On the 18th of February (CST), Topsports Gaming (TOP) defeated JD Gaming (JDG) 2:0 and advanced to third place in the 2019 LPL Spring.
TOP's mid and bottom laner, Knight-LokeN displayed exceptional performance during this series. They were each selected as the MVP for each game 1,2 and their in-game stats clearly shows how much effort they put in during this match against JDG.
In game 1, LokeN went with Sivir and was responsible for 89% of TOP's kills. He finished 6/0/10 and wasn't at all passive in teamfights as well. The highlight of this game was near the 21-minute mark. Receiving some support from his team, LokeN aggressively positioned near the opponents and managed to endure Shen-Camille's 'E-Flash' skill. This gave enough time for the rest of his teammates to successfully defend their bottom laner. After that, LokeN freely dealt damage and TOP earned themselves a huge teamfight victory.
TOP's mid laner, also known as the "golden left hand" for using his left hand on his mouse, Knight stood up for TOP in game 2. This 18-year-old LoL pro again proved that he is currently one of the best mid laners in the LPL. On Zoe, he was responsible for 45% of the team's total damage dealt to champions. Among all the stellar plays Knight displayed in game 2, his E "Sleepy Trouble Bubble" skill usage near the Drake pit was probably the most notable moment. He managed to land a 'near- impossible' Zoe E right on the opponent Sivir. Soon, this was followed up with Varus' ultimate and that fight instantly turned into a 5 vs 4.
After tonight's win versus JDG, the TOP members gathered up in the press room for a post-match interview.
How does it feel like to beat your former team JDG? You went up against Bvoy, who performed well when he and his team beat IG. Did you specifically prepare anything before facing him? Also, what are your thoughts on Bvoy’s performance?
LokeN: I'm on a neutral stance at the moment and no, I didn’t prepare anything special before I faced him. I think Bvoy is very strong; he played well. They managed to beat IG so I felt that if we can perform better than IG, we’ll definitely be able to beat them.
TOP’s performance for the two games was really consistent. You’d usually go for drafts that focus on the early game but you guys did something different today. How would you define the team’s playstyle for today?
Coach: The results of the game is up to how the players perform within the draft they have. Our draft for today allowed our players to play aggressively. We had some late game champs that were also good in teamfights at the same time.
You guys will be facing RNG next. As a matter of fact, they beat EDG 2-0 yesterday. Karsa’s performance got him the MVP for the series. How do you feel to go against him tomorrow? Have you prepared anything special?
Xx: Nothing much really. I see him just like how I see every other opponent and all I can do is to perform the best I can.
Although it’s quite early in the split, today’s win has put your team high up in the standings. Are you confident on maintaining this performance till the end of the split? And what would be crucial for TOP in order to possibly make it to the playoffs?
LokeN: We’ll continue to climb up in the rankings as long as the team continues to perform well, be cooperative and make no mistakes.
What do you think TOP will need to improve on in order to qualify for playoffs?
LokeN: We’ll be able to get into playoffs if we reduce our mistakes.
You’re currently recognized as one of the best mid laners in the LPL. Besides yourself, among your teammates and coaching staff, who would you choose as the ‘unsung hero’ for TOP and why?
Knight: Probably bottom lane and our jungler. That’s because our jungler makes a lot of shotcalls. Also, our bottom lane is always consistent and plays solidly.
According to TOP's Weibo account, your teammates lied to you about your opponent not having their ultimates. How did you feel when you were hit by their ultimates? Do you have anything to say to your teammates?
369: The only thing that went through my mind was “alright, I’m about to die.” To be honest, it’s pretty common to accidentally provide the wrong information, so its nothing to worry about. If I’m dead, I’m dead. What matters is that we won in the end.
How does it feel laning against Zoom? Also, what your thoughts on your performance for today?
369: Zoom’s really strong in lane. I think I performed okay today. I wasn't good or bad.
Do you think that the team’s performance is different compared to how you guys played before the break?
Coach: The team’s synergy has definitely improved a lot. We made a lot of mistakes before the break but that has for sure, changed now.