As we draw near to Week 5 of the LPL, the Lunar New Ytear also draws near. Due to the extended break, Week 5 will be divided into two articles. Today’s article will cover the two remaining days of Week 4 and the first three days of Week 5. On Wednesday, the next article will cover the last four remaining days of action. Without any further ado, let’s get on with the article.
Week 4: Day 6
Match 1: ThunderTalk Gaming vs Victory Five
ThunderTalk Gaming still hasn’t found a match win on the rift in 2021. They are currently tied with LGD in fifteenth place, with both teams sitting at 0/4. While it’s possible that they turn things around after the Lunar New Year, playoffs seems unlikely for TT.
Meanwhile, Victory Five is going through a bit of a top lane crisis. They started the season out with LangX but recently brought over Aodi, who was previously on EDG. Now they just promoted academy top laner Invincible to their main roster. Despite the team’s top lane debacle, they are doing fairly well for themselves. They are the clear favourites to win in this match.
Prediction: Victory Five
Match 2: Invictus Gaming vs FunPlus Phoenix
In what could be one of the most electric matches we’ve had so far in 2021, FPX and IG will duke it out on Saturday. After both teams having a fairly disappointing 2020, they made a few changes to their roster, but their core remains the same.
Both teams won their first match in a fairly convincing manner, only to fall in their second match. IG also fell in their third. However, both teams have now bounced back, and over their last couple of matches, they have put on impressive performances. In a match that could go either way, the viewers are probably in for a bloody, possibly long series, with 2-1 being a very likely result.
Prediction: FunPlus Phoenix
Week 4: Day 7
Match 1: Rare Atom vs Rogue Warriors
In a match where both teams are desperate for a win, Rogue Warriors will take on Rare Atom. Rare Atom have not had good performances so far. After beating Suning, the team fell easily to both BLG and JDG, teams that are still underperforming compared to their potential. Rare Atom needs to get in shape post Lunar New Year, if they want to contest for playoffs.
After taking down Top Esports in a convincing series, Rogue Warriors has lost every game since. Ziv continues to play isolated in the top lane, and they are constantly rotating who plays in their bot lane. With no stable lanes to go tom Haro isn’t able to play to his strengths, and gets hunted in the jungle. Sitting at 1-5, Rogue Warriors need to wake up soon.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Match 2: Top Esports vs JD Gaming
In a rematch of both spring and summer’s Grand Finals, Top and JDG will end off Week 4. After their rough start, Top Esports seems to be back on track. They had two convincing 2-0 series, and Top seem ready to take on the undefeated teams.
While Yagao returning to the starting roster has allowed JDG to find wins, they still aren’t convincing wins. Compared to how they looked last year, this roster seems weaker. While it could just be a change in meta, fans are still concerned about how the team will perform in the long run.
Prediction: Top Esports
Week 5: Day 1
Match 1: Suning vs LGD
While Kramer has finally returned to LGD, the team is still struggling. While they do manage to perform well in most matches, they struggle when it comes to the mid and late game. This usually indicates a problem in the shot-calling department, which is understandable given the rookie status of most LGD players.
Speaking of problems in the shot-calling department, Suning also isn’t looking too hot. However, they did manage to take down OMG, with Angel picking up a pentakill on Azir in game one. Once again up against a team that has no wins on the board, Suning must have a convincing performance against LGD.
Match 2: Bilibili Gaming vs RNG
Monday’s second series will feature both RNG and BLG. RNG look like a really impressive team so far in 2021, with Wei and Cryin looking like a top tier mid-jungle duo. With Gala also putting on impressive performances, it seems like 2021 will be RNG’s comeback year.
On the other hand, BLG seems like a team that’s all over the place. Currently sitting at 3-3, BLG’s series tend to be long, fought-out slogfests, win or lose. There still seem to be a lot of questions surrounding the top side of this team, and up against RNG, they seem to be outclassed.
Week 5: Day 2
Match 1: Rare Atom vs Team World Elite
Another team that has looked really impressive in 2021 is Team WE. While many had questions surrounding Shanks in the mid lane, he seems to be right at home amongst the LPL mid laners. With Beishang performing like the best jungler in the LPL, it seems like the sky is the limit for Team WE.
As mentioned above, Rare Atom isn’t doing too well. Despite rebranding into Rare Atom, it seems like a lot of the Vici problems still remain. While Fofo has had decent performances, it seems like the entire team is playing disconnected from each other. They are prone to being picked apart, and that’s just how Team WE likes to play the game.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Match 2: Victory Five vs EDG
The third great team in the LPL right now is EDG. With Flandre coming in and helping with the shot-calling, the team looks like a different beast. Viper has also been performing super well, picking up rookie of the week back-to-back. A lot like RNG, EDG seem to have bounced back from 2020.
Up against them, Victory Five still seem uncertain regarding their starting team. It seems like the team’s most consistent player so far is Mole, who is one of the League’s solo kill leaders. They will need a super carry performance from Mole, if they want to take down EDG.
Week 5: Day 3
Match 1: eStar vs ThunderTalk Gaming
After starting the split out fairly well, eStar got bullied in their matches against FPX and IG. While the team does have clear strong points, they also do have glaring weaknesses. They will need to shore up these weaknesses if they want to remain contesting playoffs.
On the other hand, ThunderTalk need to show up big. Up against a team that has failed to impress recently, this may be your best chance as of yet to pick up a win. After Dominus only picking up one match win in the summer of last year, ThunderTalk will certainly want to avoid that happening again.
Match 2: JD Gaming vs Rogue Warriors
To wrap up today’s article, JDG will take on RW on Wednesday. JD Gaming is one of the teams that might change completely post Lunar New Year. With Mystic potentially coming into the roster, Xiye might make a return to the mid lane.
As mentioned before, the struggle is real for Rogue Warriors. With rough performances in almost every series, RW just seem lost. Hopefully, the team manages to get it together and sort it out after the Lunar New Year. Question is, will it be too little too late?
Prediction: JD Gaming
And that concludes the preview of the last two days of the fourth week of the LPL, as well as the first three days of Week 5. Be sure to come back next Wednesday to read about the last matches of Week 5, the final week before the Lunar New Year.
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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay