Edward Gaming’s Zheng “ZmjjKK” Yongkang (colloquially known as Kang Kang, the last two letters of his IGN) was a standout performer during VCT Masters Tokyo.

Little did we know that behind his stellar performance, the Chinese player was grappling with an overwhelming amount of stress.

This stress reached such a peak that he required an inhaler, an ice pack, and the assistance of a team doctor to alleviate his nerves during the intense match against LOUD.

The match was a high-stakes one, for it was a lower bracket elimination series against the very Brazilian team that won Valorant Champions 2022. What’s more, LOUD superstar Erick “aspas” Santos has been a thorn in his side ever since VCT LOCK//IN, Kang Kang admitted.

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Kang Kang’s secret rivalry with LOUD aspas at Masters Tokyo explained

TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 18: Zheng "ZmjjKK" Yongkang (Kang Kang) of EDward Gaming gestures the peace sign at VALORANT Masters Tokyo Brackets Stage at Tipstar Dome Chiba on June 18, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan
Credit: Liu YiCun/Riot Games

Masters Tokyo wasn’t the first time Edward Gaming faced off against LOUD. Kang Kang revealed on Weibo that they scrimmed against the Brazilian team at VCT LOCK//IN, and he described the experience as a “nightmare.”

“In countless dreams, I faced aspas and was destroyed by him,” he said.

As fate would have it, his rematch against aspas was set at Masters Tokyo. Unlike their previous encounter,it wasn’t a mere practice session. Instead, it was an elimination match where both teams were fighting for their tournament lives.

As a result, he felt immense pressure. It was revealed on EDG’s second vlog for Masters Tokyo that things got so bad, he needed medical assistance to calm down during the break in between maps.

“My heart was beating so fast until it felt like it hurt,” said Kang Kang, as translated by ONE Esports. “I had to spend a lot of time to ease the tension. Our team manager was so concerned that a technical timeout was called.”

EDG went on to defeat the Brazilian squad 2-0, winning Lotus 13-6 and Fracture 13-10. Moments after the victory, he was visibly overwhelmed with joy. After their win, he shared in the post-match press conference how he felt after overcoming his biggest challenge.

“I finally took down my kryptonite,” said Kang Kang. “Everything felt so surreal for me.”

He added that their win against LOUD proved that they are capable of competing for the Champions title this year.

ZmjjKK was an unstoppable force at Masters Tokyo, scoring the highest ACS (average combat score) in the entire tournament with 273.8, according to vlr.gg

Valorant statistician Willminder also pointed out that his performance in the tournament stood out significantly. He achieved a remarkable total of 103 Operator kills, surpassing the next player by 73 kills and equaled the combined kills of the following four players.

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