In the last article, we discussed how EDG seemingly had all the pieces into place. Meiko was developing after securing a spot on the team, and they had just acquired two top Korean players in carry positions from world champion organization Samsung in Deft and PawN. You’d think everything would be smooth sailing from here, but it wasn’t. EDG’s ascension would be from the least likely of heroes.
Things would get worse before they got better.
In the Spring of 2016 following their disappointing showing at Worlds 2015, EDG would see themselves enduring loads of hardships, some unrelated to the game. Most notably, star mid-laner PawN experienced severe back pain, eventually taking a break from the game. EDG would still be a decent team, but not perform to standards they were easily capable of, dropping games they shouldn’t have in the regular season, but picking it back up in the playoffs.
As we all know, through adversity, we grow stronger. For Meiko, a lowly sub turned team full-time captain, part-time carry, and exceptional support, this was hyperbolic time chamber training. Where various weak points in the map were slacking, he’d use his roaming prowess developed over the prior seasons to slam dunk opportunities back into place for the team.
Eventually, EDG did take 2nd place in the Spring Playoffs, losing to team Royal Never Give Up, the same org to eliminate them in a prior world championship, but this would be a small accomplishment in comparison to what would follow. Funnily enough, the news would keep getting worse, but the results wouldn’t!
For instance, Koro1, while not amongst the absolute best top laners, was still top 10 globally and fit EDG like a glove. Instead, AD Gaming’s mouse would take over the position. While PawN was still recovering from his back issues, Scout took over his position. So surely, the team will take a small hit to their results, right?
Maybe a little bit better?
Understatement. The team absolutely dominated. Actually, there’s not even a proper word to describe it. They didn’t drop a game. EDG were ready to re-take their rightful throne, first going 16-0 in the regular season, then dismantling all opposition in their path through the playoffs shortly after. The team yielded an 86% win rate throughout the playoffs, and decimated Royal Never Give Up in the rematch. EDward Gaming were back, and they were the first seed in China heading into Worlds 2016.
But ladies and gentlemen, what have we learned, time and time again, about domestic performance and what it means for upcoming World Championships?
Well…it should be a sign of things to come. Instead, it generally amounts to zero. Why is that in the Chinese League of Legends? The greatest analysts couldn’t tell you. And once again, a story you may be familiar with from Part 2 [link] - EDG draws a favorable group. This is it! Well…fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
Waiting to explode?
As someone that had been there since the genesis of Chinese League of Legends, it was heartbreaking to see the development of this team. World Elite, the strongest team in the world for some time, becoming the “successor” in EDG. How could this possibly go wrong? Well, they say you need low lows to establish high highs. EDward Gaming took that to the absolute extremes.
We’ve seen EDG hyped up to the extreme, even smashing domestically, only to falter every time internationally with the sole exception of a single MSI performance. While EDG and its fans are suffering, Meiko is growing.
And eventually, when something grows too much, like an inflatable balloon, it’s bound to explode.
While you're waiting for the last part of our long-running Meiko series, you can follow League of Legends events and your favourite teams at Luckbox's matches page, find the odds and bet on them.
See you in part 4. Stay tuned.