Twenty-year-old prodigal mid laner Zhuo “Knight” Ding has gone through a lot over the past couple of years. After beginning his professional League of Legends career in 2017 under legendary top laner Liu “PDD” Mou, he finally qualified for his first World Championship in August this year.
Knight received praise for his ability to easily take over games from global League fans for years, and now, it’s his time to shine. He got his chance to show what he’s capable of and has lived up to his nickname of the Golden Left Hand, which he earned during his professional debut. While most players play the game with a right-handed mouse and left-handed keyboard, Knight does the opposite. This stood out to PDD, who coined this nickname after seeing how dominant Knight was in-game, especially in one-vs-one scenarios.
Knight’s performance in 2020 has been phenomenal, starting with his first title in his debut international appearance at the Mid-Season Cup in May. He came home afterward and won his first LPL Championship along with the MVP award of the Summer Split. He’s coming into this year’s World Championship trying to make a statement that he’s one of the best mid laners in the world.
Knight hails from Pingxiang, a city from the province of Jinagxi in China. There, he spent endless nights grinding League alongside his friends. He even reached rank one on the Korean server, arguably the hardest solo queue server in the world.
Knight played duo queue frequently with the current mid laner of JD Gaming, Zeng “Yagao” Qi, when he was still teamless. Even though Knight played jungle quite often in his solo queue games, he switched to the mid lane for his professional career. These players’ paths have gone in different directions over the years, but they’ve met once again—this time as rivals on the professional stage.
Knight’s dominant performance in the Summer Split earned him the regular split MVP award by a significant margin. He acquired 101 points, 42 points ahead of second place.
He led the league’s other mid laners in multiple statistics, according to data from gol.gg. He boasted a KDA of 7.2 (first), average kills of 5.7 (first), average deaths 1.7 (19th), average CS per minute of 9.1 (second), and average gold per minute of 448 (first). His stats looked much better than those of other LPL mid laners who have dominated on the international stage, such as Rookie, Doinb, and Yagao.
TES will attend the World Championship as the first seed representing the LPL. Their dominant performance over the past couple of months classifies them as a clear contender for the international title.