EDward Gaming EDward Gaming China Rank #1 ZmjjKK Zheng Yongkang (郑永康) nobody Wang Senxu (王森旭) Muggle Tang Shijun (唐时俊) CHICHOO Wan Shunji (万顺治) Smoggy Zhang Zhao (张钊) Haodong Guo Haodong (郭浩东) have once again established themselves on top of the Chinese scene with a 3-1 victory over their perennial domestic rivals FunPlus Phoenix FunPlus Phoenix China Rank #2 Autumn Kale Dunne Life Qu Donghao (瞿东豪) AAAAY Zhang Yang (张杨) BerLIN Zhang Bolin (張柏霖) Lysoar Liang Youhao (梁优好) . Despite having lost their two most recent matchups, EDG recovered with the entire squad stepping up alongside star player ZmjjKK .

ZmjjKK has far and away looked like the MVP of the regular season after averaging the highest ACS and KPR in the league at 284 and 0.99 respectively. However, FPX's star duo of Life and Lysoar took the spots just behind, with Life taking the second-place spot on the ACS leaderboard and Lysoar leading the league in K/D.

FPX came into the series via the upper bracket after taking their initial matchup versus EDG 2-0 and as a result, were granted two map bans coming into the best-of-five series.

FPX take EDG's permaban in stride

The series began with FPX picking EDG's permaban Lotus after opting to use their two bans on Split and Sunset. Split has proven to be EDG's best map in 2024 thus far with an 83% win rate including a 13-9 win over Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #1 mindfreak Aaron Leonhart Jinggg Wang Jing Jie f0rsakeN Jason Susanto d4v41 Khalish Rusyaidee something Ilya Petrov at Masters Madrid. EDG last played Lotus at the AfreecaTV VALORANT LEAGUE during the off-season where they recorded 13-3 and 13-6 losses to Team Liquid Team Liquid Europe Rank #15 Jamppi Elias Olkkonen nAts Ayaz Akhmetshin Enzo Enzo Mestari Mistic James Orfila Keiko Georgio Sanassy and T1 T1 Korea Rank #3 Sayaplayer Ha Jeong-woo (하정우) Rossy Daniel Abedrabbo Carpe Lee Jae-hyeok (이재혁) iZu Ham Woo-ju (함우주) xccurate Kevin Susanto .

In a move reminiscent of Redgar 's Reyna on Gambit Esports Gambit Esports Inactive Redgar Igor Vlasov Chronicle Timofey Khromov d3ffo Nikita Sudakov sheydos Bogdan Naumov nAts Ayaz Akhmetshin 's permaban of Haven, CHICHOO locked in Reyna for just the fifth time in his career. FPX got off to a strong start by winning the first pistol and bonus round to take a 4-0 lead before EDG could respond with two rounds of their own. However, Haodong 's troops found little leeway throughout the rest of the half as FPX's momentum propelled them to a 9-3 first half.

Despite the one-sided scoreline ZmjjKK still got his highlights.

An EDG pistol round in the second half provided a slight bit of relief before FPX continued their dominance in the gun rounds. FPX quickly closed out the map 13-6 off the back of a standout performance from Lysoar. The controller ended Lotus with a 20-12 K/D and 260 ACS.

EDG dominate the second half of Bind to even up the series

This time around EDG managed to pick up the bonus following another FPX pistol win to kick off a much more competitive half. A brief 4-1 lead for FPX was counteracted with a thrifty win for EDG in round six thanks to a 3K from ZmjjKK. Traded rounds followed as clutch moments went the way of both teams with a 1v1 from BerLIN and multikills from the trio of CHICHOO, ZmjjKK, and Smoggy . The pistol victory brought FPX a narrow lead coming into the second half at 7-5.

Haodong cleans up the anti-eco.

EDG slowed down the pace once moving onto the attack and carried the momentum from a pistol win throughout the half. EDG utilized ZmjjKK's attacking Operator to its fullest extent to find opening picks and boost EDG's ult economy which could then be converted into site executes. FPX won just a single gun round in the second half before EDG evened up the series at 1-1 with a 13-9 on Bind.

ZmjjKK continued his run of good form with 260 ACS and a plethora of opening kills while Smoggy had the highest K/D in the server with a 21-14 stat line. On the other hand, FPX found a rare top-fragging game from BerLIN as the in-game leader dropped 20 kills of his own.

EDG narrowly edge past FPX on Icebox

An EDG pistol provided false hope for EDG fans coming into the third map as FPX's triple controller comp ran rampant throughout the early stages of the half. The midrounding from FPX was sublime as gaps in EDG's mid control allowed for frequent flanks and access to empty sites. The clutch moments were also going the way of FPX as Life recovered from an uncommonly poor second map with a 1v3 in the eighth round.

Life stepped up with Clove on Icebox.

EDG once again picked up the pistol thanks to a 1v1 clutch from ZmjjKK but desperately hoped to bring this success into the gun rounds. EDG hedged their bets correctly on winning the bonus after bringing out a third-round Operator, forcing FPX to take a timeout after closing the gap to just one round at 8-7. The timeout was followed by a 4K from nobody with a Bulldog to immediately nullify the timeout and even up the score.

A 3K from Autumn ended EDG's dominant streak of six rounds and kept the series close. FPX managed to tighten their hold on middle, despite their lack of a Killjoy with BerLIN picking up the Operator on Harbor to strengthen the team's early-round capabilities, forcing a timeout from EDG coach AfteR at 11-11. The timeout proved enough for EDG to reach 12, however, FPX followed up with a 3k from AAAAY to ensure overtime.

An OT Operator from ZmjjKK delivered both rounds to EDG with back-to-back opening kills, while another mid lurk from CHICHOO closed out the game 14-12 with EDG taking the series lead 2-1. nobody and CHICHOO both provided excellent performances for their squad with 28 and 26 kills respectively. On the FPX side, BerLIN once again delivered where the rest of his team could not with 27 kills on Harbor while also being the only FPX player with a positive K/D.

EDG take the series comfortably on Breeze

EDG carried over the energy from Breeze with Haodong picking up an 11-0 K/D start after an anti-eco ace and then a 3K to win the bonus. This forced out a quick timeout from FPX after which they managed to recover with four rounds straight of their own. Bringing out the attacking Operator for ZmjjKK let EDG pick up two more rounds to solidify a 7-5 scoreline.

Haodong had a brilliant start on Breeze.

Despite losing the second pistol, EDG dropped just a single gun round en route to the trophy. Aggressive map control from the defense combined with a strong Cypher B site hold from CHICHOO went unanswered by FPX as EDG cruised to a 13-8 win on Breeze and a 3-1 win in the series.

EDG are back on top in China.

ZmjjKK and CHICHOO both had standout performances across all four maps with ZmjjKK's Operator being pivotal for multiple turnarounds in the series. EDG fully built their system around facilitating ZmjjKK and their investment paid off as the Chinese duelist stood atop the server after the series in ACS.

EDG's victory in stage one grants them the top seed from China at Masters Shanghai and the ability to skip over the swiss stage with a direct bye into the playoffs, alongside the opportunity to pick their first-round opponent. EDG received three extra championship points as a result of their win to end stage one with 12 points in total while FPX ended the stage with eight. FPX will begin Masters Shanghai in the swiss stage alongside China's third seed, Dragon Ranger Gaming Dragon Ranger Gaming China Rank #3 nizhaoTZH Tang Zehao (唐哲昊) vo0kashu Ilya Ushakov Shion7 Zhang Haozhe (张昊泽) Nicc Shao Yi-qun (邵逸群) TvirusLuke Chen Cheng-ching , on May 23rd.