Photo by: Riot Games
In a game where so much is decided on the jungle/mid dynamic, it was understandable why EDward Gaming have been struggling. When LPL 2019 Spring began, EDG brought along their name’s pedigree, but little else. While opening with a 2-0 against SinoDragon, it soon became evident that the EDG which made top 8 at Worlds last year was not present. In the following playdays, they proceeded to lose to Snake Esports (currently the worst team in the LPL), an out-of-form World Elite and an Uzi-less RNG. Even Vici Gaming took a game off them.
It wasn’t the overall lack of talent on EDG, or the unfamiliarity that comes with a roster revamp. After all, the team had made no changes to its line-up, besides bringing in Lee “Heart” Gwan-hyung as head coach. The problem, instead, lay elsewhere. Ming “Clearlove” Kai, the legendary jungler responsible for EDG’s dynasty and its numerous titles, was on a break. Without their north star, EDward Gaming seemed lost.
This is why Clearlove’s return to active play was so celebrated. EDG fans were eager to see whether the veteran could put the team back on track. They had a difficult opponent in Suning, but the LPL “super team” was on a cold streak of two losses, including an upset 0-2 against Rogue Warriors. If Clearlove and Lee “Scout” Ye-chan could click as they’ve so often done in the past, victory would be possible.
The promised hype of Clearlove’s return was justified. EDG wiped the floor with Suning. “7777777”, spammed Twitch Chat.
In a one sided series, Clearlove died just once for a cumulative 1/1/13 KDA, or 73% kill participation. Always there when his mid laner needed him, EDG’s veteran helped Scout to two MVP titles on the back of 8/0/7 KDA. Yang “H4cker” Zhi-Hao, who already had a tough series on Tuesday against Rogue Warriors, was outclassed in the jungle every step of the way.
Today’s series marks Suning’s third loss in a row and once the leaders of the LPL are now down to fifth place. EDward Gaming, on the other hand, are catching up to the top 8 and their next match against Rogue Warriors could very well put them over the hump.