Giant Slayer


The Road to Worlds: LGamesBR Player Profile

Before the Guardians of the Ancient Seasonal while I, Boulevard,  was still young in my writing career, I thought that whatever I committed to print couldn’t possibly come back to bite me. I pointed out that historically triple aggro deck lineups had an abysmal performance at the America’s Seasonal, with only 2 ever making it to the top cut in the first 3 events. Both my co-caster for the Seasonal as well as the community at large seemed to take this as a challenge, and many will remember Mr eMOEtional’s incredible 9-0 run with Spiders / Discard / Nox/Shurima Burn. At the time Moe was going by Don MoeZera, an homage to many of the great Brazilian players with the -zera suffix. But at the end of the day Moe is not Brazilian, and after abandoning both the -zera name and his swiss lineup going into the Top 32, he was promptly eliminated. While this narrative was a major focus of the broadcast for the United States players, a near identical narrative was happening in South America. There, a proud Brazilian went 8-1 in swiss with Spiders / Discard / Nox/Shurima Burn, stuck to their guns and ran the lineup back for top cut, stared the -zera legacy in the face and eliminated it from the Top 32, and went on to be the best performing aggro player at the Seasonal. And that is how LGamesBR booked their ticket to the 2021 Legends of Runeterra World Championship.

LGamesBR (made by taking the L from their League name ‘Liberator’ and adding ‘Games’ + ‘BR’ since I’m sure you were also curious about where the name came from) is a bit of a wildcard when it comes to a competitive resume. I certainly recognize their name from grassroots events, but they don’t have any tops to speak of from open community events. What they do have is a Fight Night AM win (with Discard) and a Fight Night BR 2nd place (with Discard), as well as of course the Seasonal Top 4 (with Discard). If you’ve spotted the pattern here, I do want to mention that while LG is a certified threat on Discard, they don’t pigeonhole themselves into aggressive strategies all the time. In fact, in just the 3 events listed above they’ve flexed their variety. They took the AM win with a control deck in Hecarim/Trundle Harrowing, bringing midrange to the BR finals with Overwhelm, and of course bearing the aggro torch at the Seasonal. They’ve also played in the Liga Brasileira De Runeterra (LBR) for Team Haze during the league’s 4th iteration, where Haze made it all the way to the finals before ultimately losing to Team Sultans and fellow Worlds qualified player Iannogueira. While LG didn’t appear in the semis or finals, they held down a solid 50% winrate through the regular season and acted as a rock for the team. While they only played in the one iteration of the LBR, they do still stream under the Team Haze logo.

Speaking of streaming, LG’s efforts seem to be primarily centered on content creation rather than competing in grassroots events. With a YouTube channel that has daily uploads spanning back months, it seems the Seasonal top bolstered their content creation aspirations rather than kicking them off. While it’s certainly not uncommon for Seasonal toppers to have existing channels or finally find the inspiration to start one, LG is the first one I’ve gotten to highlight in Portugese.

Now that LGamesBR joins Iannogueira on the small list of BR qualified players, I’ve noticed some similarities in their playstyle. As mentioned above LG has an apparent affinity for Discard, similar to Ian’s love of Draven/Ezreal. In fact, I can think of a large number of BR players who seem to have a special relationship with a single deck and then incredible flexibility in the remainder of their lineup, most notably Deep. But it seems the time of Deep has long passed, and now the cool thing to do is master your favorite Draven deck. Or perhaps your favorite Noxus/Piltover & Zaun deck? Regardless of where the magic lies, there is a certain magic to be found in LG’s signature Discard pick. It’s a universal experience to hear someone lament “but what if I run into triple aggro?” when trying to figure out their Seasonal lineup. This seed of doubt can really well up within someone and can even manifest in a last second switch of the lineups because they’re afraid of X lineup. A more nuanced version of this is being afraid of 2 decks that aren’t usually paired together. For example, let's say you’re going into an event and your plan is to ban every Lee Sin you come across, but your lineup also loses to Spider Aggro. This isn’t really something you’re too worried about happening as those 2 decks are very rarely, if ever, paired in the same lineup. But going into a smaller event like Worlds, LG being qualified means that 63 other players suddenly need to be very aware of the realistic threat of Discard aggro being thrown in with other decks it usually doesn’t get paired with, and how that can unfurl their lineup. While LG may not top any power rankings due to a lighter competitive resume, I guarantee that no matter how he performs the other competitors are going to remember the impact he made on their tournament prep. 

Tagged: esports
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