong” Chang-Hong (Jayce) and Jiang Wang “Xiaopeng” Peng (Lee Sin) executed a well-synchronized dive on Snake’s top laner Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun (Vladimir) to open the score. As Snake tried to use its priority over the river to secure a Mountain drake, SDG contested the call and Xiaopeng managed to steal the objective. To make it the worst possible scenario for Snake, SDG’s AD Carry Chen “GALA” Wei (Kai’sa) cleaned the ensuing fight and secured three kills.
Changhong used his favorable matchup to completely dominate the top lane, especially after Xiaopeng’s early gank, and secured the first turret bonus for SDG while allowing his team to secure the Rift Herald. SinoDragon built a solid lead in kills, but Snake managed to keep things close on the back of some well-executed rotations.
A beautiful engage by Huang “Twila” Ting-Wei (Lissandra) hit Snake on its flank and secured an important kill on jungler Lê “SofM” Quang Duy (Gragas). Without a jungler on Snakes side, SinoDragon secured the Baron. Snake started a fight and SDG decided to commit instead of walking away with the buff. It turned into an absolute disaster for SDG, as GALA was the only one left standing and Snake found a way back in the game.
SDG had to wait and set up a second Baron call. In what felt like a repeat of the first play, Snake contested the objective. SinoDragon secured the buff once again, but this time around, despite some low health bars on its side, scored a clean ace. With some long death timers for Snake, SDG rushed inside their opponent’s base from the top side of the map and closed out the first game in 35 minutes.
- More: 2019 LPL Spring Split [W1D4] Recap
Game 2: SinoDragon pulls off a comeback to complete the sweep
Xiaopeng (Nocturne) went for a risky invasion on Snake’s jungle without holding the priority. Flandre (Urgot) picked off SDG’s jungler for the first blood. With Nocturne’s poor early game being delayed even further by the misplay, SofM (Lee Sin) stole some camps from Xiaopeng while Yang “Mala” Hyeon-jong (Zoe) took down SinoDragon’s jungler.
SinoDragon had a winning matchup on the bottom side, however, and the team secured an Infernal drake along with the first turret. Snake did a better job however, cleaning SDG’s outer turrets. Having found a good pick down the mid lane, Snake secured two kills to set up a Baron call. While SinoDragon failed to contest the objective’s execution, the team forced an engage and Changhong (Gangplank) scored a triple kill to stall Snake’s advance.
As SDG defended its bottom lane turrets, Xiaopeng and support Ling “Mark” Xu (Rakan) hit a good engage to drive Snake’s Baron push back, resetting the map for the second Baron spawn. SinoDragon found another good engage with the Nocturne-Rakan combo to take out Flandre and Mala. Down two members, Snake still tried to get away, but SDG chased the remaining three players to clean out the fight and score a game-deciding ace. Having a clear way into Snake’s base, SinoDragon didn’t even need the Baron buff to end the second game and complete the sweep.
RNG comes back from behind for its first series win of the split
With superstar AD Carry Jian “Uzi” Zihao out until after the week 3 break, Royal Never Give Up came back from a 1-0 deficit to score its first series win of the split. The reigning LPL champions defeated LGD Gaming and now sit at a 1-1- record.
Game 1: LGD wins off a Baron steal
A long, dragged-out trade at the bottom lane saw RNG’s rookie AD Carry Zhang “Wink” Rui (Lucian) force LGD’s duo Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun (Ezreal) and Chen “Pyl” Bo (Tahm Kench) under the turret. Wink got a bit too ambitious going for the last hit on Pyl and entered the turret’s range. Kramer used his experience to pounce on the mistake and grab the first blood. Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming (Alistar), already low on health from the early trade, couldn’t escape in time and Kramer added a second kill to his count.
While things didn’t go as planned for RNG down the bottom side, new signing Shek “AmazingJ” Wai Ho (Gangplank) dominated his lane against Guo “Lies” Hao-Tian (Akali) to secure the first turret for RNG,
A classic LPL-style kill fiesta took place as the teams traded blows all over the map. LGD found a good pickoff on Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan (Gragas) and forced a fight. Despite being down one player, Royal Never Give Up turned things around and secured four kills, with Karsa spawning in time to help his team secure the Baron. RNG had a good powerplay, opening up LGD’s mid lane inhibitor. The reigning LPL champions waited for the second Baron spawn and committed three players to the potential game-deciding call.
But a beautiful Ultimate by Pyl saw LGD’s support bring Xiang “Condi” Ren-Jie (Xin Zhao) along with him into the pit. LGD’s jungler hit his Smite just in time to steal the objective. LGD, now also holding an advantage in numbers, collapsed onto the three RNG members, while AmazingJ and Wink made it to the fight too late. LGD scored an ace but still couldn’t go for the game, as the map had been very well set by their opponents. Royal tried to force a fight but it was LGD that turned things around this time. With four kills to one, the team finally had the chance to close out the game, and did so by rushing down RNG’s mid lane to open the score in 32 minutes.
Game 2: Led by a Draven pick, RNG snowballs out of LGD’s control
RNG changed its style and went with a very aggressive composition. Karsa (Kha’zix), Wink (Draven) and Ming (Tahm Kench) invaded LGD’s jungle right away, and while Condi stopped the red buff steal, Wink took the LGD jungler out for a crucial first blood.
Royal’s better rotations let the team grab the lead with three turrets to one. Wink, already on his power spike thanks to two kills, sneaked into the Baron pit as the rest of his team bought time. The RNG AD Carry essentially secured the objective by himself, with Karsa making it just in time to Smite it down.
As RNG continued to press for more turrets, LGD’s mid laner Hu “Yuuki” Hao-Ming (Le Blanc) found a beautiful pickoff on Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao (Zoe). Up one member, LGD chased Royal Never Give Up to secure an ace, slowing down RNG’s progress. LGD never managed to regain space around the map however, meaning that the team had to stay on its back-foot while trying to look for openings. Xiaohu got his revenge as he sniped Yuuki for a nearly-impossible pickoff, and RNG used the opportunity to secure three more kills.
Given that the death timers on LGD’s side were quite significant, Royal Never Give Up went straight for their opponent’s base. The team completed the ace as LGD’s support Pyl (Soraka) still tried to defend the Nexus and tied the series.
Game 3: Karsa steals the spotlight as RNG stomps LGD
Wink (Lucian) and Ming (Alistar) forced the summoner spells out of Pyl (Ornn) and went straight for a dive on the LGD support. Karsa (Talliyah) helped his teammates with a flank from inside the opponent’s jungle as RNG secured the first kill. Karsa dominated the early game, holding a perfect kill participation as the RNG jungler showed up everywhere on the map.
Following a near-ace at the 13 minute mark, RNG destroyed the bottom lane outer turret to build an amazing 7,000 gold lead. The reigning LPL champions were already at LGD’s mid lane inhibitor only 19 minutes into the game. Karsa continued to throw his Ultimate around in order to siege the turrets, and RNG destroyed the second inhibitor only 21 minutes in. As the gold lead went over 10,000, the team completely ignored the Baron and went for the third and final inhibitor. RNG won a final fight inside LGD’s base to secure the win in just under 24 minutes.