LPL’s second seed JD Gaming have made their first appearance at Worlds 2020. Drawn into Group B, they had to face LCK’s first seed DAMWON Gaming in their very first game of the competition. Despite the loss, they bounced back with wins against Rogue and PSG Talon.
As the two juggernauts of the LPL, LoL esports fans have been comparing JD Gaming’s performance with first seed TOP Esports, who have yet to drop a game. JD Gaming didn’t just lose to DAMWON — they were trailing by 10,000 gold by 21 and half minutes and lost three minutes later.
Everything went downhill for JD Gaming at level one. As the team revolves around their carry jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok, their invade into DAMWON’s bottom blue side jungle went completely awry, which impacted Kanavi’s effectiveness the entire game.
In the LPL Summer final between JDG and TES, whenever JDG were on red side they invaded their opponent's bot side jungle at level one.— Tania Mae (@TaniaMae) October 3, 2020
DWG were more than prepared.
Nuguri hung around near mid, and walked towards bot the moment JDG cleared their ward. #Worlds2020 pic.twitter.com/4Z68c8bNxY
What caught JD Gaming off guard was Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon’s presence in the level one skirmish, for he chose not to walk to top lane with the opening minion wave.
“Actually we did consider it, but we couldn’t guess that Nuguri would sacrifice his lane to come and help his teammates. We didn’t think it would happen. They researched our playstyle better, so it’s us who didn’t prepare properly,” Zuo “LvMao” Ming-Hao told ONE Esports.
As JD Gaming’s captain and shotcaller, LvMao acknowledged that the team’s communication “wasn’t that good” in their first game against DAMWON, which led them to lose many team fights.
Nonetheless, the team managed to reset, and are now 2-1 in this first half of Groups. “After this loss, it was a form of motivation for us, so we became quite confident that we would be able to win the following matches,” said LvMao.
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In the support role, he has played three different champions in three games — Nautilus, Pantheon, and his trademark Bard. During the regular season and LPL Summer playoffs, he only used Pantheon twice, both of which ended in defeat.
Against PSG Talon in Groups, he finally found his first win on this champion. He assisted in the first three kills of the game at bot lane, top lane, and mid lane.
“Pantheon is a champion I like playing more than others. I find that this champion is very interesting, so I practiced more,” shared LvMao.
At age 24, this is LvMao’s first Worlds appearance. His personal goal is to get out of Groups, and keep moving forward from there. As the oldest member of his team, he acknowledges that age is a factor for LoL pro players, but “if you don’t give up on yourself, the effect wouldn’t be as big”.
In between the end of LPL Summer and Worlds, LvMao was seen with TOP Esports’ support Liang “yuyanjia” Jia-Yuan enjoying an escape room experience. Together with his team, they also did a photo shoot with fashion magazine BAZAAR.
“I was photographed so handsomely that I couldn’t recognize myself!” LvMao shared. He also gave his two cents worth on who he thought modeled well. “If we only look at the face, I would say LokeN, but if we look at the figure, no one is suitable.”