JD Gaming snags a 2-1 win over I May

Riot Games

Thursday's battle of bottom-tier teams between JD Gaming and I May was by no means pretty, in the end, JD's superior communication and cleaner execution allowed it to outlast a scrappy I May during Week 5, Day 1 of the League of Legends Pro League in Shanghai.

I May wasted no time in setting the pace vs. JD Gaming in Game 1 as JD's newest jungler Sks helped IM take first tower gold as Lee Sin. This gave I May a huge tempo advantage while putting JD on awkward early game footing. Despite IM's early advantages, however, JD kept the game relatively close throughout the mid and late game. After a while, IM looked simply rudderless in the game's biggest moments. JD broke IM's back by getting a 4-for-1 trade when IM stubbornly tried to force a late Infernal Drake. From there, JD took a Baron kill followed by an ace in the ensuing team fight on its way to breaking I May's Nexus in 31 minutes.

I May was once again willing to set the pace early on in Game 2 as a two-man mid lane gank gave mid laner Ha-woon "Athena" Kang first blood on Viktor. Moments later, IM rotated its bot lane to top and committed to a turret dive, attempting to get a few kills, but IM's sloppiness on the play lost them the tempo play. Even still, IM gained a midgame lead by forcing sloppy, downright ugly teamfights that JD was not equipped to deal with. Where JD dominated crisp team fights in Game 1, in Game 2 IM was dominant in awkward engagements that featured multiple mistimed ults and bad angles of engagement. I May's strategy of surrounding its caries by big beefy tanks worked to near perfection as the two carries only died a combined one time before IM took down the JD Nexus.

Tired of starting out on the back foot, JD set the pace early in Game 3. An early gank of the top lane by JD jungler Ping "XInyi" Chang secured first blood for JD on Jarvan IV. But the action didn't stop there. As soon as IM top laner, Waiho "AmazingJ" Shek's Gnar teleported back to lane he was greeted by three members of JD and once again was killed. Like Game 1, JD shined during neutral objective takes, out positioning and out communicating IM in ward placement and the ensuing battles. JD was able to take the first Baron of the game as IM was unable to get into the pit, allowing JD to take an inhibitor and complete map dominance. When the next Baron spawned, IM rushed it down, but before the team's members could recall, JD arrived and took a prolonged ace on its way to taking the game and series.