The Summer Split is officially past the halfway mark, as teams start to make their way towards playoffs. TOP Esports are still leading the charge, sitting at 7:0, while Rogue Warriors is still lagging behind, at 0:6. Without further ado, here is a look at the last two days of five, and the first five days of week six.
Week 5: Day 6
Match 1: Rogue Warriors vs EDG
Saturday’s first match should be an interesting one. EDG are currently on a 3 game losing streak and have had an inconsistent split so far. However, it is important to note that Hope, the carry and team’s most consistent player, was in the hospital due to pneumothorax. He will be returning to the lineup for this match against Rogue Warriors.
On the other hand, Rogue Warriors is the only team that remains winless in the LPL. Curiously, the other previously winless team, Dominus, picked up their first win earlier this week against EDG. Despite being 0:6, Rogue Warriors hasn’t looked too terrible and probably won’t finish the split winless. However, as it stands, playoffs seems like a distant dream.
Match 2: Invictus Gaming vs JD Gaming
In what will be a promising match, IG will take on JD Gaming. After a shaky start to the split, IG seem to be back on track. Despite not having the most convincing performance, they managed to take down Dominus earlier in the week. Jungler Ning seems to be back in shape, as he is currently tied for third in the MVP standings. With their jungler usually held as their weak link, having Ning back in form is a large contributor to IG’s recent success.
However, up against him is the Spring Split MVP, Kanavi. While neither Kanavi nor JDG are looking the same that they were in spring, both are starting to ramp up for summer. Loken has also been overperforming, as he is tied with Kanavi on the MVP standings, with 3 to their names.
Prediction: Invictus Gaming
Week 5: Day 7
Match 1: eStar vs Victory Five
eStar still hasn’t found the same success in summer that they found in spring. The team currently sits at 2:5 and are on a 3 game losing streak. Despite Fenfen being the only change on the starting roster, the team just hasn’t had the same impact as they did earlier in the year. Carry Wink is trying his best to help bring the team to playoffs once again, but the road ahead is looking rough for eStar.
Another team that has changed drastically in performance since spring is Victory Five. After finishing spring 0:16, V5 have 5 wins already in summer. While the team is yet to take down any of the heavy-hitters, such as TOP or IG, they are looking to try and make playoffs for the first time in the orgs history.
Prediction: Victory Five
Match 2: RNG vs FunPlus Phoenix
The final match of week five will be an all-out slug-fest between FPX and RNG. FPX are looking better after their loss last week to IG. They defeated eStar in a convincing game and managed to take down V5, a team that was looking hot in Summer. While they are the favorites in this match, fans are hoping for a convincing win to put them back in contention for the top of the table.
Up against FPX, RNG needs to find solid ground again. They got crushed by Victory Five, the same one FPX defeated and lost against Team WE as well. If playoffs started today, RNG would be out, as they sit at a 4:3 record. With how close it was in spring, every match result is important, and RNG needs exactly that: results.
Week 6: Day 1
Match 1: Team WE vs Dominus
Team WE and Dominus are kicking off the action in week 6. Dominus finally got a match win, as they took down EDG in a clean 2:0 series. While the team has looked consistently better, they never managed to win a series until last Monday. A week later, and they are facing another middle of the pack team in WE. Will DMO’s improvement be enough to take down the team fighting kings of the LPL?
As mentioned above, Team WE love to team fight. With Teacherma leading the charge on Galio or Aurelion Sol, WE won’t shy away from fights. This has proven to be a double-edged sword, as teams can take advantage of this aggression. DMO’s recent wins have been off the back of punishing enemy mistakes. Fans can’t help but wonder: will Team WE aggression once again backfire in their faces?
Match 2: JD Gaming vs EDG
EDG will take on JDG in the second series of the night. With Hope returning to their roster, EDG will want to start turning their split around. With the LPL being such a competitive league, every match is important. And when it comes to playoffs, EDG isn’t looking great. They are currently 2:4, so if they want to make it into playoffs, they need to start picking up some wins.
JDG is currently in the opposite direction. They are climbing the table, looking to secure a top-four bye in the end of the split. Even if they don’t make it into the top four, knocking a competitor like EDG down a peg will always boost morale. With the team being the defending champions, the fans are expecting them to show up in the series against EDG.
Week 6: Day 2
Match 1: Vici vs Rogue Warriors
After a rough start to the split, Vici are starting to wake up for summer. They won both of their last two series, against LNG and eStar. While they weren’t convincing wins, small steps in the right direction is a great way to get back on track. After falling just short of playoffs last split, Vici will want to correct their mistakes and this time, go all the way.
