IMay go from LSPL to Worlds in a few short months
IMay are the first Chinese team to start from LSPL and end up with the third seed into the Worlds just a few months later.
Article from Shirley Heather
The name IMay name may not be familiar to most League watchers from other regions, and even within Chinese LPL, as this new team has fewer fans than teams like EDG, RNG and WE. But in the Chinese regional qualifiers, IMay defeated team WE in a best of five series and with the win took the LPL region’s last seed into the Worlds. It was a miracle for this young team, as they had gone from playing in LSPL (Challenger series for Chinese LPL) earlier this year to grabbing the last spot at Worlds in just six months.
Originally IMay was named EDE (Edward Esports, not to be confused with Edward Gaming), and was formed last December as the LSPL team for EDG. They have Shi “Amazing J” Weihao as their carry top laner, who, as the replacement of Koro1, was EDG’s top laner in S5 World Championships. As for their mid laner BaeMe, he also played in EDG for a short period of time, but other team members like jungler “Avoidless”, bottom line “Jinjiao” and “Road”, are not big names in Chinese League, especially Road— for who EDE are the first pro team of his career.
But this young team performed quite well in 2016 LSPL Spring Split, and took down team YM in the final BO5, which got them into LPL Summer Split. Due to the Riot regulation that one company should not have two teams playing in one League competition, EDE was sold to other sponsors and changed their name into IMay.
During the transfer season before Summer Split, IMay received two new members from their “brother” team EDG: jungler “Mitty” and mid laner “Athena”. They had not performed very well in EDG, with Mitty hardly ever getting onto the stage to replace Clearlove, and Athena only one of the substitutes for Pawn. To make matters worse, EDG bought their new mid laner Scout from SKT, which meant that Athena “had to” transfer to other team for his own sake and may not have been that happy about the move.
So because of their history with EDG, IMay were not favoured by many people from the beginning. People were wondering how IMay would fare against strong teams in LPL, since this team was largely composed of seemingly weaker and forsaken players from EDG. To add to that, some people mocked Amazing J because he boasted in the LSPL final, “we will not only go into LPL, but into the S6 Worlds as well”. As a new team to LPL, if IMay wanted to get a ticket to Worlds, they could achieve it in one of three ways: through the LPL Summer Split Championship, being the team with the highest score in total, or the team that defeated everyone except for whoever took the first two spots we just listed. To achieve either of the first two goals was hard for IMay, as they couldn’t beat RNG or EDG and did not have any score for Spring Split. Their only hope lay in the third option.
To the public’s surprise, IMay made their boastful words come true. They played incredibly well against LPL teams other than EDG and RNG, and even beat WE to become the third placed team in the Summer Split Playoff as well as having the highest score among the rest of the teams to start the regional qualifier. People started to realize that it was very possible for these young players to be the last seed into the Worlds, and that if they win the regional qualifier, their dream would come true.
The last game in the qualifier was important but hard for IMay since both they and WE were fighting for their dream and a spot in the big time. The score was tied at two apiece in their last BO5 series but IMay did not start well in game five. They were outplayed by WE and two of their inhibitors had been destroyed by the 40-minute mark. However, IMay managed to utilize a deep ward in the top lane bush to start a beautiful team fight and nearly got an ace on WE. This fantastic strategy guaranteed their victory and their seat in the Worlds.
Amazing J could not control his emotions and started to cry immediately after his team got the victory. None of his teammates dreamed of this outcome as well and they shared a hug to celebrate this miraculous moment. They are IMay, and they finally made it.
“Our hope in the Worlds? I hope we can make into the quarterfinals as our brother EDG did last year. That’s enough for me. I dare not to dream about the championship—that’s Clearlove [EDG]’s task, not mine.” It seems like Amazing J is still trolling and boasting, but this time no one will tease him.