JD Gaming prevailed over Top Esports in a bloody, five-game series to crown themselves 2020 LPL Spring champions.
The grand finals was heavily hyped by the storylines behind it. Both TES and JDG had eliminated one world champion before that in the semifinals, iG and FunPlus Phoenix, respectively. JDG boasted arguably the best top laner in the world in Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran, who was integral to JDG’s 2019 Spring Cinderella story, supported by regular season MVP Seo “Kanavi” Jin-Hyeok. In the opposite corner, TES fielded mid lane monster Zhuo “Knight” Ding and the recently signed Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo, a former world champion with iG. The talent on the Rift was in spades.
Games 1-3: Battle of the mid laners
Game 1 begane with TES allowing Zeng “Yagao” Qi to get on his signature LeBlanc, a champion on which he’s undefeated still in 2020, and soon enough, the game became the one-man Yagao show. Taking part in 11 of his team’s 12 kills, Yagao played a perfect game 1, giving JDG a critical win to open the series.
TES struck back by channeling the power of Knight, and the star mid laner collected two MVP awards on the way to a 2-1 reversal in the series, playing a 6/0/5 Corki in game 2 that absolutely demolished JDG in a 3v5 situation, just as they thought their Baron was secure.
Games 4-5: JDG’s reversal
Game 4 ping-ponged between the two teams for the majority of its duration. TES kept ahead in objective control, getting the first three dragons and two heralds, but JDG kept finding picks and favorable team fights to keep the gold gap close. Lee “LokeN” Dong-wook’s Aphelios was the pillar that kept JDG in the game and at one point his damage output melted TES’ even thought the mountain soul they eventually secured. After a quick 29-minute-long game, the series was tied 2-2. The grand final was going the distance.
That game 5 became the quickest skirmish of the series. Zoom got ahead on his Ornn early against the lane-swapped Knight and while TES’ mid laner eventually recovered on his Sylas, the same could not be said for the rest of his team. Great Baron deny from JDG took away a potential comeback condition from TES and one team fight later, Zuo “LvMao” Ming-Hao’s clutch Bard ultimate secured the series for JDG.
This is the first championship for the JDG organization, after coming second in the the 2019 Spring Split behind Invictus Gaming. JD Gaming now look towards potential first-time appearance at Worlds 2020, which would also be their first international outing in history.
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