Suning has defeated JD Gaming for the first time since 2018. The LPL third seed finally broke its losing streak versus JDG when it mattered the most. Suning is advancing and will face the winner between Fnatic and TOP Esports.
Suning, the dark horse at Worlds 2020
If there’s one team no one believed could make it past quarterfinals, it’s Suning. Ahead of the tournament, analysts were quick to discard Suning and labeled it as the weakest LPL representative at Worlds. The team lacked big names and its performance domestically left a lot to be desired. In a league as competitive as the LPL, being top four is not enough to be considered good.
Suning stumbled on its first game in Worlds and dropped a game against G2 Esports. It looked like everyone was right: Suning didn’t have what it took to make it far.
As the group progressed, Suning turned things around and finished in the first place. In quarterfinals, Suning had another hill to conquer, JD Gaming. The past four times these teams played, JDG had the upper hand. Once again, odds were against Suning, but the team persevered and finally put an end to the losing streak.
In semifinals, Suning is likely to face TOP Esports, another giant from the LPL.
Huanfeng, the next LPL star
Before Worlds 2020, not many registered Tang "huanfeng" Huan-Feng, the ADC from Suning. In a league full of stars, it takes a lot to stand out and it took Huanfeng a Worlds appearance to do so. The 19-year-old ADC has been playing with Suning for two splits and already reached semifinals at Worlds.
People compare Huanfeng with TES’ Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo, the rookie prodigies that made it to Worlds on their debuts. Their stories might be similar, but Huanfeng made it clear that he’s more than a JackeyLove wannabe. Huanfeng has a maturity to him that shows on stage and a confidence that some veterans might envy.
No one plays Jhin like Huanfeng and that comfort shows in the way he engages. Huanfeng went for the Flash forward to secure the kill and never missed a shot. JDG made the mistake of leaving it open three times. Three Jhin picks, three victories.
In the semifinals, Huanfeng and Suning might go head to head to JackeyLove. That will be Huanfeng’s opportunity to make a statement. He won’t live under anyone’s shadow, not even JackeyLove’s.
Suning wins through objective control
The clash between Suning and JDG was as bloody as expected. In one game, Suning and JDG had more kills than DAMWON Gaming and DRX had in two games. It was a skirmish heavy series, but it was the objective control that gave Suning the edge.
Suning had better set up and knew when and how to prioritize the objectives on the map. Jungler Lê "SofM" Quang Duy picked Kindred for game three and four. Kindred is the type of champion that can get behind unless the jungler plays for the marks. Suning understood this condition and played accordingly. No crazy shenanigans or risky plays, Suning had to support its jungler early.
Suning played for the marks, played for the dragons and ultimately for the dragon soul. There was nothing that JDG could do to stop Suning.