Edging out LNG Esports 3-2 in the grand final, JD Gaming are your LPL Summer 2023 champions!

Their most recent win streak started in the second half of LPL Summer 2022 when they beat Top Esports 3-2. This year during LPL Spring 2023, they beat rivals Bilibili Gaming 3-1 to take the crown.

They met BLG during the Mid-Season Invitational 2023 finals, and again defeated them 3-1 to take home the title.

Securing second place in the regular season, JD Gaming began their playoffs run in Round 4. Just like their 2023 runs, they remained in the upper bracket, defeating Bilibili Gaming (again), Edward Gaming, and finally LNG Esports.

This is the organization’s fourth domestic LPL title. They won their first in LPL Spring 2020, also under the leadership of head coach Yoon “Homme” Sung-young.

JD Gaming solidify their dominance once again with another LPL championship win

LPL Summer 2023 playoffs grand final between JDG and LNG game one draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

One team fight at Baron was all it took to win game one

Two AD carries were banned in game one — Varus and Kai’Sa — as well as a handful of top laners in Ornn, Jax, and Renekton. LNG Esports also made sure to ban Zhuo “knight” Ding’s LeBlanc, one of his most played champions this season.

JDG first picked Jayce on blue side, prioritized Aphelios, then built a beefy frontline around them with Maokai, Alistar, and Poppy. Meanwhile LNG packed AOE ammunition, picking Rakan, Neeko, and Wukong.

Using the tools they were given, LNG pulled ahead in dragons, winning skirmishes on the bottom side of the map to secure the first three.

In the late game however, JDG did what they’re known to do best no matter the gold difference — win late game team fights. They first picked off Lee “Scout” Ye-chan’s Neeko at dragon to deny Soul before transitioning into a favourable 4v5 at Baron where Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk positioned safely at the back of the pit, dishing out maximum damage.

With Baron buff, JDG won a second team fight two minutes later in mid lane, eliminating four opponents to take game one.

LPL Summer 2023 playoffs grand final between JDG and LNG game two draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

Despite JD Gaming getting Dragon Soul, LNG Esports won at Baron to even out the series

Switching sides, LNG were on blue while JDG were on red. Rell wasn’t banned this time around, and was therefore taken by LNG. Because she could be flexed to support or jungle, they kept their opponents guessing which resulted in a final Milio ban.

JDG’s team composition functioned the same in game one — protect Ruler’s Varus with meat shields. LNG on the other hand, drafted high single target damage in Tristana and LeBlanc, and significant AOE from Rell and Leona for team fights.

The gold difference was small for most the game. Even though JDG had Ocean Soul, LNG came away with more kills, extending their gold advantage.

Everything came down to a Baron fight at the 27th minute. LNG saw an opportunity to start the Baron and got it down to half HP, which caused JDG to scramble. Because Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok was still walking from base, his team was left with few options but to contest it 4v5 or risk giving up the objective for free.

A smart flank by Scout’s LeBlanc allowed him to take out knight’s Annie early on the fight, putting JDG at a numbers disadvantage even more. Even though Ruler sniped the Baron, his opposite bot laner Chen “GALA” Wei’s Tristana was free hitting his teammates, mowing them down one by one, resulting in an ace and a game two win.

LNG Esports ride on momentum in game three

Taking center stage once again is GALA on Xayah, supported by his team who helped him peel back fight after fight. Leading four kills to one, LNG took control in the mid game, racking up kills, and pushing JDG off objectives.

When Baron spawned, they forced JDG’s hand to 4v5 once again as Ruler was still making his way over to the pit. Caught out of position, the entire squad could not execute their front to back comp. Conversely, LNG stood their ground in the river as GALA did his job behind his tanky front line.

With Baron buff, LNG aced JDG in their base just over two minutes later, gaining the 2-1 lead in the series.

LPL Summer 2023 playoffs grand final between JDG and LNG game four draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

JD Gaming even it up in game four on the back of knight’s Ahri

Knight’s most played champions in LPL Summer 2023 are Ahri and Annie. Out of the the two, he has a 100% win rate on Ahri, which JDG snapped up on blue side in game four.

Tweaking their team composition to include Gragas and Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok’s most played champion in Summer, Wukong, they now had more options to attack LNG’s double AD carry backline.

Even in kills for most the game, the key difference is that three of four team kills for JDG were on knight, which put him half an item ahead of his counterpart.

At the first Baron spawn, JDG sacrificed Bai “369” Jia-Hao while the rest completed Baron. Even though Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong flashed over the wall, he could not steal it from Kanavi. Trading one for one, JDG dealt with Tang “Zika” Hua-Yu’s K’Sante before turning on the AD carries.

Leading 11 kills to five with an almost 10,000 gold advantage, JDG ploughed down mid lane to stay alive in the series.

JD Gaming and LNG Esports take us to Silver Scrapes

LPL Summer 2023 playoffs grand final between JDG and LNG game five draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

After that game four performance, LNG decided that knight should not be allowed to play his best champion anymore. On blue side, they first picked Jayce while keeping Zika on K’Sante duty.

In response to Ruler’s second Worlds-winning Xayah pick, LNG changed it up by putting GALA on Ziggs and added another source of AP damage in jungle Lillia, an off-meta pick that only Kanavi has played in LPL Summer 2023 to great success.

On the side of JDG, it’s the first time we finally see 369 on a fighter and not a tank.

No matter the champion, knight still does what he does best: find devastating angles in team fights. An unexpected Pop Blossom in the mid game caught GALA from over the wall, which gave the perfect opening for JDG to take down two into an uncontested Baron.

Securing Chemtech Soul, JDG continued to dominate team fights. The last straw came at Elder Dragon in the 33rd minute, where they forced a 4v5 by first eliminating Zika before cleaning house.

Recognized for his game-changing flanks, engages, and mastery on mages, knight was awarded the finals MVP.

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