Suning Gaming announced the acquisition of mid laner Huang “Maple” Yi-tang and support Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-jie. Maple and SwordArT both played for the LoL Masters Series’ Flash Wolves in 2018. The duo had been with the Flash Wolves organization since 2014 and have been teammates since their time on Gamania Bears in 2013.
Maple and SwordArT’s arrival to the LoL Pro League has been a long time coming. Every year, there are rumors of LMS players heading to China and it was about their time. Famously, the two backpedaled on their plans to play in LPL in 2015, but elected to stay with Flash Wolves for the sake of friendship. Since that time, the duo won every single LMS title with Flash Wolves, remaining undefeated in the region.
Unfortunately, Flash Wolves and subsequently, Maple and SwordArT, were not successful internationally. The LMS is small region that offers little competition and despite scrims with LPL teams, their form was stagnant. Moving forward, Maple and SwordArT profile has some of the best players in their role in the LPL. Maple has more competition with a strong, young mid lane pool in China, but SwordArT has been regarded as the best support in the world.
Maple and SwordArT join a lineup that presumably features top laner Xie “XiaoAL” Zhen-ying and jungler Yang “H4cker” Zhi-hao. Recently, it has been rumored that Rogue Warriors’ Han “SMLZ” Jin would be joining the tean. Given that Maple and SwordArT were featured in the same Weibo rumor, it is likely that SMLZ’s acquisition will be announced soon.