For complete League of Legends recaps, standings and stats, click here.
Suning Gaming outlasted Snake Esports on Sunday to kick off Week 7, Day 4 of the League of Legends Pro League, emerging from Shanghai with a 2-1 series win.
This series came down to a war of attrition. Specifically, whichever team could make the least amount of mistakes ended up winning the game, which should come as a given in the upper echelons of competitive play. Then again, when one thinks of the top of the LPL, Suning Gaming (5-6, 14-16 match record) and Snake Esports (2-9, 7-21 match record) are some of the last teams to come to mind. Both teams showed plenty of weaknesses that better teams might've been able to exploit, but that's not to say there's no hope for either side. If anything, both teams showed that, upon falling behind, they will simply roll over and wait for the next game to come around.
Game 1 took a while as both teams drafted late scaling compositions, not seeing much action throughout the early-midgame. Luckily for Suning Gaming, top laner Xie "XiaoAL" Zhen-Ying and jungler Yang "H4cker" Zhi-Hao were on point throughout the series. While XiaoAL's Jax splitpushed up a storm, the rest of SNG grouped to take down Snake towers, accruing a significant gold lead. Snake tried to recover with a Baron kill, but H4cker's Elise stole the purple worm, giving SNG the fuel it needed for a 34-minute win. Similarly, Suning Gaming relied on XiaoAL to get the ball rolling in Game 3, this time as Rumble. While SNG picked up kills in the midgame thanks to H4cker's Zac, which was somehow allowed through champion select, XiaoAL was huge for Suning, dealing a game-high 24,100 damage to enemy champions in the 28-minute win. The rest of Suning Gaming contributed to its wins, but it was the tandem of XiaoAL and H4cker that sealed the deal for Suning.
Meanwhile, Snake has seemingly decided on a starting roster, which is nice to have entering the seventh week of competition. In its Game 2 win, Snake ran a potent siege/poke style team composition designed to prevent Suning from doing so much as existing around its towers. Snake built a 6,000-gold lead by 19 minutes through impressive objective control and early kills, but it didn't look as clean as it should've, considering the massive gold lead. In Games 1 and 3, Snake were easily flustered, often repeating the same failing plays over and over again until it was too late. Snake will have to go back to the well to improve, but there's hope for this squad yet, while Suning Gaming have to tighten up if it wants to make a postseason run.
Snake Esports next takes on Invictus Gaming on Thursday at 8 a.m. ET, while Suning Gaming squares off with Royal Never Give Up at 8 a.m. ET on Friday.