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I May proved it's a force to be reckoned with in the League of Legends Pro League Spring Split Playoffs on Tuesday in Shanghai. With devastatingly acute macro play and big time carry performances, IM took a 3-2 series win over QG Reapers.
Facing a 1-0 series deficit heading into Game 1 due to the LPL's weighted brackets, I May wasted little time in setting the tone for the rest of the series in the early game. I May took a while to find first blood, but still accrued a gold lead through early Elemental Drakes and towers. Mid laner Kang "Athena" Ha-woon's Zilean finally picked up a kill at 14 minutes in a teamfight that went 3-for-2 in IM's favor, snowballing the team out of control. A 23-minute Baron kill turned into a nearly 10,000-gold lead at the 26-minute mark, which was too high a mountain for QG to climb. AD carry Xie "Jinjiao" Jin-Shan's Ashe went basically untouched throughout the game, dealing a game-high 26,500 damage while Athena picked up a 4/1/8 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) for 92 percent kill participation as I May took Game 1 in just over 28 minutes.
Where most teams would be reeling heading into Game 2, QG Reapers matched I May's strong objective focus, staying even in gold through towers and forcing close teamfights that failed to net any kills in the early game. When the kills started coming, though, they came pouring in for QG, who picked up first blood in a clean 5-for-0 ace at 16 minutes. QG ran rampant through I May's defenses, as jungler Kim "Clid" Tae-min's Nidalee picked up a triple kill in a 4-for-0 fight, solidifying QG's gold lead. While I May fought valiantly to defend its base, a 28-minute Baron and 4-for-1 teamfight swept away the last of I May's resistances as QG responded to its Game 1 thrashing with a 28-minute win of its own.
It wouldn't be an LPL playoff series without at least one chaotic teamfight over basically nothing, which is exactly how Game 3 started as IM top laner Shek "AmazingJ" Wai Ho's Kled picked up first blood in a full-on level one 5-vs-5 fight at just over a minute into the game. IM then proceeded to pick up an incredibly fast first tower at seven minutes, displaying awe-inspiring macro play the likes of which hasn't been seen from I May in the regular season. A 22-minute Baron attempt for I May ended in disaster when Clid's Lee Sin stole the Baron kill, but QG's attempts at regaining some ground were stifled with a 3-for-0 fight from I May. Continuing a common thread throughout the series, Athena and Jinjiao played out of their respective minds on Taliyah and Ashe, with Taliyah dealing a game-high 23,300 damage while Jinjiao took MVP honors with a flawless 3/0/10 KDA for 87 percent kill participation, including a final 5-for-0 ace to give I May the Game 3 win.
I May was simply on another level from its previous wins, posting its strongest performance in a series-deciding Game 4. Once again, Jinjiao took first tower gold at six minutes as Caitlyn, putting QG AD carry Wang "Alone" Zi-Jun's Varus desperately far behind. By the 16-minute mark, I May had taken every one of QG's outer turrets, picking up easy kills with its potent pick/siege composition along the way. A big 4-for-0 teamfight at 23 minutes spelled the end for QG as I May took a Baron kill to go alongside two Cloud Drakes. The victory was complete following a massive shockwave from Athena's Orianna in QG's base, securing a double kill that led to a crumbled Nexus. Jinjiao's 20,400 damage dealt to enemy champions was made all the more impressive compared to AD carry counterpart Alone's paltry 3,000, while Athena posted a flawless 5/0/9 KDA for 88 percent kill participation in the mid lane.
I May will take on OMG next in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 2 a.m ET, while QG Reapers' Spring Split ends here as it awaits the Summer Split to return to action.