Coming off an eye opening loss to Royal Never Give Up in Week 6, Edward Gaming came into the LPL’s Week 7 thinking differently. In their matchup against RNG, it was RNG’s jungler Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei who was the biggest reason why RNG were so dominant. The RNG jungler picked up both player of the game awards in the 2-0 sweep. Although EDG’s jungler Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie has done a fine job holding down the Jungle position all year, EDG decided to spice things up in Week 7.
EDG are trying new things, even at the top
EDG only had one series in LPL Week 7 against the rising Team WE, but they made a shocking roster swap before the match. Substituting for Jiejie was EDG legend Ming “Clearlove” Kai, who has not played in the LPL in over two years. Clearlove is indeed listed on the EDG roster and it was announced at the beginning of the year that he would split playing time with Jiejie. But thanks to Jiejie’s and EDG’s performance thus far in the season, Clearlove has seen no action. The day EDG went up against WE happened to also be Clearlove’s birthday. Unfortunately his birthday gift turned out to be WE’s instead.
Clearlove on an off-meta Sejuani pick looked lost as EDG failed to take a single dragon and WE took the infernal soul and marched down EDG’s base in a 28-minute stomp. What was even more shocking is that EDG didn’t even let Clearlove finish the series. Instead, they subbed in another jungler, Yu “JunJia” Chun-Chia, who spent time on EDG’s developmental team. The third string jungler also did not look too hot in his debut. Again WE took four straight dragons to capture another infernal soul and with it, a 33-minute win to secure the 2-0 upset.
Its a little dangerous to be experimenting with roster swaps so late in the season. Jiejie hasn’t been dominant but with the other two options being Clearlove and JunJia, it seems that EDG’s best shot at a World championship still lies with Jiejie on the starting roster.
RNG continue to impress in LPL Week 7
Coming off their best win of the split against EDG, Royal Never Give Up looked good again in LPL Week 7. RNG had two matches this week: one against a bottom of the pack Ultra Prime squad and another against playoff hopefuls JD Gaming.
Their series against UP was uneventful. Both games were over before 30 minutes with the two big carries of the team, top laner Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao and jungler Wei, picking up the player of the game honors respectively for games one and two.
In their second series against JDG, things got a little more spicy. Game 1 went over to RNG in a 33-minute roll. It was a team effort in which RNG dominated across the map. In Game 2, JDG reversed the script. Instead of Xiaohu and Wei dominating, it was the top and jungle pair of JDG that hard carried. Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok and Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran took control of the game and made the other duo non factors.
In the rubber match of the series, RNG had another game of across-the-map domination. This time around, it was all-pro support Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming who picked up player of the game honors. RNG picked up the 2-1 victory and secured their third straight 2-0 week.
Winners of six straight series, RNG now sit seventh in the standings and are now fully in the playoff picture. They will be tested in Week 8 as they square off with the enigma’s of the LPL, the current third place Rare Atom.
Team WE are on the rise
After a disappointing spring split, the arrival of mid laner Li “Mole” Hao-Yan gave Team WE fans hope that this split would lead them to worlds. However, after a 2-2 start to the summer split, WE benched Mole for their old mid laner Cui “Shanks” Xiao-Jun. With Shanks in the driver seat, WE went 2-2 on their next two series as well. Seeing the same results with both mid laners, WE stuck with Shanks. Shanks has had the entire spring split to mesh with the team and it seems like Team WE’s decision is paying off.
WE was coming off a 2-0 week heading into LPL Week 7. In Week 6, WE managed to take a series off then-second place Li-Ning Gaming. They also came out victorious against Ultra Prime. Week 7 gave them a test once again. In their first series against LGD Gaming, who are in the playoff hunt, WE dismantled them. Game 1 lasted only 25 minutes. Although Game 2 went past the 30-minute mark, WE were in control the entire time. Now on a three series win streak, their biggest test of the season against EDG laid ahead of them. Luckily for them, this EDG squad wasn’t the one they anticipated.
With EDG making a roster move, WE showed no signs of mercy. Preying on the old out-of-shape Clearlove and unproven JunJia, WE steamrolled EDG in back-to-back games. Their victory gave them their biggest win of the split. Shanks picked up player of the game honors for his performance in Game 2 where he destroyed first team all-pro mid laner Lee “Scout” Ye-chan. The win pushed them to an impressive 8-4 record and a 6-2 record with Shanks as the starting mid laner. WE now sit in fifth place in the LPL standings heading into the last two weeks of the summer split.