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JD Gaming defied the odds and came away with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Newbee on Friday to open Week 8, Day 2 of the League of Legends Pro League in Shanghai.
Despite being the last-place team in Group B, JDG (4-8, 12-18 match record) showed no fear when facing off against Newbee (7-5, 17-15 match record). From a late-game-focused composition to a switch to a heavy poke composition, from surviving a 50-minute Game 1 to blitzing through a Game 3 victory, JDG managed to do it all in this series and showed poise far above its lackluster record.
While players on both sides certainly put together solid performances, there was a clear MVP of the series, and it was high-damage champions. Specifically, the Corki/Kog'Maw combination wreaked havoc whenever it was taken into a game. JDG took the duo in the first game, and it ended up being the difference in the late game.
Newbee controlled most of the game and even prevented JDG from taking a single tower until 30 minutes in, but the damage from Corki and Kog'Maw proved to be far too much to handle. The duo went 10/3/15 for over 70,000 damage, with mid laner Kim "doingb" Tae-sang tallying a 9/2/5 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) and 47,000 damage to lead the way for his team. Newbee got its hands on the pair of scaling champions for Game 2 and pushed the team to a 32-minute win that saw it pick up a whopping four aces in the span of eight minutes of game time.
With the final Game 3 on deck, many would have thought that the experience of Newbee would reign supreme. JDG simply was having none of that, however. Newbee was on the back foot from the very start and never managed to do anything but stall the inevitable win what ended as a 36-minute JDG victory.
While the loss still leaves Newbee near the top of Group B, the biggest story is that JDG now has an outside shot at fighting for a playoff spot. With just over two weeks left in the season, it's now only one game out of the final seat in the postseason, which only serves to add more intrigue to the already fiery region that is the LPL.
Both teams will be back in action this Sunday, with JDG taking on Royal Never Give Up at 2 a.m. ET and Newbee facing OMG at 8 a.m. ET.