With Worlds 2022 about to begin, the League of Legends Vietnam Championship Series’ Saigon Buffalo are one of the 24 teams from across the world that are making their way to the biggest event of the year. Every team entering the League of Legends World Championship have the same goal: to stand at the top uncontested and hoist the Season 12 Summoner’s Cup high.
Saigon Buffalo represented VCS at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational and reminded fans just how good the region could be. Even though they fell short in the rumble stage, they took games of G2 and were not afraid to show their explosive style. Now, Saigon Buffalo will set their sights on making a deeper run.
Saigon Buffalo (VCS) Worlds 2022 Starting roster breakdown
- Top: Lâm “Hasmed” Huỳnh Gia Huy| Signed in May 2019.
- Jungle: Trn “BeanJ” Văn Chính| Signed in November 2020.
- Mid : Bùi “Froggy” Văn Minh Hải| Signed in May 2020.
- Bot: Nguyễn “Shogun” Văn Huy| Signed in May 2021.
- Support: Đinh “Taki” Anh Tài| Signed in November 2020.
Note: Saigon Buffalo may be without their full roster; they might not even participate, as they have yet to secure visa approvals for Shogun, Froggy and BeanJ.
3/5 our key players (Shogun, Froggy & BeanJ) got their visa denied on Thursday, Riot’s already requested US Consulate in VN to ask for 2nd interview appointment before the event kickoff, hoping for best 🙏🏻🙏🏻 #Worlds2022 #Praying @lolesports
— Saigon Buffalo Esports (@MrBuffalo7) September 17, 2022
How they got here
After the cancellation of VCS 2021 summer split, the Saigon roster kicked off 2022 season with a second place finish in Spring. The team made no changes to their roster and looked better with each series played. While Saigon failed to beat GAM Esports, they had very little competition asides Team Secret. Saigon beat Team Secret in the spring semi finals with a 3-2 win and went on to face the undefeated GAM. Despite falling to GAM in the VCS Spring finals, Saigon represented the region at MSI and showed their explosive botlane and overall playstyle.
The 2022 VCS summer split was tougher for Saigon as they dropped to third with an 8-6 record. They also struggled to maintain consistency throughout the split as they would win and lose games frequently. With GAM and Team Secret both finishing first and second in the regular split, it was clear that Saigon would need to step up in Playoffs.
Saigon began their playoffs with a swift 3-0 against second place Team Secret. This win set them up for a revenge match against GAM and a chance to clinch a Worlds spot. Saigon pushed GAM to the limits in Round 2 of the VCS Playoffs and eventually came out victorious in game 5. They became the first VCS team to qualify for World since 2019 and also sent GAM team to the losers bracket of the playoffs. Saigon’s reign as the kings of VCS was shortlived as GAM came back from the losers bracket to hand them a 3-0 loss in the finals. Their loss to GAM in the finals meant that they will begin Worlds in the Play-In stage instead.
Players to watch
There is no doubt that Saigon are very strong unit. However, when it comes to stand out players, all eyes remain on the botlane. According to Oracle’s Elixir, Shogun had the joint best KDA (4.6) for bot laners in VCS and also dominated all early game statistics. He also played thirteen different champions icluding Draven and Nilah during the regular split.
“I think the stand out player is Shogun,” VCS English caster Yousuf said. “He even picked up a pentakill against GAM in the upper bracket finals. SGB have strong laners in every role, but are definitely a bot lane focused team. Taki is a mechanically gifted support and alongside Shogun, the duo are more than happy to ‘hand check’ their opponents in lane.”
How Saigon Buffalo can succeed at Worlds 2022
Anyone that watched Saigon at MSI saw how explosive their bot lane and that hasn’t changed a bit. Even though we may not see huge focus on the bot lane at Worlds, it is difficult to see Saigon changing their recipe for success.
“I think their bot lane is still their greatest strength,” Tom ‘Carix’ Newing, VCS English caster said. “Having a dynamic and explosive bot lane like Shogun and Taki in the current meta is a massive strength for the Buffalo.”
While the bot lane will remain key for Saigon, there is no doubt that they will need their jungler BeanJ to be at his best. BeanJ had a very impactful split; he became central to their early game aggression, but found difficulty during the VCS finals. Saigon find themselves in a very tough Group B with three major region teams and will need their carries more than ever here.