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I May took down DAN Gaming with a dominant 2-0 sweep on Thursday to kick off Week 8, Day 1 of the League of Legends Pro League in Shanghai.
Simply put, I May (4-8, 10-18 match record) hasn't had a good Summer Split. Mid laner Kang "Athena" Ha-woon is seen as the only win condition for I May, as the rest of the lanes tend to get run over early on in the game. When Athena performs well, however, I May has a chance to take a series from any team in the league, and Athena was certainly hot Thursday. With two strong showings on carries, Athena kept I May alive in Game 1 despite an extremely dicey stretch in the mid-late game. The team's top player poured out damage as Taliyah to keep DAN Gaming (4-8, 12-16 match record) subdued by a massive gold deficit.
It's been incredible to watch DAN Gaming's fall from grace after a 4-1 start to the split. The team used to dazzle and amaze with constant aggression and priority on early Baron kills, but eventually the rest of the league caught on. DAN has been exposed as a one-hit wonder as of late, with teams using mid-game vision control to read DAN's telegraphed plays like a book.
That was true in Game 2, when I May's pick/siege composition held vision control in the top-side river with an iron, ward-studded fist. DAN Gaming's problem isn't in champion picks, individual mechanics, or even necessarily in its in-game communication; the team just needs to figure out how to win games.
Now, back to I May. A lot of credit for this series win will go to Athena, but that's not to say he didn't have help. Top laner Shek "AmazingJ" Wai Ho was instrumental in starting fights for I May and popped off in Game 2 as Jarvan IV with a 4/1/7 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) for 100 percent kill participation. If I May could live in a world where teams let them farm out the early game and surrender vision control, it would be rightfully seen as a top-tier threat in the region.
Alas, the LPL isn't that friendly, so I May will simply have to enjoy its win while it can.
I May next takes on EDward Gaming on Saturday at 2 a.m. ET, while DAN Gaming prepares to face Snake Esports at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday.