While other leagues are yet to start, the LPL is wrapping up Week 2 and getting started on Week 3. The standings and teams have been all over the place, with multiple upsets and plenty of chaos. Perhaps the most surprising of these is Top Esports being down 0/2. They lost their first game to Suning and then their second to Rogue Warriors. While it shouldn’t take long for Top to get back up, it is surprising to see them fail this early on.
Week 2 Day 6
Match 1: Victory Five vs LGD
LGD’s debut match will be against Victory Five. It is important to note that Garvey will be starting in the bot lane, as it seems that Kramer is still in quarantine. This will also be the LPL debut of 3/5 of LGD’s roster. Only Garvey and Cult have played in the LPL before, and even then, both were substitute players.
On the other hand, Victory Five wants to bounce back from their loss. While their match against Team WE was a fun one, it ended in a loss for V5. If V5 wants to confirm to their fans that they are a playoff team, they must win here.
Prediction: Victory Five
Match 2: EDG vs FunPlus Phoenix
Both of these teams started off putting their best foot forward. Curiously, both of their debut matches were against the same team, OMG. This makes it substantially easier to compare.
Going by how they both sized up against OMG, FPX seem to have the upper hand. Both teams had a very convincing win in Game 1. However, EDG stumbled and lost game two, and would have lost Game 3, if not for a series of throws from the inexperienced OMG. FPX, on the other hand, continued to perform in Game 2, taking another convincing game win against OMG.
Week 2: Day 7
Match 1: LNG vs ThunderTalk Gaming
In what was one of the most surprising upsets of Week 2, LNG took down IG. While Tarzan and Icon had solid performances, it was the bot lane that showed up. Light won MVP in Game 1 showing off on the Tristana. In Game 2, it was Iwandy who won MVP with an impressive Alistar performance.
On the other hand, ThunderTalk didn’t impress in their first series. They got smashed by RNG in what was a fairly one-sided affair. To make matters worse, LNG picked up Natural, who was previously on TT. While it is unknown if he will play in this match or if it will be Mikuya, LNG still stand as the favorites.
Match 2: Team World Elite vs Invictus Gaming
In what could be the most explosive match of the week, Team WE will face IG. Team WE are one of the teams that managed to win both of their games so far. With really solid drafts and good understanding of the meta, Team WE could start to distance themselves from the other teams.
On the other hand, IG seems to be all over the place. In their first series against JDG, they had a better draft and that gave them the innate advantage. However, against LNG, it seemed like they forgot about their first series and had a mediocre draft, allowing LNG to take away the win.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Week 3: Day 1
Match 1: OMG vs eStar
Week 3 will start out with a match between two teams that are looking for a win. All things considered, eStar seem to have most of the revamped teams at the start of the season. After facing RW, they now face OMG. Problem is, if they aren’t winning here, when will they start winning?
On the other hand, OMG had a really rough start. After facing EDG they immediately had to face FPX. This will be their first match against a team that many deem to be on a similar power level as them. Once again, the question must be asked: if they don’t win here, when will they win?
Match 2: Bilibili Gaming vs Victory Five
Coming into 2021, BLG made massive changes to their roster. Four of their players are new to the team, and none of them played together before, so their lack of synergy is understandable. However, what isn’t understandable is certain players that seem to not be showing up at the level fans know they can. In both of their series so far, Meteor hasn’t shown up. BLG need Meteor to do well, especially in the current meta.
Coming up against them, Victory Five are just about the opposite. The only new player on this squad is LangX, a veteran who should know how to perform and so far seems to be fitting into the team. This match comes down to who has the better synergy with their teammate. In that case, Victory Five seem to be the clear favorites.
Prediction: Victory Five
Week 3: Day 2
Match 1: Rogue Warriors vs FunPlus Phoenix
Day 2 of Week 3 features one of the more interesting teams so far, Rogue Warriors. While they put up a good fight against Team WE, they managed to win against Top Esports. RW have already managed to establish themselves as one of the most aggressive teams in the LPL, be it for better or for worse.
Up against them is a team that will never refuse the invitation to brawl. With Nuguri coming in and allowing the team to play bot side without having to worry about the state of their top lane, FPX seem to be an entirely new beast. While it may be early on in the split, FPX are looking like a solid team.
Match 2: EDG vs LGD
The second match of the day features two of the LPL’s oldest organizations. EDG have put together a new roster made of familiar faces, and as a team that are already fan favorites, they will want to show those fans, be they old or new that their trust wasn’t misplaced.
Against them, LGD are a team that is going through a reboot. With so many rookies joining, these first games are a great parameter to define a team’s potential. While winning is always nice, proving that they have what it takes to make a great team further down the line is what this line up is looking for.
Week 3: Day 3
Match 1: Invictus Gaming vs eStar
A lot like the match above, winning isn’t the most important part for eStar. After causing a stir in spring last year, eStar have undergone a fairly big change. With three rookies on the roster, and ShiauC only having 1 year of experience, eStar need more time to grow.
On the other hand, this should be a fairly straightforward match for IG. Should they stumble and fall here, it will raise red flags for many fans. After the changes in the last off-season, many IG fans came out satisfied, but still concerned about the team.
Prediction: Invictus Gaming
Match 2: Suning vs Rare Atom
After defeating Top Esports in Week 1, Suning fell victim to RNG. Suning have changed their playstyle again, adopting a much more reactive style, letting their opponents strike first. Problem is, against hyper-aggressive teams, it might be too little too late.
And when it comes to aggression, Rare Atom are as aggressive as they come. With players like Cube, Fofo, and Iboy always ready to brawl, a world exists where Rare Atom just run away with the game before Suning come online. While Angel has had some amazing performances so far, he’s played Azir and Viktor, two mid laners that don’t come online as early as some of the other meta mid lane picks.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Week 3: Day 4
Match 1: Team World Elite vs ThunderTalk Gaming
Thundertalk are another team that needs to prove how much potential they have. Despite rebranding to TT this year, their old Dominus problems still plague them. They have no clear shot-caller and lack a team identity. ThunderTalk have a rough start to the spring split, having to face some of the heavy hitters early.
And when it comes to heavy hitters, few seem to be hitting harder than Team World Elite. A team that is on the lips of many fans, they seem to be working out nicely. Team WE is a great example of why renovating your roster and betting on rookies can pay dividends.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Match 2: OMG vs RNG
Despite the concern that many had, RNG seem to be doing fine. XiaoHu seems to have adapted well to the top lane, playing a lot of the same champions that he had before. Credit to the players and staff involved in changing their playstyle to adapt to having mages in the top lane.
OMG continue with their schedule of facing big names early on in the split. Only four games in, OMG will have already faced RNG and EDG, two of the oldest brands in the LPL. That said, OMG looked pretty solid in their games so far, with Aki often setting a good pace early on in the jungle.
Week 3: Day 5
Match 1: Rare Atom vs Bilibili Gaming
In what could be a very important match for both team further down the season, Rare Atom will take on BLG. Fans and analysts say that both these teams should fight for playoffs, but aren’t favorites to win it all. With that said, whoever wins the direct head-to-head will have a clear advantage when it comes to the race for playoffs.
The key to this match is the jungle showdown. In prior years, Meteor was one of the top junglers in the LPL. However, so far, his 2021 hasn’t been the best. On the other hand, Aix has never been named one of the top junglers. So this match comes down to which can overcome recent trends.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Match 2: EDG vs JDG
In the final match of today’s article, EDG takes on JDG. Many have high hopes for this EDG roster, with many known faces and returning fan-favorites. That said, many analysts say that this is still a fairly limited roster. Since these are known faces, we know their skill ceiling.
On the opposite side of the rift, JDG hasn’t impressed so far. They did manage to win their second series, with Yagao returning to the mid lane. But it feels like a band-aid that covers the real problem that they are facing. Kanavi still doesn’t feel like the player we saw last year, and the entire team feels a bit off. Only time will tell if these are temporary problems or something worse.
And that concludes the preview of the last two days of the second week of the LPL, as well as the first five days of Week 3. Be sure to come back next Friday, to read about the last matches of Week 3, as well as the first five days of Week 4.
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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay