Road to Worlds: I May
A GAMURS exclusive series, taking a look at the 16 teams going to Worlds from the beginning of their qualification and see just how their road to worlds went. Today, we look at "I May," formally known as "EDward Esports," of the LPL.
LOL Secondary Pro League (Spring Split) 2016
The start of challengers to the LPLs prodigies.
It's odd to think that I May began as EDward Gaming's Challenger team, simply called EDward Esports (EDE) in the second tier of the Chinese League. They were formed on Dec. 25, 2015 and would be one of the 16 teams, yes, 16 teams, competing in the LOL Secondary Pro League (LSPL) for a chance to get into the top 4 in order to play in the playoffs to go into the Summer Split as an official member of the LPL.
Matches are best-of-ones with teams having to play three matches throughout the week at various times and intervals to allow for such a huge roster of teams and players taking part in the Secondary division. Three games over a three day period.
EDE were quick to show their dominance in the league week-by-week, finishing at the top of the table with an impressive display that ended in a 25-5 record, only losing to a few teams overall to take 1st place commandingly and put them at the top of the playoff position, being joined by Young Miracles, MF Gaming and 2144 Gaming for a chance at that automatic qualification spot into the LPL.
EDE would be waiting in the final round to meet 2nd-place Young Miracles in a match that would last five games to crown EDE winners of the Spring Playoffs.
EDE would be able to jump the gun and gain automatic promotion to the LPL by winning the Summer Playoffs and miss the Summer Promotion tournament that awaited Youth Miracles and MF Gaming.
This would be the last appearance of the team EDward Esports as they were bought and rebranded into Team I May, due to Riot rules on more than one team being owned by the same organization. The team kept its original roster in place for the Summer Split 2016 for the LPL with greater things still to come.
LPL Summer Split 2016 and Summer Playoffs
I May is born
The LPL, for those who are unaware, is split into two different groups of six teams. Both groups follow best-of-three formats, winning a game gets you one point, losing a game loses you one point, and the teams with the most points at the end are placed higher in the playoff brackets.
This would be I May's entrance into the LPL in Group B, with the world stage just one step away in a league filled to the brim with imposing players and teams. But I May would be sure to start with an impressive debut, beating LGD Gaming 2-0 to take their first two points as an LPL team.
I May would finish in group B as tied for 3rd, leading the tiebreaker scenario over Vici Gaming, to take them into playoffs in their debut split. In the first round, I May faced off against Invictus Gaming of Group A. It would be a clean sweep 3-0 for I May. This would find them against Snake eSports, 2nd-place finishers in Group A, for a more challenging fight, but even Snake would be unable to stop I May from advancing as I May took the series 3-1.
Only one team was now standing in the way of I May and a chance to play in the finals and fight for the unlikely 1st-seed from China. That team, would be the monoliths which were Royal Never Give Up (RNG).
RNG took the first game uncontested from I May, but I May then took the next game to tie the series at 1-1. This would proceed into games 3 and 4 with the series then tied at 2-2 ,but alas, it was not meant to be as I May were soundly beaten and forced to head into the 3rd-place match. RNG would go on to face EDward Gaming, with I May being forced to fight Team WE. I May won the match 3-1, took 200 Championship Points and the top seed going into the Regional Qualifiers, their last chance to get to Worlds after just coming out of the Secondary League a few months ago.
LPL 2016 Regional Qualifier
From Challenger to Challengers
I May would have to wait awhile to find out their opponents, with Snake taking out Vici Gaming in the first round and Team WE dispatching Snake in the second round in unconvincing fashion to set up a date with destiny with I May.
Team WE would be the ones to take first blood as they looked to cement themselves as the third seed for the LPL once again, starting the series off 1-0 in their favor. However, I May would strike back, showing exactly why they finished 3rd overall in their first split in the LPL to tie the series 1-1.
Team WE would not allow I May any breathing room at all as they took the series back to 2-1 in their favor, but they would be unable to keep up the momentum as I May regained a tie in the series, taking it all to that final game for that final Worlds spot.
I May would not sit down. The team beat WE to the 3rd place overall in the LPL Summer Split and would once again, find themselves toppling the giants and stealing that all important final win to take the crown and take the 3rd seed into Worlds.
I May's final roster heading to Worlds is Shek "AmazingJ" Wai Ho in the top lane, Fan "Avoidless" Zeon Wai in the Jungle, Kang "Athena" Ha-Woon in the mid-lane, Xie "Jinjiao" Jin-Shan as the marksmen and Yun "Road" Han-Gil as the team's support.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is I May's "Road to Worlds!"
As we head into Worlds 2016 in North America, we ask you guys which team you are supporting in the competition? How far do you think they can go? Let us know on twitter @GAMURScom.