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The side that many dubbed the “super team” has been mathematically eliminated from the LPL playoffs running. One match before the end of the regular season, Suning have no chance of making a top 8 finish.
Hopes were high for Suning after the off-season. The team imported former Flash Wolves duo Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang and Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh — two players fans long wanted to see in the LPL. Han “Smlz” Jin also came after a strong 2018 Summer season with Rogue Warriors and experts expected Suning to be one of the teams to challenge the established status quo of RNG vs. iG.
Suning started strong in the opening weeks, winning the first four series, but things started falling apart once they ran into sturdier competition. Between week 3 and week 6, Suning went on a five-game losing streak, dropping series even to low-ranked teams such as Rogue Warriors and Oh My God. All of a sudden they were in the negative and free-falling out of the top 8.
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In week 7, Suning stabilized for a bit with a 2-1 against LGD Gaming, but another cold streak followed with three consecutive losses against BLG, TOP and JDG. Suning’s hopes for making the playoffs were going cold, and fast.
These loss streaks also highlighted one of Suning’s major weaknesses: their poor macro play. On a regular basis, the team would lose objective control or make poor trades that would put them in disadvantageous position. Despite being one of the better junglers in the LPL, Yang “H4cker” Zhi-Hao also had his many slip moments, having objectives stolen right under his nose in scenarios he should be in control.
With such poor showing, Suning will go into the Split break with the goal to fix these critical mistakes. Without question the side is ripe with talent, but even in the LPL — a region that plays proactive, teamfight-based League of Legends — having a good macro remains crucial. The league still has its slow days where it plays an LCK-esque game of objective control and Suning need to have these fundamentals firm in their grasp.