Rebuilding China: Language barrier, Uzi's buyout, and preseason exhibition

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As far as I’m aware, the problems with Chinese teams persist. The National Electron Sports Open results may be more or less disregarded, as it happened quite soon after the World Championship, but that doesn’t make headaches less severe.

Weekly hurdle: The Korean influence

There’s a Chinese proverb I’ve seen fans use when discussing what they perceive as the problem of the Korean imports meaning “to quench one’s thirst with poisoned wine,” or to seek temporary relief at a high cost. Typically, the belief is that Chinese teams imported Koreans to improve their level of talent, but in-game communication suffered. As the meta game changed, they weren’t able to play lane swaps correctly because they lacked the necessary communication.

As with all popular theories, there is some validity to these claims and some pitfalls. Initially, when Koreans arrived in China and began to adjust to the environment, EDward Gaming’s coach Ji “Aaron” Xing said he noticed the biggest difference was in the way the Korean players approached the game. They practiced more and in a different way that focused on developing their flaws.

In top teams, this approach allegedly began to rub off on the Chinese players. Players like Wei “GODV” Zhen had always practiced a lot, but some within LGD have said he changed his approach as a result of the Korean influence. Ming “Clearlove” Kai, who had always been known as a rare Chinese player for his work ethic and dedication to the game, even saw initial improvements and more development in his approach, though it may be unrelated.

Over time, as we’ve seen players like Lee “Spirit” Dayoon express frustration with the practice ethic that has been reported to exist in many Chinese teams for years, it became clear that the environment was also beginning to impact the Koreans. As some team owners and managers are quite friendly with their players, Chinese players can often get away with toeing the line of instructions from coach and staff. As soon as top Korean player discovered they could also shirk orders, their own focus declined. LGD’s Korean players took scrims leading up to the World Championship about as seriously as their Chinese brethren.

I’ll discuss solutions to what I perceive as the infrastructural problem later, but in many ways the Koreans have adapted to their environment. They’re still strong players, but in a less structured realm. Song “RooKie” Euijin’s popularity is strong given his commitment to learning Mandarin Chinese, the fact that many enjoy his stream, and his friendships with Chinese players on other teams.

Ultimately, the Korean influence initially improved the Chinese practice ethic, but over time other problems became difficult to overcome. This is something that has been acknowledged, at least in part, in discussions of the topic. As a result, proponents of this argument have included that improvements do not counter-balance the ultimate cost of the language barrier.

While I do think language barrier plays an important factor in disrupting team cohesion, it seems to have a larger impact outside the game than inside the game. One can devise a communication system to deal with even something as complex as lane swaps as long as the team understands how to execute them. Overall, the Chinese teams at Worlds were strategically behind, and the language barrier exacerbating the issue has been exaggerated.

The language barrier may have still played a part in the strategic lag. As Dignitas coach Ram “Brokenshard” Djemal said in an interview I conducted with him about the North American team Dignitas with both Korean and English-speaking players, he said he felt the biggest problem was communicating when players had a problem or just cooperating outside the game.

It’s possible that this problem lead to the inability of Chinese teams to quickly adapt to the meta, as discussions would have been stunted. If having discussions about the meta is a strain, and the team sports a roster of supreme quality, teams may be more likely to rely on individual skill than to develop a tactical approach.

Problems between Korean and Chinese players may be difficult to express. I’ve heard a few surprisingly damaging stories that resulted from mistranslations of comments made between players or players and staff. Some Korean players have felt less confident competing in China since they aren’t sure whether Chinese fans are cheering them on or insulting them when they meet them.

The larger problem with language barrier sits outside the game rather than ingame, and I think it’s often used as a straw man argument for why the teams failed to perform. Ultimately, other arguments like teams not playing their more comfortable strategy, as KaKAO suggested, or not practicing adequately hold larger sway and aren’t necessarily the fault of importing Koreans.

Since, however, it is certainly a problem that can be fixed, more effort can be done to teach Korean players who choose to stay in China to speak Mandarin Chinese. KaKAO said that learning the language is one of his primary goals for next year. Implementing mandatory classes like this could also go along with overall infrastructural improvements, but the act of importing Koreans is not at fault for the poor performance by Chinese teams at the World Championship.

One aspect I think is worth more investigation is the contribution of the Korean element to the stunting of Chinese talent scouting. Many young Chinese players like Yu “300” Zuxing, Zhou “Soda” Pengxian, and Chen “Cherish” Zhe have been unable to advance to LPL, and we’re seeing older Chinese talent retire with a generational gap.

Again, however, I think there is a larger systemic failure of organizations to scout or transfer proper talent either because of buyouts or a lack of effort even before the arrival of Koreans. Feng “TnT” Qingyu, for example, spent a year in LSPL after proving himself in LPL even before Koreans arrived.

Roster Rumblings

Confirmations

NESO showed us some of the first confirmations of transfer season. Wang “wushuang” Li, already announced on WE’s weibo prior to the World Championship, played for WE. Bo “Mo” Cai from Acfun appeared on Invictus Gaming’s roster as support. Bong “Republic” Guntae, a Korean player previously of Taiwan’s Machi eSports played for Energy Pacemaker All. The organization had participated in one other tournament with him before, but with EPA’s third place, it was a good chance to assess his form. King’s Dong “SinkDream” Shichun joined Oh My Dream.

More obscure regional qualifiers for Tencent Games Arena, which allows teams to compete for entry into LSPL, showed ex-Vici Gaming support Ying “Yh” Hai and the resurfacing of Gan “ChouD1” Junjie who played for Wings of Aurora in 2013 transferring to Wk.Panda.

Fans of LGD Gaming in Spring of 2014 may also remember the Riven player Fu "Star" Yang who has resurfaced alongside Energy Pacemaker All's Le "2eggs" Xiaotian to compete on Energy Pacemaker.E for a spot in LSPL.

None of these transfers are particularly inspiring, but wushuang and Republic are the most interesting. wushuang has performed well in solo queue and is largely regarded as a positive acquisition. He didn’t display much prowess in NESO. Republic looked much stronger than the team’s previous mid laner, but likely won’t contest some of the LPL giants.

Chinese Rumor Mill

As for ongoing rumors, the prevailing ones at the moment circle around Jian “Uzi” Zihao, the top laners associated with the WE organization, Lee “Easyhoon” Jihoon, and the constant influx of Lee “Duke” Hoseong rumors that never seem to die.

The Uzi rumors are the top story. Some even found their way to Reddit, though the sphere of mythos has already shifted. It’s sometimes hard to take rumors coming out of China completely seriously, so I would advise caution in interpreting some of them. At the moment, the speculation revolves around Uzi’s buyout, which OMG had previously stated is quite sizable.

At the moment, rumors suggest Uzi’s buyout bidding has exceeded the minimum required and has now gone to numbers around 50,000,000RMB ($7,857,929 USD). If you recall from last week, the entirety of Qiao Gu, including LPL spot, players, and staff, is likely to go for 12 million RMB, meaning that Uzi himself would go for four times the price of the team that finished second in LPL this summer.

I can’t remotely validate the rumors of this price—it may even be a joke! The original poster was doubted by others as part of the discussion. It's worth noting OMG had previously seemed very confident that few could afford their buyout, meaning that the number is steep. While this number may not come near $7 million USD, if Uzi is sold, I imagine it breaking the transfer price record for a single player.

The poor performance of LPL teams at the World Championship has significantly raised Uzi’s stock, as he’s made the final for China twice. The rumored bidders are Royal Club, as reddit has seen, and Invictus Gaming. Royal might be the better option since they’re liable to rebuild a team around him, which suits Uzi’s play. Invictus Gaming would be—interesting. RooKie is a very good Lulu player after all, but I’d rather iG build their team around him with a more stable AD carry than break the bank on Uzi. As fans like to say, however, if iG really are involved, Wang Sicong, iG's owner, gets what he wants.

The WE top transfer rumors speculate that Jang “looper” Hyeongseok at least will remain in China and will transfer to the main team, WE, replacing Peng “Aluka” Zhenming, who will go to WEF with Ke “957” Changyu moving to Master3. I’d prefer 957, who may be the best prospect of the three, to remain on WEF rather than go to either WE or Master3. If Yang “OldB” Seungbin remains with WEF, that team could surpass both M3 and WE. If Chen “CjLear” Chen Jianliu, who has been playing jungle for WEF recently, is the starter, then perhaps 957 is better off trying to prove himself on a failing LPL team.

If this rumor is true, it suggests WE acknowledge that Aluka is a problem, which is a small positive sign for fans of the team in 2016.

If China’s forums are to be believed, Lee “Duke” Hoseong is to play top lane for every single team in LPL, just as he was supposed to last split. (Thank you, Sun “XiaoXiao” Yalong, for getting everyone excited for no reason.) Changes may, however, be coming to Najin that might make Duke’s appearance in China more likely.

The most recent rumor has more credibility than the others, as it was a hint left by Young Glory’s manager on weibo. The comment said “Welcome Easyhoon to China?” Since Snake’s manager suggested Easyhoon may be interested in leaving SK Telecom T1 before the World Championship, Easyhoon has been one of the players with the most buzz on the forums. Armanini’s follow-up post mentioned he was “bored” when he left the hint, so it’s not clear if he was merely looking to stir the pot or Easyhoon is coming to China.

A bit of old news still worth writing about

One development that has been confirmed is something I missed while traveling at the end of July. Royal Club’s new coach, Kim “vicaL” Sunmook, has worked with the organization before. In 2014 Summer, vicaL joined Star Horn Royal Club as their Korean coach, and Yoon “Zero” Kyungsup has attributed most of the team’s strategy and teamwork to him. While Siu “Chris” Keung got most of the glory, vicaL floated under the radar.

I’ve promised never to get excited about Royal Never Give Up (ex-King) again, but I’m happy to see a Korean coach acclimated to the scene return and continue to work in it.

Upcoming Events: Preseason Exhibition

The ongoing Tencent Games Carnival will hold an exhibition match between players from Snake, MG owner Liu "PDD" Mou, and LPL casters. At 6 a.m. EST on November 16th, the event will begin with a discussion by professional players and other celebrities of preseason changes. At 6:30 a.m. EST, the match will start.

Team Top Jungle Mid ADC Support
Blue PDD ZZR LoveJY kRYST4L Ella
Red Flandre JoKer U Martin  苦笑

It’s unclear if the matches will be played on the preseason patch 5.22 unless the players are using some version of the PBE, but at the very least 5.21 will show off Kindred while the commentators discuss how preseason changes will affect the game.

Originally, this was supposed to be a showmatch between Vici Gaming and Qiao Gu, but other events, such as Vici Gaming's visits to universities, conflicted.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore eSports. You can follow her on Twitter.

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Vasilii hints at taking a break from competitive play, then announces his return

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Update: Just under 24 hours after he hinted at taking a break, and possibly retiring, from professional play, Li "Vasilii" Weijun posted on Weibo that "Break time is over, I'm coming back."

Original Story: IN Gaming AD carry and former LMQ AD carry Li "Vasilii" Weijun posted to weibo that he will take break from playing for a while.

In his weibo post, Vasilii wrote the following:

"Retired, retired to rest for a time."

—Vasilii, 2016

The implication of the post suggests that he will only take a break, but it's also a possibility that he may retire.

After going to the World Championship in 2014 with LMQ and placing first in that year's North American LCS and third place in the playoffs, Vasilii returned to China and played for Vici Gaming. Following a difficult time on the team, Vasilii withdrew and suffered from a great deal of stress and anxiety. Earlier this year, he resolved to continue to play and become a better role model, then joined League of Legends Secondary Pro League team, IN Gaming.

At the moment, IN Gaming sit in ninth place of 14 teams in the LSPL. The last match Vasilii played was last week against ZTR Esports and resulted in a loss and a final kill score for Vasilii 0/6/1. IN Gaming are scheduled to play again today at 3 a.m. EST.

Vasilii's post provided no additional information, and IN Gaming have yet to make a statement on the matter.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.

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Kelsey Moser's LPL Review: China's got [Game] Talents

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The intergroup round has begun, and as these things normally progress, the League of Legends Pro League heavily tested and defied any pre-conceived assumptions. With many predicted outcomes reversed, making sense of the LPL has become even more difficult. What had begun to look like one of the most predictable seasons in LPL history has again defied expectations.

Especially in the case of Game Talents. Built from the pieces of Masters3 and Energy Pacemaker All, two relegation-level teams from last split, Game Talents have found their place in second place of Group A after a 2-0 week and greatly improved drafts and team cohesion. A few surprises always make our favorite esports events more exciting.

Top story: Everything you know is wrong

Near perfect predictions from the first three weeks feel like a distant memory. Of nine matches, I only correctly predicted the winning team in three of them. I can only properly respond by breaking down exactly where I went wrong.

