As of Friday, June 5, the LPL Summer Split has begun. With more points being awarded in the Summer Split, and the victor winning a direct spot at Worlds, the teams will want to start off strong. On Day 1 of the action, WE took down EDG, and Suning took down LNG. Here is a preview of the remaining games of Week 1, as well as the first five days of action of Week 2.
Week 1: Day 2
Match 1: Victory Five vs Dominus
Moving into the Summer Split, both of these teams need to show up. Victory Five broke all the wrong records during the Spring Split, ending 0:16. Dominus looked better towards the end of the split, but still fell short and missed playoffs. Both teams also made significant changes in the rosters. Victory Five changed their entire roster, minus the mid lane.
Biubiu and Xinyi, now named Ping, are some names that fans might recognize. On the other side of the rift, Dominus lost their mid laner and their bot lane. Xiaowei, now returning with his previous ign Twila, is once again their starting mid laner. Dominus also bumped up their academy bot lane to their main roster. Helper and Mitsuki played together during the Spring Split of the LDL this year. The team ended in fourth.
Match 2: OMG vs RNG
OMG and RNG will be the second match of day 2. OMG made two changes coming into Summer. They picked up a new top laner, Aliez, previous on Victory Five and a new Support, Sora, previously on Royal Club. While it is unknown if Aliez or Curse will start, Sora is expected to start over Cold.
Their adversaries, RNG, made quite a few changes during the off-season. They picked up two new top laners, in 705 and New, since LangX moved to LGD. They also picked up Cryin for the mid lane, as Xiaohu seemed to be struggling. And lastly, Uzi, the star of the LPL, has officially retired. While this was somewhat expected, the implications are huge. RNG will need to learn to play without Uzi, a task they seemed to struggle with during the Spring Split.
Week 1: Day 3
Match 1: Team World Elite vs Suning
Kicking off the last day of Week 1, Team World Elite will take on Suning. Both teams won their matches in Day 1, so one of these teams will move into Week 2 with a 2-0 record. WE had a much harder match vs EDG, resulting in a 2:1 victory. Promising rookie Shanks didn’t see playtime, as Teacherma took the reigns and played his signature picks in Aurelion Sol and Galio. Suning faced off against LNG, a team that was a bottom of the table team in Spring and made no significant positive changes for Summer. With a swift and clean 2-0, Suning had little opposition. Nonetheless, this match should be a close one, where Team World Elite have a slight advantage.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Match 2: Bilibili Gaming vs Vici Gaming
In a clash between two teams that fell just short of playoffs, Vici takes on BLG in the last match of Week 1. Vici made one change during the off-season, bringing over Leyan from IG. Leyan previously played with mid laner Forge, and back on Invictus Gaming Young, they performed well together. Leyan may have struggled on IG, but he had glimpses of brilliance, which hopefully will return on Vici. BLG, on the other hand, made a few changes.
Due to drama between Fofo and Meteor, I3est16 joined the main roster of the team. Former carry Jinjiao moved into the support position, and academy carry Wings was bumped up. Due to the number of unknown quantities, Vici should have a favorable matchup.
Prediction: Vici Gaming
Week 2: Day 1
Match 1: OMG vs Victory Five
OMG and Victory Five will kick off Week 2, the first week with seven days of games. As mentioned above, Victory Five made quite a few changes coming into Summer, while OMG only made two. While Victory Five’s changes are definite upgrades to their spring roster, it may not be enough to take down OMG. All throughout spring, OMG consistently took down teams below them in the standings.
With a possible upgrade in the support position, there should be no reason for OMG to start faltering now. From the top lane down to the support, pound for pound OMG has better players than Victory Five. V5 first 2020 victory will probably have to wait.
Match 2: LGD vs eStar
One of the most exciting things to happen during the Spring Split was eStar showing up as a top tier team. Coming into 2020, no one really expected much out of this team. Nonetheless, they finished the round robin in fifth. On the opposite side of the rift, LGD made significant changes for the Summer Split. They promoted Garvey from their academy team and brought over LangX from RNG.
Lies was definitely struggling during spring, so both these players should be upgrades. However, LGD also brought over Xiye from Dominus. Xiye is a name that many will recognize as one of the best mid laners in the LPL. Paired alongside Peanut, who was one of the best junglers of Spring, and Kramer, a stable carry in the bot lane, LGD are looking good to go for the Summer Split.
Week 2: Day 2
Match 1: FunPlus Phoenix vs LNG
To start off the second day of games of week two, LNG will face off against FPX. After a third-place last spring, FPX went to the finals of the Mid Season Cup. With Khan starting, the team seems refreshed and ready to go. On the other hand, LNG dropped Asura, leaving Light to be their starting bot lane carry. Flandre is also in a sticky situation, due to him not wanting to leave the team, but management wanting to sell him.