Up against them, Rogue Warriors will want to start their journey to the right track. Should they fall to EDG, they will be 0:7, with 8 losses being the max to make it into playoffs. Should they fall here, their elimination from playoffs will be just a matter of time.
Match 2: Suning vs eStar
As the split goes on, eStar’s dream of making it into playoffs is starting to drift ever so slightly away from them. While some say it is still too early to say, they are sitting at 2:4, with both of their wins being against bottom of the table teams. That said, it’s not too late to get back on track. Last split, the race for the last spot in playoffs was a close one, and it came down to a photo-finish.
Against them is a team that fell in that photo-finish. Suning fell just short last time, and want to change that story for summer. With their win against LGD, this team is looking refreshed again, as Huanfeng continues to be a shining star on this squad.
Week 6: Day 3
Match 1: LNG vs Victory Five
When the discussion is about the most improved team since spring, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Victory Five is the winner. With a new squad and plenty of fresh faces, the team has taken summer by storm, and are charging towards playoffs. They have despatched every middle of the pack team so far, so they seemingly have the upper hand coming into this match.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, LNG hasn’t changed at all since spring. Despite two different names on the roster, the team remains the same. LNG seem to live or die by Maple’s performance, and when he doesn’t show up, then the team looks lost.
Prediction: Victory Five
Match 2: Bilibili vs Invictus Gaming
Invictus Gaming will take on BLG next Wednesday. Despite many fans being critical of the team, IG is once again having a good performance in the round-robin. They managed to pull off wins against direct competitors, and while they might not be clean wins, they are wins the none the less. As it currently stands, TOP seem like the only team that can hold them back.
Speaking of wins, a team that finally managed to find a win was BLG. After picking up a questionable win against eStar, BLG slumped back into their old ways. However, last week against LNG, BLG managed to bounce back and pick up a clean 2:0 victory. In spring, a similar situation happened where the team started off poorly but nearly made it to playoffs in the end.
Week 6: Day 4
Match 1: Vici vs FunPlus Phoenix
Vici Gaming haven’t had the most convincing Summer Split so far. While they did manage to pick up wins, they were close wins against bottom of the table teams. However, this can all change if they manage to take down FPX. A win in this match would give fans hope that the team has finally come together for summer.
Up against them, FPX will want to solidify themselves as a top tier team. Sitting at 4:2 so far, fans are expecting at least a top-four bye in the round-robin. While Vici isn’t likely a team that will contest the top four positions, a convincing win against them will help solidify them as a top team, especially in the eyes of fans.
Match 2: LGD vs JD Gaming
Speaking of top-four byes, JDG will take on LGD next week. Both teams are looking to finish the split in those top positions. JD Gaming, as the defending champions, have set the bar for themselves at the max. Both fans and the org now have high expectations regarding where JDG end up. Should the champion not finish in the top four, questions will start to rise about the team.
Up against them, LGD is another team that fans now have high hopes for. After a poor spring split, the team was rebuilt for summer and was looking hot. However, Suning was a bucket of cold water down LGD fan’s back, as they lost that series. LGD’s road towards redemption will continue against JDG.
Prediction: JD Gaming
Week 6: Day 5
Match 1: OMG vs Bilibili Gaming
OMG and BLG will kick off the action of day five. BLG have finally managed to pick up another win, and it was a fairly convincing one. Does this mean that now BLG are going to consistently perform at the level that fans expected them to perform? This series should be a good measuring stick as to where BLG truly lies in the standings.
On the other side of the rift, OMG have begun their climb towards playoffs. After a rough start to the split, OMG have finally started to stabilize and are on a winning streak. The team that fell just short of playoffs last split, has seemed to shore up a few of their issues. Whether this is enough to bring them into playoffs is yet to be discovered.
Match 2: Invictus Gaming vs eStar
In the final match of today’s article, eStar will take on Invictus Gaming. As the league currently stands, both of these teams are on opposite sides of the table. eStar is on the struggling end, where teams have found out their strategies, and now they are in somewhat of an identity crisis. With teams focusing on keeping Wink and ShiauC behind, eStar now lost their most reliable carries.
On the positive side of the table, lies Invictus Gaming. While still keeping their fans on their toes, IG has won most of their series, sitting at 5:2. Despite it being a bumpy road, IG are the favorites coming into this series.
And that concludes the preview of the final two days of week 5, as well as the first five days of week 6. Be sure to come back next week, to read about the final two days off week 6 and the start of week 7.
Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay.