Photo by: Riot Games
In 2018, Vici Gaming were the worst team in LPL. In both splits, they finished bottom of their group with the worst record of all 14 teams. But that year was merely a continuation of their years-long record of bad results. In 2017 Spring, VG finished fifth in their group, failed to pass relegation and stayed in Challenger for the Summer before returning to the LPL.
Determined to not remain the laughing stock of the league, VG made the only sensible decision: they rebuilt with a completely new roster and invested in new talent.
Part of the revamp was bot lane duo Ding “Puff” Wang and Su “SouthWind” Zhi-Lin, coming from Challenger’s PRW Gaming. “Who?” would be an accurate question, and one that Suning — VG’s first opponent for the season — likely asked themselves. Little did they know they were about to be taught a lesson soon.
Game 1 was an absolute treat to watch and a heart-stopper for those fans who bet big on a Suning victory. After all, SN had just acquired the veteran talents of Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh and Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang — two of the faces of LMS — and every pundit likely penned a 2-0 prediction for Suning.
Straight from minute 1, VG’s new bot lane showed that they would be a duo to watch this season. Puff and SouthWind were bullies, and very efficient at that. The two took the game without giving a single kill between them, with SouthWind even winning “Man of the Match” with 100% kill participation and a sweet 2/0/21 KDA.
But Vici’s triumph did not last long. Yes, their win in game 1 was one-sided, but Suning was still sitting on mountains of talent and experience. And in games 2 and 3, that mountain woke up.
If game 1 had caught Suning unprepared and perhaps even underestimating VG, then game 2 was a real warm-up. A kills-rich early game translated into an equalized score and Suning entered the deciding game with much more confidence. And it showed.
Everything in game 3 was as fans expected the series to go. SN took control and never let it go, outplaying VG at every turn. H4cker’s Olaf made frequent visits to the bot lane, putting the rookies under pressure and SouthWind’s Zilean started cracking down. By minute 17, Suning were winning every single lane and were sitting on 6k gold advantage, three towers to none. VG were checkmated and could do nothing once Baron spawned. The Baron buff turned VG’s base into ruins and SN deservedly took the series.