EDward Gaming vs. Royal Never Give Up

Going into this match, I had expected that direct lane matchups would matter, primarily because neither of these teams lane swap with high frequency. Both teams focus a lot on their bottom lanes, and both teams have elite 2v2s in Kim “deft” Hyukkyu and Tian “meiko” Ye and Jian “Uzi” Zihao and Cho “Mata” Sehyeong. One can anticipate solo lanes will fend for themselves without jungle pressure, and EDward Gaming has a history of drafting weak lane matchups.

Almost all of that happened, but instead of Royal Never Give Up’s Jang “Looper” Hyeongseok and Li “xiaohu” Yuanhao getting far ahead of their counterparts unchecked, Royal Never Give Up chose to insist upon standard lanes in their first match, setting Looper behind, and then didn’t properly pressure their solo lane advantages in Map 3. Instead of using Looper to split push with his massive CS lead, Royal continued to impale themselves repeatedly on the bottom lane.

Royal’s loss demonstrated that they need to correct their narrow focus on a single lane. Luckily their series against Invictus Gaming already showed a broadening of their horizons.

Invictus Gaming vs. Oh My God

Song “RooKie” Euijin debuted Taliyah in the League of Legends Pro League. Invictus Gaming used Taliyah to exert additional pressure in side lanes, and iG accumulated a lead, as anticipated. What didn’t go as anticipated, however, included a strange tunneling onto Baron in the later stages of the game, in which Invictus Gaming appeared to randomly abandon their side lane control plan.

Teams in the LPL rarely perfect a consistent identity to a reliable level — let alone Invictus Gaming. Believing that Invictus Gaming can remain committed to a strategic bent was my first mistake. The second was in failing to predict that Yan “juejue” Hong would bring out his trademark Lee Sin and control the map. LPL has a lot of Lee Sin enthusiasts; juejue chose today to play his trump card and help OMG win their first series of the split.

Team WE vs. Game Talents

Game Talents’ drafting improved considerably this week. They brought out new compositions like their Jhin and Trundle bottom lane, which proved eventful when paired with Leblanc. The catch potential of Game Talents’ new offering completely surprised Team WE, who couldn’t play well against it in Game 1 or 3.

Yet WE did nearly perfect game Game Talents in Game 2 — that pesky turret — which continues to beg the question of just how large an impact the list of must-ban champions on red side is. With a persistent 62.3 percent win rate for blue side in the LPL, WE being unable to ban GT’s deadly combination could have granted them the win.

Snake eSports vs. LGD Gaming

The despondent LGD Gaming still exists, they just randomly wake up about 35 minutes into the game.

Chen “pyl” Bo’s return to LGD has invigorated them to an extent, just not a large one. As many teams enjoy grouping early and forcing pressure mid, LGD Gaming remained committed to farming eagerly in their side lanes, amassing monstrous leads on Gu “imp” Seungbin and Jang “MaRin” Gyeonghwan. LGD came online in the late game for tense wins over Snake’s strategy to group with Lê "SofM" Quang Duy in jungle invades.

In the first game, LGD also correctly predicted SofM’s pattern and shut him down. Teams have started to pinpoint SofM, but not on a consistent basis.

Newbee Gaming vs. Vici Gaming

If I could refuse to actually analyze this series, I would. The worst series of the week, including I May vs Saint Gaming, featured Vici attaining early leads through chipping down turrets and finding picks with Choi “DanDy” Inkyu only to lose to poor late game shotcalling.

I don’t necessarily mean team fights, I mean chasing Bao “V” Bo down the lane instead of actually defending their crumbling base. That happened. I doubt Newbee have fixed their problems; Vici have just exposed an obvious lack of clear-headedness in the late game.

Snake eSports vs Team WE

Team WE have returned for my last incorrect prediction of the week. What started out strong for WE ended in disaster. Team WE caught out SofM’s invade attempts in Game 1 and kept proper pressure on side lanes, but in Game 2, their attempt to counter SofM at the start sent WE spiraling downward when Snake rallied behind him, and the stronger jungle matchup won out.

Xiang “Condi” Renjie has gained accolades for Baron steals, but he’s not the most creative jungler, and Su “xiye” Hanwei’s lane pressure usually guards him on its own. But more persistent junglers from Game Talents and Snake eSports showed WE need to learn to coordinate better around their jungle in the early game. The lanes themselves don’t need protection from dives; Condi does.

