GAM Esports Preview offers us a broader view of a team that always sets big expectations, but so far, rarely delivered.
The 2023 League of Legends World Championship is starting this Tuesday with it’s Play-In stage! 8 teams will enter the crucible that takes place at the LoL Park in Seoul, but only two can remain. But which region’s representatives will join the teams that are already waiting for the Main Event to start, and which of them will have to head home a bit earlier than anticipated?
GAM Esports is the 1st seed of the Vietnamese VCS, one of the biggest of the “small” regions – regions that only delegate teams to the Play-Ins in international events such as Worlds or the Mid-Season Invitational. Even though they are a frequent participant of these events, they haven’t made it out of the Play-Ins since 2017. Could this be the year GAM Esports rises again?
GAM Esports Preview
GAM Esports Team History
GAM Esports began their journey in 2017 under the name GIGABYTE Marines with the lineup of Stark, Levi, Optimus, Slay and Archie. The team made it to both the MSI and the Worlds back in 2017, finishing 6th at the former and in the top 11 in the latter. They changed their lineup after failing to make it into the Playoffs, and after the VCS 2018 Spring Playoffs, they changed their name to the current iteration. They continued to dominate the Vietnamese scene, winning the VCS in 2019 Summer, 2021 Spring, 2022 Spring and Summer, and 2023 Spring and Summer. They participated in this year’s MSI but got knocked out almost immediately by none other than the LLA’s own Movistar R7.
Nevertheless, GAM Esports proved time and time again that they are among the most capable Vietnamese teams – now they just need some international success.
GAM Esports Roster
- Trần „Kiaya” Duy Sang
- Đỗ „Levi” Duy Khánh
- Đặng „Kati” Thanh Phê
- Nguyễn „Slayder” Linh Vương
- Nguyễn „Palette” Hải Trung
GAM Esports Playstyle
There are two new players in GAM’s lineup compared to the MSI, as they signed Slayder before the start of the VCS Summer Split, while got Palette to support him in August. GAM Esports is the most typical Vietnamese team in terms of their playstyle: they are incredibly aggressive in all stages of the game, but they can’t really get a hold of a substantial lead except Kiaya, who is a standout in terms of stats among the Worlds toplaners.
The other notable player of GAM Esports is Kati, who has the highest Damage/Minute stat in his team, as well as out of all the midlaners in the VCS. Thanks to their strong solo laners, they can get out of the early stages of the matches with relative ease, and they can convert the leads they got into Baron fights – which they excel at. GAM Esports has the 2nd highest Baron power play throughout the Worlds teams, and they know how to end games, so they have the fastest average game time out of all participants.
The weakest part of their matches is before 14 minutes, where they have the worst FD% out of any team in the Worlds. While Kiaya and Kati can help them through this part of the game, they still die a lot, which they try to mask with aggression. This can work against teams that are still searching for their footing, but against more experienced squads, they might hit some roadblocks, as teams such as T1 or Gen.G can punish early mistakes, while the LPL representatives can simply outfight them.
Gen.G is the only team that gets more out of their Barons than GAM Esports, but GAM doesn’t need as many Barons as the LCK 1st seed to end games. If they can get to a point where they can threaten Nashor, GAM Esports can close out games quickly.
Kiaya and Levi will be incredibly important in all of GAM’s matches: while Kiaya can create leads on his own, Levi can definitely help him out. Kiaya is also one of the few toplaner at Worlds that can deal with the strongest toplane pick of 13.19, Renekton, and as long as he stays off Aatrox, he can win on almost any champion.
Another signature pick of the team is Wukong, who is Levi’s most played champion. Even though the Monkey King was nerfed a few months ago, Levi never stopped to pick him, amassing an 80%+ winrate on the champion – and forcing opponents to ban Wukong against GAM Esports.
GAM Esports will face the CBLOL’s own LOUD on the first day of the 2023 World Championship – will they rise to the occasion and erase the mistakes of the Mid-Season Invitational, or will they get knocked out before reaching the Swiss Stage?