Suning rebounded from a first-game loss to upset JD Gaming 3-1 on Friday in the quarterfinal round of the 2020 League of Legends World Championship in Shanghai.
Both teams got of to a rough start in the first game as they shook off the nerves, but JDG carved a lead by the 12-minute mark behind the play of jungler Jin-hyeok "Kanavi" Seo's Lillia.
Suning's teamfighting throughout the series outclassed JDG's but their decision-making end up being their Game 1 downfall. After securing a pair of kills, Suning went for a Baron, but split up and lost members when JDG's remaining players came to contest. After that throw, and with no proper hard-engage to force teamfights, Suning could do little more than watch JDG take back-to-back-to-back teamfights to close out the game in 38 minutes.
But the next three games were a different story.
In Game 2, Suning came alive, picking up early kills and staying even in gold before busting the game wide open around 15 minutes. Support Shuo-Chieh "SwordArt" Hu's Leona was crucial for Suning, engaging in fights and locking down key damage dealers throughout the game. Bot laner Huan-Feng "huanfeng" Tang's Jhin pulled off the play of the tournament so far when he used his Curtain Call ultimate from JDG's base to snipe down two JDG members under their Tier 2 bottom lane turret. Led by huanfeng's 9/0/12 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), Suning cruised to a 27-minute win.
In Game 3 Suning secured a 33-minute win behind the play of Ze-Bin "Bin" Chen and Quang Duy "SofM" Le.
Trailing by 2-1 match score in Game 4, JDG jumped out to an early lead of nearly 2,000 gold by the 10-minute mark, but Suning -- down 5,500 gold by the 18-minute point -- roared back into the game due to the results of a fight around the Ocean Dragon.
This series was an official coming-out party for huanfeng, who showed his world-class talent on the global stage. In Game 4, huanfeng's Jhin picked up a triple kill at 18 minutes, powering the Suning comeback. JDG's gold lead shrunk from 5,500 to just 2,800 a minute later, and JDG never got the chance to dictate the pace of the game again. Led by huanfeng's 7/1/5 KDA for a nearly perfect 92 percent kill participation, Suning picked up an Ocean Soul and a Baron buff before finishing the game in 27 minutes and punching their ticket to the semifinals.
JDG entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed from China's League of Legends Pro League, with Suning the No. 3 seed. JDG finished in fifth-eighth place.
Quarterfinal action continues Saturday when Top Esports, LPL's No. 1 seed, meet Fnatic, the No. 2 seed from the League of Legends European Championship division. Suning will play the winner of the match in the semifinals.
--Field Level Media