Edward Gaming will not be making their way to MSI this year after an early exit in the LPL playoffs to Weibo Gaming.
Edward Gaming, the 2021 League of Legends World Champions will not be competing at MSI after falling to Weibo Gaming 3-1. EDG has struggled to maintain the impressive form that saw them lift the summoners cup last year. The side finished seventh in the regular season with a 10-7 record.
Edward Gaming from an objective standpoint started the game off well, they were able to secure the early dragon as well as the Rift Herald. However, it would be Weibo Gaming that would continue to pick up the kills to give them a small gold lead.
Lê "SofM" Duy was pulling the strings and by twelve minutes the superstar jungler had already picked up three kills on the Lee Sin. SofM was really on the ball this game, moving from lane to lane and setting up kills for his team with ease.
At the 20-minute mark, Weibo Gaming called EDG's bluff, starting up the Baron with the insane take speed of Xayah and Azir. EDG was hesitant to move fully into the pit to check and only forced a fight when it was too late, Weibo Gaming had secured the Baron. From there, it was pretty straightforward for Weibo to close out the game, securing the Ocean soul as well as the nexus to move 1-0 up.
Game two started much better for the defending World Champions as they were able to pick up multiple early kills onto Weibo members. Although EDG was taking the fight to Weibo, it would still be them that takes the lead in the objective game. SofM by the mid-game raced his team out to a two dragon lead.
Edward Gaming did a great job pulling Weibo around the map, Scout was relentless with his engages on Twisted Fate followed up by damage from Jiejie's Viego. Where Weibo did a solid job countering the deficit was through tower sieges. By the 23rd minute, Weibo had taken three towers to EDG's two.
After a couple of Edward Gaming members were caught out, it was Weibo regaining control. Those picks allowed Weibo to pick up Baron, putting themselves in the driving seat. Although EDG was in control for the majority of the game, it would be Weibo going 2-0 up in this best-of-five.
As in game two, it would be Wiebo Gaming picking up the early Dragon, with EDG picking up the kills. SofM forced a risky Dragon that ended in EDG picking up the first blood bounty and two kills onto Viper and Scout.
Come the tenth minute, EDG had raced out to a 3k gold lead, picking up another kill as well as taking some much-needed turret plates. Within the space of a minute, Weibo Gaming took the Rift Herald, killed Flandre and eliminated the gold lead.
The common theme for game three was action in the side lane. Both teams would garner an advantage from picking off an opposition player and turning that into gold. Subsequently, the team that lost a member would respond with a cross-map play of their own.
In a reverse play that saw Weibo snatch game two, it was now EDG's turn. The world champions would find a couple of crucial kills which would lead to them taking over the game. EDG would go on to win this game and force the series to a game four.
Unfortunately for Edward Gaming fans, this is where it all went wrong. Despite the added pressure in this game for Edward Gaming, they showed no signs of nerves. EDG was aggressive and looked to punish TheShy who is looking back to his best.
Weibo Gaming simply had the answers to counteract EDG's aggressive plays and this would result in a scrappy early game. Come the mid-game, it would be EDG who would start to win the team fights, despite his problems this game, Flandre would put up huge damage numbers as he tried to force his team to a game five.
A crucial fight around the 23rd minute saw Weibo Gaming gain control in this match. The fight would lead to a Weibo victory as they were able to secure Baron and look to wrap up the series. That Baron would be short-lived, however, EDG was able to win a team fight and push themselves to soul point.
Consistent team fight victories for Weibo Gaming would see them progress to the next round. As for the newly crowned world champions, they would have to settle for 7th/8th.