Chenlun17 was the starter in their match against Suning, and while he looked okay, the team still struggled and eventually got crushed by Suning. There is little that suggests that the same won’t happen against FPX, a much better team.
Prediction: FunPlus Phoenix
Match 2: Rogue Warriors vs TOP Esports
After finishing spring in second, TOP took down FPX in the Mid Season Cup finals. With Karsa once again looking like a world-class jungler, the team only lost two games during the MSC, both against FPX. Coming into Summer, the team made no changes to their starting roster, with Photic returning to the academy team being the only change. Rogue Warriors also only made one change, bringing Youdang from EDG Youth.
It’s unknown if he will be the starting jungler, or if Haro will continue to be the Warriors’ jungler. Should Karsa play the way he did in the MSC, it won’t make a difference who starts, as neither should keep up. Even if Karsa falters, TOP have more than enough talent on the rift to take down Rogue Warriors.
Week 2: Day 3
Match 1: Vici Gaming vs RNG
RNG and Vici will face off in the first match of Day 3. As mentioned above, RNG made multiple changes to their roster, while Vici only made one. For those who don’t remember, it was Vici Gaming who first stopped RNG in the LPL’s return in Spring. After the hiatus, RNG seemed unstoppable, until Vici swept them in a clean 2-0.
Even if the players changed, RNG will face similar problems as they did back then. They still don’t have a clear shot-caller, and now their roster is new and will need time to build synergy. Maybe RNG end up being a better team futher down the line, but for now, Vici should have the advantage.
Match 2: Suning vs JD Gaming
The current LPL champions will face off against Suning to wrap up Day 3. After a phenomenal playoff run, JD Gaming showed some inexperience on the international stage, being eliminated by old rivals FPX in the MSC. The roster nevertheless seems ready for summer, and no changes were made to the roster.
Facing them is Suning, another team that made no changes to their starting five. While they did promote their academy jungler View, he is yet to play. Against Kanavi, either one of the Suning junglers will need a monstrous performance if they want a chance at winning. Despite Suning looking cleaner then they did in Spring, it will be an uphill battle against the current champions.
Week 2: Day 4
Match 1: Dominus vs eStar
To start off the fourth day of games, eStar and Dominus will face off. This will be an interesting matchup due to the team’s strong points being on opposite sides of the map. Natural and Xiaopeng are Dominus’ pressure points, while Wink and ShiauC are the best players on eStar. What this probably means is that the mid laners will decide the match. Dominus are once again running Twila, a mid laner who was less then impressive last time around.
On the other hand, eStar lost Cryin, who performed well during spring. To replace him, they picked up Fenfen a mid laner that never really found his home in the LPL, constantly rotating teams. Regardless of this, Fenfen should have the advantage, as should eStar.
Match 2: World Elite vs Invictus Gaming
In what should be one of the most hype matches of Week 2, Invictus Gaming takes on Team World Elite. After a fourth place in spring, Invictus Gaming got rocked in the Mid Season Cup and were the only LPL team to not make playoffs, going home early 0:3.
On the other hand, Team WE had an incredible run towards the end of the Spring Split. After they just managed to scrape into playoffs, they took down eStar in a convincing series. And while they did fall to TOP, they still managed to perform. With new mid laner Shanks, the sky is the limit for this young roster. However, one can never disregard IG, as most of their players have incredible carry potential.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Week 2: Day 5
Match 1: RNG vs LNG
RNG and LNG will kick off the matches of day five. As previously stated, LNG had a rough off-season, losing Asura and benching Flandre. Speaking of Flandre, the team that he was rumored to join was RNG, so this match will be extra spicy. On the opposite side of the rift, RNG are going to be trying to rebrand after losing Uzi. While Betty looked good gameplay-wise, he lacked the shot-calling that Uzi brought, and the clutch potential that a legendary carry like Uzi had.
These things come with time, and even though it is still the start of the split, RNG should have enough in the tank to take down LNG. LNG also has identity problems, and down the rift, RNG’s players are flat out better.
Match 2: FunPlus Phoenix vs Bilibili Gaming
The last match in today’s predictions is between FunPlus Phoenix and BLG. As previously mentioned, Khan is now the expected starting top laner for FPX, and that is the only change made. BLG, on the other hand, still have many question marks surrounding the team.
Will Meteor or I3est16 start? Will Jinjiao or Xinmo be the starting support? How good is Wings? While BLG has a match earlier on in the week, it will be hard to judge after a single match. Due to the number of uncertainties on BLG, and the sheer advantages that FPX has over BLG talent-wise, this match has a clear favorite to win.
And that concludes the preview of the remaining matches of Week 1 and the first five days of action of Week 2. Be sure to come back next week, where the article will wrap up Week 2 and analyze the first matches of Week 3.
Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay.