The final week of the LPL is approaching. As the league currently stands, the top seven teams are only one game apart from each other in the standings. With the changes to the playoffs, only the top six teams get to skip round one of the playoffs, so one of those seven teams will start from the bottom of playoffs and work their way up. Also, note that today’s article will be shorter than usual, as it will only cover the first three days of Week 10, instead of the usual five.
Week 9: Day 6
Match 1: Victory Five vs FunPlus Phoenix
Victory Five are on a downwards swing. Despite still technically being in the race for playoffs, they are on a five-game losing streak. However, should they pull an unlikely upset, they will only be one match behind the playoffs teams.
FPX is one of the teams in the aforementioned seven-way tie. Sitting at 10-4, they are one win behind the top three. Should they win here, they tie up with the top teams in wins, but have an extra loss. FPX will be watching and waiting, hoping that the top teams trip up in their final week.
Match 2: RNG vs Top Esports
In what could be the most important match in the playoffs race. RNG will take on Top. RNG are still at the top of the table, sitting with 11 wins and two losses. Should they win here, their top two seed will be basically confirmed.
On the other hand, Top Esports have been on a bit of a rampage. After losing to FPX with Bo on the team, Top have won every series, and are now knocking on the door of the top seeds. A win here ties them with EDG and WE at 11-3.
Prediction: Top Esports
Week 9: Day 7
Match 1: JD Gaming vs LGD
LGD are holding out for a hero right about now. Despite still being mathematically in the race for playoffs, their situation is grim. However, they showed potential and took down Rare Atom, a team that looked nearly unstoppable. Can they do it again?
With their recent victory over LNG, JDG are at the tail end of the seven-way tie. Luckily for them, JDG have, in theory, an easy last couple of matches. With the team looking stronger and stronger towards the end of the split, now is the time to confirm their favoritism against the bottom teams and fight for a top-four seed.
Prediction: JD Gaming
Match 2: LNG vs Suning
Both of these teams are in a fairly similar boat. Suning has the slight upper hand in the table, due to having played one less series. However, they looked lost in their series against WE, and while tripping over LNG won’t be the end of the world for them, it could mean that they face each other again in the first round of playoffs.
LNG have been all over the place this split. Sitting at 7-7, their seven losses were to the seven of the eight teams sitting above them, with Suning being the eighth team. This match will show if LNG could make some noise in playoffs, or if they will probably fall in the first round.
Week 10: Day 1
Match 1: Rare Atom vs RNG
Rare Atom previously were viewed as the team posed to pass up the top-two in the final week. But they tripped over LGD, making their shot nearly impossible. However, should they beat RNG, this will allow the other teams fighting for the top two to tie with RNG, as well as keep them in the race for fourth.
RNG are currently the leaders of quite a long procession of teams. Even if they fall to Top, they will still be the leaders. However, if they fall here again, suddenly you have a massive power vacuum that plenty of teams will look to fill.
Match 2: Invictus Gaming vs Victory Five
Victory Five’s final shot will be against Invictus Gaming. With a pretty big chance of coming into this match eliminated, the best they can do is to complicate life for other teams. Beating IG pretty much condemns them to face whoever loses the race for top six.
Invictus Gaming will probably start in the lower bracket of playoffs. While many teams may view this as a negative thing, it might be good for IG. Playing a few best of fives before facing the top of the table may allow IG to warm up to compete at the highest level again.
Prediction: Invictus Gaming
Week 10: Day 2
Match 1: JD Gaming vs OMG
As previously mentioned, JD Gaming have a fairly easy shot at confirming their spot in the top six. Despite OMG looking better towards the end, they probably don’t have enough in the tank to beat JDG. This will allow JDG to skip the first round of playoffs and avoid a best-of-five.
On the other hand, OMG are already eliminated from the playoff race. They have nothing better to do other than try to cook someone’s goose. An LPL team with nothing to lose is a dangerous adversary, and JGD better watch themselves.
Match 2: Suning vs Bilibili Gaming
BLG will face Suning next Tuesday. The only team that could realistically make it into playoffs, BLG need to hope that Suning beat LNG on Sunday, and then beat the same Suning in this match. Even then, due to LNG’s final opponent, BLG still need another miracle.
A team that could break into the top six, Suning need to beat LNG, BLG, and eStar and hope that two of Top, FPX, JDG or RA lose all their final matches. Considering how unlikely it is, Suning will most likely be in the first round of playoffs. However, they are well set up to choosing their own fate, as to who they want to face in the first round of playoffs.
Week 10: Day 3
Match 1: Top Esports vs ThunderTalk Gaming
Team TT are currently out of the playoff race. With their final games being worth nothing more than pride, they are another one of the dangerous teams to face. Despite being up against possibly the best bot lane in the LPL, their bot lane has shown potential and will try their hardest to damn Top to a rough ending.
Top Esports has been ruthless as of late. With blazing-fast wins, Top Esports are on the hunt for the teams at the top of the table. While they will get their chance at taking them down personally, they first have to get TT out of the way.
Prediction: Top Esports
Match 2: EDG vs Team World Elite
In what is possibly the most important match of the week, EDG will face Team World Elite. Both of these teams are currently tied for second. However, considering their final opponents, it is possible that whoever loses this match ends the final week 0-2. With that being the case, it makes them both candidates to fall out of the top six.
EDG have tripped up recently, with all of their losses being after the Lunar New Year. IG in Week 6, RNG in week seven and Top in week eight, EDG have had a few hiccups. On the other side of the Rift, Team WE have been on an upward trend. Since the Lunar New Year, they have won every match and are on a six-game winning streak. This series is likely to go the distance, with both teams have good chances of winning.
And that concludes the preview of the last two days of Week 9 and the first three days of Week 10. Be sure to come back next time, to wrap up the final week of the LPL 2021 spring round-robin.
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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay