LoL pro veteran wins by lighting up and downing Red Bull before matches

Declan Mclaughlin

LPL veteran Zeng ‘Yagao’ Qi opened up about his pre-game rituals after smashing Weibo Gaming 3-0 in the Playoffs.

Esports pros have all sorts of pre-match rituals they do to get their mind and body right before big matches. There is even a cottage industry around ensuring they perform at the highest level in every competition.

League of Legends esports veteran Yagao rubbed up against that conventional wisdom in a post-match interview after an LPL Playoff matchup. The seven-year Chinese veteran revealed that before matches he needs to light up a cigarette and down a Red Bull to feel “fully buffed” for the games ahead of him.

“I just light a cigarette, drink a can of Red Bull, and I’m fully buffed,” he said via a translation by X account Yuuu.

While only 25 years old, Yagao has been around the block in terms of his pro career. He has placed in the top four of the LPL Playoffs nine times now after JD Gaming’s win over Weibo today, and the Chinese pro has appeared on the international stage four times.

His pre-game ritual might not be something that other top pros will try to replicate, but the average League of Legends player has found it incredibly relatable. Multiple fans on social media praised Yagao for showcasing the same pre-match habits that they do before running it down in solo queue.

Others compared Yagao to European league soccer star Jamie Vardy, who wrote in his autobiography that he downs three Red Bulls, a double expresso and an omelet before matches.

Outside of his accomplishments on the rift, Yagao has shown that he is just like the rest of us when it comes to getting in the mood to hop into a League of Legends game.

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