As the LPL nears its eighth week, teams are getting ready for the final push towards playoffs. With Rogue Warriors picking up wins, no team remains without a match win. In a similar vein, TOP Esports fell for the first time this split, as they were the last remaining undefeated team.
Week 7: Day 6
Match 1: Bilibili Gaming vs Dominus
BLG and Dominus will start off Saturday’s matches. Dominus fell in their last match, conceding Rogue Warriors their first win in the season. With their playoffs hopes all but gone, the best Dominus can hope for right now is to hinder other teams from advancing.
BLG have also had a rough season. Despite being in a better situation than DMO, they are also considerably behind the playoff race. While they still can make it in, it is a long-shot. Nonetheless, BLG will want to finish their split on the right foot and a win against Dominus can help them achieve that.
Match 2: Invictus Gaming vs RNG
The second match of the day will feature RNG and Invictus Gaming. IG are back at the top of the table and are currently tied with four other teams at eight wins. With only four teams getting a bye for playoffs, IG can’t afford to slip up anymore. A win against RNG will help push them further into guaranteeing their spot in playoffs.
On the other hand, RNG is desperately trying to hang on to playoffs. With their recent loss to Suning, they are losing sight of the playoff teams, with Vici being the closest. Luckily for them, both Vici and FPX have been slipping up, so if RNG get back on track, playoffs is still obtainable.
Week 7: Day 7
Match 1: Vici vs TOP Esports
Sunday’s first match will feature both TOP and Vici. Top finally fell, as they lost their series to Victory Five. Despite this, TOP are still one of, if not the best teams in the world right now. Vici will have a mountain to climb if they want to hand TOP their second loss.
That said, Vici has been on quite a tear. Despite falling in their last match, it was against the current champions in JDG, and it was a close series. Should Vici come at TOP with the same strength that they showed against JDG, they should at least have a fighting chance against TOP.
Match 2: JD Gaming vs FunPlus Phoenix
The final match of Week 7 will feature of clash of rivals between FPX and JDG. Both of these teams have quite a history together, as JDG knocked FPX out of spring playoffs both this year and last year. FPX were also the ones who sent JDG packing at the Mid Season Cup.
As for the match itself, FPX need a win here to get back on the board. They are in a bind, as they are currently sitting outside of playoffs, with a match advantage over Vici. JDG, on the other hand, are well on their way to confirming a top 4 bye. And with a win vs FPX, they can look to overtake Victory Five and finish in the top 2.
Week 8: Day 1
Match 1: World Elite vs LGD
In a battle for the top of the table, LGD will take on WE. Despite the unexpected loss to Rogue Warriors, LGD bounced back and took down EDG without much effort. They are now a match head of Vici, but have a match advantage. If they want to remain with a buffer for playoffs, taking down WE is a must.
On the other hand, Team WE is right on the top 5 team’s tails. Should they pick up a win in this match, the top 6 teams will all sit at 8 match wins. This means that getting a top-four, or maybe even top-two playoff bye is still possible. To remain with a chance at making it, WE need to bring down LGD.
Prediction: Team WE
Match 2: Victory Five vs Invictus Gaming
In another match at the top of the table, IG and V5 will fight for second place. Vitory Five brought down TOP, and have officially placed themselves as title contenders. Following closely in the steps of TOP, Victory Five have all but mathematically confirmed their playoff spot. This will be the orgs first playoffs since joining the LPL.
Invictus Gaming, as mentioned above, want to keep the top teams in touching distance. With an additional loss, compared to V5, they want to close the gap. If they defeat V5 here, they tie up in losses, but IG has the head-to-head. It will also do wonders for team morale moving into the final laps of the split.
Prediction: Victory Five
Week 8: Day 2
Match 1: OMG vs FunPlus Phoenix
OMG and FPX will kick-start the day on Tuesday. After suffering a loss to eStar, OMG are now all but eliminated from playoffs. With the top teams slipping further and further away from them, the best OMG can do is hinder other teams. And there is no team in a more delicate spot then FPX.
