LNG Esports Preview dives into the 3rd seed of the LPL, who came out of left field to play in this year’s Worlds.
The LPL is one of the strongest League of Legends tournaments in the world: it gave is teams such as Royal Never Give Up, Invictus Gaming, FunPlus Phoenix and Edward Gaming, all former MSI and Worlds Winners, and might give us another one if JD Gaming fulfils the prophecy. Thankfully for the fans of the Chinese league, all their representatives are incredibly strong, so even their 3rd seed, LNG Esports has a real shot at making it to the Knockout Stage – or even further beyond.
LNG Esports Preview
LNG Esports Team History
LNG has been in the LPL for 4 years now, joining the fray back in 2019. Their first squad of Flandre, SofM, Plex, Fenfen, Asura, Duan and Maestro were a middle of the pack team, finishing the team’s first ever LPL split in the 6th place.
After their first season, LNG Esports had two poor years in terms of performance: they couldn’t crack the LPL Playoffs in 2021, and they had weak showings in 2021 as well, up until the Summer Playoffs and Regional Finals, where they finished 4th and 2nd respectively. This meant that the revamped squad of Ale, Tarzan, icon, Light and Iwandy could play at Worlds 2 years ago, but they failed to qualify for the Knockout Stage.
Last year, LNG Esports signed former world champion Doinb for the midlane, who helped them bounce back from the middle of the LPL pack and get into the Playoffs twice. However, the Malphite and Nautilus mid connoisseur couldn’t help them get their second Worlds appearance, so they parted ways with the team.
At the start of the 2023 season, LNG Esports revamped their roster again, only keeping Tarzan from before while signing Zika, Scout, LP and Hang. Together, they came in 3rd during the Spring Split, but only made it to the 6th place of the Playoffs, so they needed changes again. The team traded LP for GALA, the ADC of Royal Never Give Up, who clicked with the squad instantly, finishing 2nd in the Summer Playoffs. While they couldn’t qualify for Worlds right away, they made a surprise comeback in the LPL Regional Finals, beating Edward Gaming for the 3rd Chinese spot.
LNG Esports Roster
- Tang “Zika” Hua-Yu
- Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong
- Lee “Scout” Ye-chan
- Chen “GALA” Wei
- Fu “Hang” Ming-Hang
LNG Esports Playstyle
LNG Esports returned to the top teams of their regions after a long hiatus and are aiming for a place higher than they finished at 2 years ago. While the team doesn’t have a ton of international experience, 3 of their players do, as this will be Tarzan’s and GALA’s 3rd and Scout’s 6th Worlds appearance, with the latter managing to win the 2021 event with Edward Gaming.
Overall, LNG Esports is a team that can come back from almost any deficit, and they can also close out games while being behind in gold, experience, and tempo. They are also adept at mitigating the damage their opponents do, as they spend the least time in a Major Deficit when they lose matches outside of all LPL teams.
They have a good early game, but their stats don’t really reflect that: they don’t focus first Heralds and Drakes, don’t have that high of a First Turret% or outstanding Gold Difference of Tower Difference teamwide. However, they do have some good stats, as they were the best Chinese team in terms of getting First Bloods, and their K/D@14 is also great.
This is due to Tarzan having great early games, optimizing farm and ganking for his team, which gives LNG a high Jungle Proximity. The other focus for this squad is Scout, as the midlaner is the one that gets the biggest gold leads in the laning phase. He also frequently roams, usually with Hang but toplaner Zika also joins them from time to time. Zika is a unique toplaner as well, as he can go on adventures on his own or escort Tarzan into the enemy jungle.
In the later stages, LNG Esports falls apart a bit. They don’t always have a clear gameplan or execution for the later stages and are sloppy around objectives. They also have a low Soul%, even though they tend to play long matches compared to other LPL teams. They prioritise kills instead of Dragons and Barons, looking to end games through fights – which could come in handy in the 13.19 skirmish heavy meta of Worlds.
Alongside the formidable duo of Tarzan and Scout, GALA also has some nice numbers. His Xayah and Kai’Sa are very strong, having an 80% winrate and a 13.6 KDA on the former out of 20 games. LNG’s opponents usually have to ban Kai’Sa if they want to avoid GALA’s wrath, as he had a perfect record on the Daughter of the Void in the Summer Split.
LNG Esports has a chance to write history akin to what DRX did last year. While they have some aspects that could be exploited by other teams, they are really good at stabilizing, so even the most experienced squads could find trouble against them – hopefully, Fnatic can come up with something when facing the LPL’s 3rd seed!