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LGD Gaming needed a clean 2-0 sweep on Sunday to stay alive in the League of Legends Pro League playoff hunt, but I May played the spoiler, closing out Week 9, Day 4 with a 2-1 win in Shanghai.
Game 1 set the tone for this bloodbath of a series as both teams were tied in kills at two apiece by the 10-minute mark. Throughout the constant skirmishing, LGD Gaming (3-11, 11-22 match record) managed to pull ahead in gold by taking the first tower, which led to a 9-to-6 kill advantage near 20 minutes. LGD took a 24-minute Baron kill, but I May punished them with a 3-for-2 follow-up fight. LGD was unfazed, however, as AD carry Gu "Imp" Seung-bin's Kog'Maw went off in the late game, dealing big damage for a 5-for-2 ace and second Baron at 35 minutes. LGD kept the pressure on as it sieged I May's base, empowered by support Chen "Pyl" Bo's Nami who racked up a 1/3/21 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), finishing Game 1 to keep its playoff hopes alive.
The action continued in Game 2, where both teams again picked up early kills to stay even throughout the early game. A 3-for-0 skirmish for LGD at 18 minutes helped it pull ahead, where it took towers until a big 4-for-1 in the mid lane broke the game open. After a messy 4-for-3 teamfight for LGD around the Dragon Pit, LGD jungler Xie "Eimy" Dan made a hero play as Lee Sin when he stole a Baron kill from under I May's fingers while Imp's Twitch picked up a quadra kill in a 5-for-0 ace. LGD pushed to end the game with the playoffs in its eyes, and then crashed back to reality as I May (7-8, 16-20 match record) stopped its Nexus from falling with a 3-for-1 teamfight featuring a triple kill for AD carry Xie "Jinjiao" Jin-Shan's Kog'Maw. With both teams feeling the hyper-late game pressure, I May held firm, with Jinjiao dealing a team-high 45,900 damage while posting a 12/7/11 KDA for 88 percent kill participation as I May put the final nail in LGD's playoff dream coffin with a near 50-minute win.
I May pulled ahead from the get go in Game 3, with support Yun "Road" Han-gil's Thresh setting up an easy 2-for-0 in a bot-lane gank. LGD pulled even with scattered kills throughout the mid game, but I May's objective control kept it ahead, dominating the turret and Elemental Drake games. A 3-for-3 fight at 29 minutes led to a 3-for-2 fight, Baron kill and middle inhibitor for I May, who looked to close out the game. LGD, playing for pride at this point since it was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, took a 5-for-1 ace in the top lane, but I May would not be denied, led by mid laner Kang "Athena" Ha-woon's Syndra, who dealt a game-high 30,600 damage while Road racked up a 0/4/16 KDA for 94 percent kill participation and MVP honors. Crushing a 2-for-0 fight after LGD secured an Elder Dragon, I May closed the series out with a massive final push at 40 minutes.
LGD Gaming will take on Invictus Gaming on Thursday at 8 a.m ET, while I May prepare to face Royal Never Give Up on Saturday at 4 a.m ET.