Aug 18 2015 - 9:36 pm
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Making the Case for Qiao Gu

I am an esports writer primarily focused on competitive League of Legends and Hearthstone. You can follow me on Twitter @Kenny_Humiston.
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Qiao Gu has made an exciting impact with their entrance into the LPL.  I wanted to take this time to talk about QG as a whole and indivdually as they make their way into the finals this Sunday.  Let's take a look at the unit that took 2nd place this summer:

Qiao Gu solidified their success from their team fighting prowess coming into the playoffs.  QG have fought against teams that had +10,000 gold lead and have come out on top.  What I was primarily worried about was their mediocre Baron and Dragon control.  QG would sometimes allow teams to take boss monster objectives for free.  They still had some issues, but I think they improved more on getting Baron and Dragon in their match against Invictus Gaming.  QG were also hit or miss when it came from playing from behind, so it really seemed like they relied on owning the early game and snowballing to victory.

Let's take a look at the players individually:

Bao "V" Bo- Top Laner

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QG rely on V to be their main team fighting and engage tool.  His success rates and numerous Maokai and Hecarim picks support this.  V's average kill participation throughout QG's semi-final match against Invictus Gaming was 77% (his Maokai in Games 1 and 2 averaged an 85% kill participation).  However, Games 3 and 4 did not play out as well.  In Game 3 Kakao snowballed and picked off QG's players individually with his Nidalee, and in Game 4 V was completely shut down on Hecarim where he opted for the ignite instead of the smite.  Qiao Gu need to make sure they keep V farmed up so he can do his job properly.

Baek "Swift" Dae-Hoon- Jungler

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Currently Swift has an all-round role within QG.  He can play an engage-bruiser role as Gragas or Ekko, or a big carry threat with his Nidalee.  Swift looks like the primary voice on Qiao Gu because it's quite rare you'll see him alone when going in on enemies or objectives.  He needs to be careful that he doesn't allow other teams to eat his own resources early on.  KaKao owned his jungle throughout Games 3 and 4, and Swift was forced to make plays when he lacked items.

Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang- Mid Laner

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Doinb is doing well considering how new he is to professional League of Legends.  He had a solid champion pool and success rate in the Summer Split, but I'm a little worried about his pool coming into the playoffs.  Doinb played well on Azir and Viktor in the semi-finals and you can see that he is mechanically gifted.  However, when IG denied him those picks and Kakao/Rookie placed severe pressure on the map, Doinb couldn't make that much of an impact.  Doinb seems like he succeeds when he farms and fights in choke points.

Feng "TnT" Qing Yu- AD Carry

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I hold TnT in the same regard as Doinb.  I believe he does his job well enough and positions properly within team fights to do immense damage.  TnT and TcT play well during the early stage of the games and he can play a mean Sivir.  Just like Doinb though he really relies on his team to set up the engage while he sits in the back comfortably doing damage.

Zhang "TcT" Hong-Wei- Support

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TcT provides a really nice balance to Qiao Gu.  He really favors the disengage power of Janna to protect his team and push off front line threats.  TcT can also provide CC threats with Annie and Alistar.  His warding and vision control are fine, but I really think his strengths lie as the bouncer of QG.

In conclusion I believe Qiao Gu are a pretty solid team, but I don't know how long they'll be able to keep up this success.  This is only their first split and Doinb still has a lot of time to develop as a professional.  I look forward to see how QG places on Sunday.

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