Add a weird obsession with Baron when WE began to panic against Snake’s scaling, and WE’s double loss week hits home hard. If WE want to avoid losing their spot as second in their group, they’ll have to take a long look at their flaws and continue to evolve for next week.

Recommended Watching

Game Talents vs. Team WE

A WE series again makes an appearance on the recommended list. This time, the curious compositions proffered by WE and Game Talents make it exciting. WE’s Hecarim and Taric composition lost, but they lost to something equally interesting in Leblanc, Jhin and Trundle.

Following the first game, WE showed their strengths in a near perfect game, and finally, Game Talents used their deadly combination one more time to get picks. As pick compositions invade the meta, this series can lay down a blueprint.

Single games to watch

EDward Gaming vs. Royal Never Give Up Game 1

EDward Gaming demonstrated how to penalize a swap, but more than that, their Kha’Zix and Ashe combination is underrated. Though the Ekko blind pick is questionable, EDG still demonstrated an interesting approach to how to get catches and spread pressure across the map.

LGD Gaming vs. Snake eSports Game 2

One of the most interesting comeback games of the split so far, LGD Gaming show the strengths of their new style in stalling out. Split-pushing Trundle also made an appearance. Jhin and Trundle continue to take over the LPL, and this is an exciting match to watch it in action.

Most Valuable player: republiC

Game Talents surprised many by winning not one, but two series in the League of Legends Pro League this week. Their true strength came through in the draft. They both picked around their foes and responded well to adaptations to punish them (for example, LGD Gaming’s Jhin first pick resulted in a great deal of crowd control and dive drafted by Game Talents).

Choosing an MVP for Game Talents, who sorely deserved the spot, became a trial. GT’s bottom lane showed up huge with the Jhin and Trundle combination, but mid laner Bong "republiC" Geuntae won the day. He played three different champions with drastically different roles and came up massively against LGD Gaming in the final game with a 13/1/11 Kassadin. On Energy Pacemaker All last split, republiC's consistent lane pressure always made hims worth consideration as a strong mid laner.

In reality, nearly any Game Talents member could have won the MVP this week. The entire team seemed to fire on all cylinders. My runner up goes to support Jin “Savoki” Hao for demonstrating the proper way to use the Trundle pillar and for 1v2ing LGD Gaming’s top laner and mid laner at Level 1 in Game 1 of their series.

That’s so China pick: Kassadin

A guilty Kassadin-picker

Granted, a lot of motivation for putting Kassadin down here comes from the League of Legends Secondary Pro League, where Kassadin has been running amock with a negative win rate for seemingly no apparent reason. It made a few appearances in the League of Legends Pro League this week, but only one resulted in a win.

Kassadin has always been a go-to for Chinese mid laners because of his high mobility and ability to bring ruin upon his foes if he scales well. The problem is that he doesn’t come with any safe wave clear, and he’s easy to dive, especially prior to Level 6. The LPL likes to do this.

It still mystifies me that Kassadin continues to be a favored pick when the chips are down. I can only suspect that the rise of more squishy supports and changes to Rod of Ages make this pick look attractive, but it’s not. At all. Kassadin remains high risk. If one must pick it, do so in a situation where one can last pick it, and there’s almost no crowd control on the enemy team.

This is basically never. If one wants to see a good Kassadin pick game, check out Game Talents vs LGD Gaming Game 2.

Standings Summary

Placement Group A Score Group B Score
1. EDward Gaming 6-0 Royal Never Give Up 6-1
2. Game Talents 5-2 Team WE 4-3
3. Snake eSports 4-3 I May 3-3
4. Newbee Gaming 3-3 Vici Gaming 3-3
5. Invictus Gaming 2-5 LGD Gaming 2-5
6. Saint Gaming 0-6 Oh My God 1-5

Yes, that is a 6-1 next to Royal Never Give Up. After Week 4, only one team remains undefeated, and only one team remains without a win. Oh My God picked up their first victory from Invictus Gaming, but remain at the bottom of the pile, while Royal Never Give Up had some of their weaknesses exposed by EDward Gaming's bottom lane advantages. They already showed signs of improvement against Invictus Gaming, but let's not get our hopes up until next week.

Team WE and Invictus Gaming both had the worst weeks, losing both their series. Invictus Gaming fell from a second place hopeful to a team outside the playoffs safe zone. Team WE remain in second, but won't for long if they don't show improvements to jungle control next week.

Game Talents' drafting improved considerably, but Trundle did a lot of work for them this week. Questions still linger as to what this team looks like without their preferred support pick. Snake eSports met their first sign of resistance, but have already rebounded, solidifying their support around their jungler.

I May's uptick seems short-lived, but Vici Gaming's fall hits them hard. With LGD Gaming showing signs of life, they may again find themselves fighting for a spot in playoffs. Newbee's victory doesn't leave me with a lot of optimism, but at least the team looked more pleased in the wake of success, even if the win came unconventionally.

Little need be said about Saint Gaming, who still barely appear to actually show up for their matches. Oh My God has a win, but they may be reliant on Lee Sin to succeed, and their more difficult opponents can knock them down again next week.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.

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What you need to know about the 2016 Demacia Cup

by 2d ago

China's Demacia Cup has run alongside the League of Legends Pro League in the past, but it's been confined to just two weeks this year. The first games will be played this coming week, from June 29 until July 3, and will take place in Suzhou, China.

At the Demacia Cup, 16 of China's top teams will play in the round robin group stage and participate in the quarterfinals. The Top 4 teams will play semifinals, third place match, and the Grand Final in November.

All 12 LPL teams and four teams from the League of Legends Secondary Pro League have been invited after winning the qualifier that took place in May. Qualified LSPL teams include Young Miracles, Thunder Bear Gaming, Star Horn Royal Club, and Legend Dragon. All four sit relatively high in the LSPL standings, jockeying for position below first place Newbee Young. LPL teams have been seeded based on their standing in the league.

Here's a look at the groups:

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Team WE EDward Gaming Game Talents Royal Never Give Up
Snake eSports LGD Gaming Vici Gaming I May
Newbee Gaming Invictus Gaming Saint Gaming Oh My God
Young Miracles Star Horn Royal Club Legend Dragon Thunder Bear Gaming

The group stage will be a double round robin best-of-one format. The two teams with the most wins in each group will advance to the bracket stage, with the first-place team in each group facing the second-place team from another group in the quarterfinals. All bracket stage matches will be best-of-five, single-elimination.

The streams and full schedule can be found on Tencent's Demacia Cup website. Beginning on June 29 at 12:00 a.m. ET, four round robin matches will take place from each group every day, for a total of 16 best-of-ones daily and 48 games over the course of the first three days.

Vici Gaming and Game Talents play the opening match on the main stream, while Newbee Gaming and Snake eSports will open on the second stream.

Teams that move on to the bracket stage will face off in best-of-fives on July 2 and July 3 at 12:00 a.m. ET for a total of four quarterfinals matches to determine Demacia Cup Top 4. LPL will resume with Week 6 the week after.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.

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Loveling returns to competitive play

by 6d ago

Oh My God's Weibo announced that Yin "Loveling" Le, jungler and support for the team between 2013 and 2015, will return to the roster.

In OMG's statement, the team revealed that Loveling will be able to play in their matches going forward. They also thanked OMG fans for their continued support, but did not specify when Loveling would start.

Many rumors have recently circulated in the Chinese community regarding Loveling's possible return. He has streamed less frequently, and his solo queue account has climbed rapidly in the rankings.

Loveling, frequently known to OMG fans as "the tactician," may fill a role in the team in terms of shotcalling. If he does play, he will likely start as a jungler. He previously retired from competitive play after three years in the LPL and was part of the original OMG squad that won 2013 LPL Spring.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.

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Snake eSports fine SofM one month's salary for inappropriate remark

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Snake eSports announced on weibo Monday that jungler Lê "SofM" Quang Duy has been fined one month's salary for making an "inappropriate remark" during a ranked game.

According to the team's manager, Cao "Zuowu" Yu, SofM, frustrated by network instability, cursed and exhibited poor behavior while playing a ranked game. Zuowu was notified of this after receiving a private note saying that SofM had made an inappropriate remark. He then pulled SofM aside and asked him to explain himself. SofM said that he likes playing for the League of Legend Pro League and Snake eSports and was simply angry about the connection at the time of the remark.

"Although his thoughts are only to complain about the network," Zuowu said in his Weibo post, "his behavior is simply Bronze V... He says he is very sorry. In any event, for making an inappropriate remark, he's fined one month's wage."

In Snake's official statement, they said that management will strengthen their efforts to supervise the team's actions and words and ensure that this kind of misunderstanding will not happen again.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.

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