LGD Gaming initially struggled to find success in the 2016 LPL Spring Split, but have since gone on a seven series win streak. LGD finished in fourth place in their group during the regular season, but many other players and critics still expect them to make the finals.
One pain point for LGD Gaming was integrating new jungler, Xie "Eimy" Dan into the team. LGD rotated through three different junglers this split to find a lineup that worked, but have played with Eimy since their 2-0 win over Vici Gaming that kicked off their win streak. Before the team's final regular series match against Snake eSports, Eimy talked to theScore esports about jungling for LGD Gaming, his new initiative, and qualifying for the LPL twice with Vici Gaming.
Earlier on in the split, spectators criticized you for your apparent indecision. What happened between then and now when you seem to gank and move around the map much more proactively?
At the start of the split, I hadn’t fully integrated with the rest of the team. We also didn’t communicate well. This is why it seemed I wasn’t decisive. Right now, however, our communication is a lot better.
At the moment, you play on a team with players who can theoretically carry in every lane. How does your team decide which lane you should prioritize from game to game?
It really depends on what is happening in each lane. And if I go gank top, for example, I will tell bottom lane what I’m doing so that they know to play more safely.
Do you have a lot of input on which lanes your team decides to prioritize?
I will make my own judgments on which lane is good to gank, but sometimes a laner will tell me that he thinks the enemy jungler will gank him. In this case, I often head over to that lane to prepare to counter gank.
The LPL tends to play standard lanes more frequently than some other regions, which often leads to more gank-oriented play from junglers. How do you balance farming with making other plays on the map?
I think that because, in the LPL, our style is more aggressive, many laners will try to get their advantages directly in lane. I think my decision-making depends on what opportunities I see. If I see an easy gank opportunity, I am more likely to take it. If I feel the enemy jungler is playing very aggressively, then I’ll also choose to try to match his pace.
Some LPL junglers have said that they feel their laners compared to laners in other regions sometimes try to play very far forward in the lane even if they don’t know where the enemy jungler is. What responsibility do you feel to keep vision of the enemy team’s jungler?
I do feel it is definitely partly my responsibility to place vision and know where the enemy jungler is to help my laners. As a jungler, I think I’m responsible for saying things like “The enemy jungler is missing,” or if I think the other jungler might be going to a lane, I’ll tell that laner to be careful.
You play with a support player who likes to roam a lot, but pyl has said he has the opportunity to roam less lately. Do you feel the impact of pyl roaming less and how does this change things for you in the jungle?
I’m fine with it. Personally, I prefer to jungle alone without my support.
Could you explain why you feel this way?
It’s just the style that I’ve gotten used to playing as a stand-alone jungler without asking my support to help me.
You've qualified for the LPL twice from the LSPL in the past. As soon as Vici Gaming qualified for the LPL, you were replaced by DanDy. Could you comment on your feelings at that time?
At the time, I did feel it was a shame, but I acknowledged that the better player should be able to play for the team. So I knew it was better for the team to choose the better jungler.
After this time, was it difficult to motivate yourself to try to qualify for the LPL again on a new team?
It definitely motivated me more. I really wanted to play in the LPL, so I worked hard in hopes that I would happen and managed to qualify again the next split.
This will be your first LPL playoff run. Are you nervous, and what are your expectations for the next couple weeks?
I am definitely a little nervous about my first playoffs. As for my expectations, I hope we get second.
Why not first?
If I put my aim for something too high, then I’ll give myself too much pressure and be nervous in the games.
Translation assistance provided by Jenny Lee.
Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.