Zig Domestic Career
Derek “Zig” Shao started his LoL career as an AD carry main. His first team was XXX/unRestricted eSports, but unfortunately, Zig ended up parting ways with the organization right before it was acquired by Curse. At the beginning of 2012, Zig joined Just Your Average Joes. However, the fact that he didn’t get to start in any games caused him to look for greener pastures.
Then, he briefly joined Monomaniac eSports to sub in for WildTurtle at the IPL 4. His lineup had a respectable showing at the event, which opened up countless new opportunities. Once the tournament concluded, the entire roster left to join Team Dynamic.
The organization made a name for itself with strong showings at the CSN playLEGENDS Finals (#1 finish), SoloMid Invitational (#2 finish), GIGABYTE Esports LAN (#1 finish), Leaguepedia NA Invitational (#2 finish), 2012 MLG Summer (#3 finish), and so on. But everything fell apart in the Season 2 NA Regionals. Team Dynamic suffered a crushing 0-2 defeat in the first round of the competition—a result that led to conflict inner turmoil. This, combined with the fact that Zig couldn’t practice because of school, forced him to part ways with the team.
Zig came back in Season 3 by joining Pulse Esports as their top laner. Shortly thereafter, their roster was picked up by Dignitas as its Challenger team. Unfortunately, they didn’t get a lot of play time, and the entire lineup disbanded two months later. At the end of 2013, Zig joined Nexus Gaming. But the team didn’t live up to his expectations, and Zig left without starting in any games.
In 2014, Zig went to Team Curse as a substitute. During his time, he also played for Team LoLPro in the 2014 NA CS Summer Playoffs. LoLPro had a promising start with a victory over Denial eSports, but the following losses to Curse Academy and Team Coast knocked them out of the competition.
The next year started with Zig joining Team Liquid Academy (TLA). TLA took part in several NA CS Qualifiers. In spring of 2015, they showed up with a confident victory over InFinity eSports but fell short in the following round against CLG Black. In summer, TLA kicked off the tournament with a 2-0 win over Zenith eSports. However, they suffered a crushing defeat in the Semifinals against Misfits.
They finally made their presence known at the 2016 NA CS Spring Qualifiers. With a dominant 3-0 victory over Team Frostbite, TLA entered the 2016 NA CS Spring Split. Unfortunately for them, several of their players were promoted to Team Liquid’s main roster, and the Academy lineup struggled as a result. They barely made it to the playoffs where they lost to Apex Gaming with a 1-3 score.
Afterward, Zig left the team to join Phoenix1 (P1) in the 2016 NA LCS Summer Split. P1 quickly found themselves at the bottom of the LCS rankings. With a 5-13 record over the regular season, they were automatically knocked down to the Promotion Tournament. But thanks to a great showing from their jungler—Inori—Phoenix1 scored a confident victory over Echo Fox and avoided relegation.
In the off-season, the organization rebuilt its roster. This resulted in a massive upswing, and Phoenix1 ended the 2017 Spring Split with an 11-7 record. In the playoffs, they 3-0’d Team Dignitas but fell short in the following round against Cloud9. Afterward, they took part in the third place match, squeezing out a narrow 3-2 victory over FlyQuest.
During this time, Zig made a name for himself as a role player. He wasn’t the shining star of his team, but he could play any style his teammates needed. And this made him one of the most versatile top laners in the league.
Phoenix1 entered summer with hopes, but inexplicably, everything crumbled. Once again, they fell down the NA LCS ladder, and their abysmal 4-14 run led to another Promotion Tournament. Phoenix1 started the tournament with a win in a close 5-game series against GCU, but the following 2-3 loss to Team Liquid put them on the brink of elimination. Still, P1 regained their composure and bounced back with a 3-0 victory over eUnited.
When Phoenix1 were denied their NA LCS slot, Zig went to OpTic Gaming.
Zig International Tournaments
On Monomaniac eSports, Zig attended his first international tournament, IPL 4. Even though his team lost in the first round to Team Dignitas, Monomaniac eSports bounced back with victories over Against All Authority and Curse Gaming. Their run came to an end when they clashed with CLG in the following round, but this was still enough to secure a fourth-place finish.
On Team Dynamic, Zig attended the 2012 MLG Spring Championship. His team had a strong start with a 2-1 win over SK Gaming, but the subsequent loss to Team Dignitas knocked it down to the loser’s bracket. There, Dynamic went on a winning streak by crushing mTw.NA, Curse Gaming, and FnaticRC. But in the end, they couldn’t best CLG Prime in the loser’s bracket finals and finished the tournament in fourth place.
They participated in the IPL Face Off: San Francisco Showdown. Unfortunately, their stay was short-lived, and Team Dynamic were knocked out of the tournament with back-to-back losses to Team WE and mTw.NA.
On Phoenix1, Zig took part in the 2017 Rift Rivals (EU vs NA). P1 entered the tournament as underdogs, but surprisingly enough, they showed up with a 4-2 record against European teams. But TSM had an even better showing, and P1 couldn’t qualify for the finals.