Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin didn’t hesitate.
The Suning top laner was about to be collapsed on by Machi Esports top laner Hsieh “PK” Yu-Ting and jungler Huang “Gemini” Chu-Xuan during the group stage of the 2020 League of Legends World Championship. After momentarily stunning PK’s Jayce, Bin’s Irelia made its way back toward Suning’s side of the map as if to escape. Instead, he immediately turned back onto PK to kill him.
Bin didn’t think about whether he was outnumbered. The idea that he wouldn’t be able to pull off a mechanical outplay never entered Bin’s mind, and after all, his teammates were on their way up from mid lane. Seconds later, he escaped after securing yet another kill.
“I’m out,” Bin said as he darted back into the bot side jungle with his teammates. His face and voice were fixed with a deadpan expression. “What an outplay.”
Suning mid laner Xiang “Angel” Tao burst out laughing. “Why is he praising himself?”
“We need to have more fun next match,” support Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh said eight minutes later as Suning destroyed their opponent’s Nexus. His bot lane partner Tang “huanfeng” Huan-Feng chimed in.
“We need to fight. Nonstop fighting.”
On Suning’s final day of group stage play, Bin stepped fully into the spotlight that had been prepared for him and his teammates after their unlikely run through China’s LoL Pro League playoffs and the country’s regional qualifier to make it to worlds at all.
Due to the luck, or misfortune, of the draw, Suning will face fellow LPL team JDG in their quarterfinals matchup on Friday. Throughout the regular season, Suning were unable to beat JDG, but the last time they met was back on June 10 in the second week of LPL summer.
Suning have grown a lot since then.
“In both the spring and summer finals, it was a matchup between us and Top Esports, ” JDG support Zuo “LvMao” Ming-Hao said. “That means our two teams are strong and maybe quite dominant. In terms of Suning, they’re a very special team, and they’re quite unique. They can have an opportunity to get a victory against any team, and they may lose to any team as well.”
Suning’s year did not begin well, and come summer, expectations were low. There were always rumors of the team’s prowess in scrims, but those results never translated to the stage, even when Bin became the team’s starting top laner mid-spring.
“I didn’t have the highest of expectations for this team, especially after spring,” English-language LPL caster Robert “Dagda” Price said. “Bin and [top laner Lin “Biubiu” Lei-Xin] at that stage were two of the worst…
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