Led by an always dangerous Kangkang, EDG steamrolled the competition on their way to first place in the Champions China Qualifier.
The mesmerizing 2023 season for EDWard Gaming continues. No one expected a team from China, a region where VALORANT just officially launched, to be a global powerhouse. Zheng "ZmjjKK" Yongkang, also known as Kangkang, and EDG set the bar by taking 5th-6th at Masters Tokyo, and now they are China's first seed after winning the Champions China Qualifier.
The run they have made this year is a historic one. Fans all over the world have opened space in their hearts for Kangkang and company. The support, along with pure competitive VALORANT domination, has helped them punch their ticket to VALORANT Champions 2023 in Los Angeles.
EDG drops just one map in the Champions China Qualifier
After besting LOUD at Masters Tokyo, the sky truly became the limit for EDward Gaming. At that point, the expectations turned from a simmer to a full on boil. Their chance at making Champions was all but guaranteed, as they still needed to put up a fight.
And put up a fight they did. EDG, clearly being the top VALORANT team in China, was given a pass through the Knockout Round and started directly in the Upper Quarterfinals. From there, they went nearly flawless on their way to victory.
The format saw every round after their initial series as a best-of-five matchup. They started by taking down Weibo Gaming 2:0. This was followed by quick 3:0 wins against both TYLOO and Bilibili Gaming, with the latter looking for revenge in the Grand Final.
EDG won 10 straight maps in the Champions China Qualifier before Bilibili took Bind from them in overtime of the Grand Final's third map. Another overtime tested the team, but they persevered for the win on Haven to cement first place after a 3:1 Grand Final showing.
In that Grand Final, Kangkang ended with an incredible ratio of kills to deaths. He went +39 with 97 kills and 58 deaths across the four maps. That match, along with his previous performances, put him just under a 325 Average Combat Score for the entire tournament.
Final stats for EDward Gaming
While a lot of the spotlight will be on Kangkang, he has famously stated he wants the fans and media to give more credit to his teammates. And deservedly so. The rest of the EDG roster is packed with talent that complements each other greatly.
The dominant showing by EDward Gaming was very much a team effort. Each player ended with a K/D above one. Here are some final statistics with the Champions China Qualifier in the rearview:
- Kangkang: 324.8 ACS, 273 Kills to 148 Deaths, 37 Assists
- Guo "Haodong" Haodong: 143 Kills to 128 Deaths, 88 Assists
- Wan "CHICHOO" Shunzhi: 171 Kills to 136 Deaths, 80 Assists
- Wang "nobody" Senxu: 180 Kills to 152 Deaths, 74 Assists
- Zhang "Smoggy" Zhao: 175 Kills to 146 Deaths, 64 Assists
Its obvious Kangkang's firepower ranks above others. It should, as the team sets him up for success in the Duelist role. But the final kills of the other players, and the number of assists, show how much of a cohesive unit they are and why it was inevitable that EDG would win the Champions China Qualifier.