Shad0w’s return to the competitive stage has been a long time coming- but his LPL stint has gotten off to a slow start with a 2-1 loss to Rare Atom for LGD Gaming.
The series started off strong for LGD, who won the first game in a convincing 30 minutes. Shad0w looked unstoppable on Rumble, finishing the game with a KDA of 20. The team also managed to secure Xiye’s infamous Sylas in the draft phase, and he went on to demonstrate just how lethal the champion can be in the right hands. RA had been shut out of the game from minute one, and it looked as though the series would be a brief 2-0 for LGD.
However, this is the LPL, and it wouldn’t be an LPL series without some high-variance gameplay. Game two was a close-fought brawl in which LGD were ahead for almost the entire 37 minutes–but all it took was a single well-executed fight at Baron Nashor for RA, and they were able to flip the game on its head and come back from a hefty gold deficit to secure victory.
LGD had been rattled by the sudden comeback in game two, and so they opted for comfort picks in game three. Most notably, they picked up Shad0w infamous Lee Sin for some security in the jungle, and drafted Gwen for Garvey in the top lane. However, their calm and collected gameplay from the beginning of the series was long gone, and game three saw them crumble under the pressure of Cube’s Volibear in the top lane. Rare Atom took the series with a 28-minute victory in the final game.
Despite their loss today, LGD showed strong foundations for their LPL split. Their main issue right now is AD Carry Kramer’s tendency to get caught out of position and picked off before fights can begin. Instead of backing away from a 4v5, LGD will knuckle down with a numbers disadvantage and inevitably lose fights around major objectives. Their performance today can easily be explained by some early-season jitters, including having to adapt to a new jungler.
Rare Atom, on the other hand, have come out swinging in their opening LPL games, going 2-0 against OMG and LGD. Although they’ve looked strong against middle-of-the-pack opponents, their true test will come in Week 2, where they’ll face off against Edward Gaming on June 14.
LGD’s next game will be against Ultra Prime on June 13.
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