As mentioned previously, FPX are in dire need of wins. Despite the team doing well in spring and making it to the finals of the Mid Season Cup, the team has looked uninspired for summer. A loss against OMG would all but seal their doom. They cannot afford to slip up again.
Match 2: Vici vs EDG
EDG will take on Vici, in hopes that their season is salvageable. After picking up a few wins early on in the season, EDG fell backward and now are on the verge of elimination. Two match wins behind, the closest playoff team to EDG is Vici. A loss here would all but eliminate them from the race.
On the other hand, Vici will be relived. After facing FPX, JDG, and TOP, EDG should be a much easier match. However, Vici cannot fall into a false sense of security, as EDG is one of the teams that can still surpass Vici, as they are only two losses behind. Vici cannot let their guard down, less they find themselves falling short once again.
Week 8: Day 3
Match 1: Rogue Warriors vs eStar
Despite playoffs being a distant dream, Rogue Warriors are on a tear. After going so long without a win, they are on a three game winning streak. While it may be too little too late, it shows that the team has potential, and the changes that are needed aren’t as drastic as fans initially thought.
On the opposite side of the rift, eStar have managed to bring their losing streak to a halt. Again, it might be too little too late, but better late than never. The team had an overall good year, and if they manage to scoop up a few final wins, they should end the year on a positive note.
Prediction: Rogue Warriors
Match 2: Team World Elite vs Bilibili Gaming
As Team World Elite look to continue to keep the top teams in their reach, they will take on BLG. Despite it being a long-shot, Team WE have a chance to make it into a top-four bye. There is also a chance at making it to Worlds, with FPX slipping up and IG having suffered at loss at their hands earlier in the split.
On the other hand, BLG will want to spoil all that. While playoffs is unlikely for the team, they shouldn’t throw the towel. Should they manage to pick up a few wins before the end of the split, then they might have a more optimistic look when discussing 2021.
Prediction: World Elite
Week 8: Day 4
Match 1: Dominus vs TOP Esports
This match is one between the two polar opposites. Despite TOP falling in their series against V5, they are still considered the best team in the LPL. TOP are in a prime position to secure a top-two playoff bye, and book their first ticket to Worlds.
On the opposite side of the table, Dominus sits as the worst team in the LPL right now. While they won’t suffer the same 0-16 fate that V5 did, they haven’t picked a win since upsetting EDG.
Match 2: LNG vs JD Gaming
The second match of the day should be just as once sided as the first. While at different power levels, JD Gaming are right on TOP tail, and are one of the favorites to make it to the grand finals. After a rough start to the split, JDG seem to be back in business.
On the other hand, LNG are also on Dominus’ tail. Which is something that teams would like to avoid. While not in dead last, LNG are well on their way to last place. It will all come down to their eventual match against Dominus.
Week 8: Day 5
Match 1: Victory Five vs Suning
Friday’s first match should be a good one. Suning is another team hot on the tails of the top teams. They have the potential of making to a playoff bye, and they are close to securing their general playoffs spot. There is no way that they are giving up now after getting so near.
However, Victory Five are in a similar spot. They are on the verge of making it into their first playoffs ever, and have the chance of making it as a top-two seed. Neither team will want to give up an inch, and the loser of this match should be unable to catch up to the top two teams.
Prediction: Victory Five
Match 2: RNG vs LGD
In the final match of today’s article, RNG will take on LGD. This match is RNG best shot take taking a playoff team down a peg and bringing them to their level. While LGD may be in seventh right now, they are still in the range of RNG, who can still get it together in time for playoffs.
That said, LGD won’t let it come easily. After tripping up quite a bit more then what they would like, LGD are still ahead of the bunch in the middle of the table. A win here will not only shove a direct rival further down but will help create distance between them and the other teams.
That concludes the preview of the final two days of Week 7, as well as the first five days of Week 8. Be sure to come back next week, to read about the final two days of Week 8 and the start of Week 9.
Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay.