As fans draw near to Week 5 of the LPL, the Lunar New Year also draws near. Due to the extended break, Week 5 will be divided into two articles. Last week’s article covered the two remaining days of Week 4 and the first three days of Week 5. Today’s article will cover the last four remaining days of action. Please note that this week Saturday and Sunday have 3 matches instead of the usual 2.
Week 5: Day 4
Match 1: Invictus Gaming vs OMG
OMG are one of the teams that have been struggling quite a bit. Before this match, they are 0:5 and are staring down the barrel of a 0:6 start. This would mean they would need to win almost every match after the Lunar New Year to make playoffs.
On the other hand, IG didn’t look too sharp against FPX. While there is an argument to be made that FPX looked phenomenal, IG didn’t put up much of a fight. Fans will want a clean 2:0 victory over OMG to be able to rest assured that they are still a top team.
Prediction: Invictus Gaming
Match 2: LNG vs FunPlus Phoenix
Thursday’s second match promises to be a show-stopper. After their loss to Team WE, LNG have regained their form and had good victories over BLG and eStar. Icon seems to be back in form, as he returned to being the All-Pro mid laner for week 4.
Facing them from the other side of the rift, FPX seem to be back in top form. Bo, the new jungler, seems to have breathed new life into the team. However, more importantly, the bot lane returned to their strong play. Crisp was the All-Pro support for week 4, and LWX is tied with Viper at the top of the MVP standings.
Prediction: FunPlus Phonenix
Week 5: Day 5
Match 1: LGD vs ThunderTalk Gaming
Both of these teams are currently at the bottom of the standings. ThunderTalk Gaming did manage to upset Victory Five and pick up their first win. With XiaoPeng once again leading the team from the jungle, TT looked like a better team. Twila also showed the fans a level of gameplay they hadn’t seen in a while.
LGD is one of the other winless teams in the league. With a team full of rookies, they often start out well but fall short in the end. This match will be their best shot so far to pick up a win and leave OMG as the sole winless team in the league.
Match 2: EDG vs Suning
While it seems that Suning are back on track, both of their past wins were against LGD and OMG, neither of which are considered top teams. Fans still have many concerns surrounding this team, and many of them won’t be put to rest until the return from the Lunar New Year.
Meanwhile, EDG are the last team to remain undefeated. Should they best Suning here, they will go into the break sitting with a 7:0 record. For context, last spring, eight wins was the magic number to make playoffs. In summer, it was nine. Either way, EDG seem well on their way to booking their ticket to playoffs.
Week 5: Day 6
Match 1: Bilibili Gaming vs OMG
While OMG does seem to be on struggle street, not all is lost. Their young jungler, Aki, seems to have quite a lot of promise, as he has been able to keep tabs on some of the other bigger names in the league. In this match, his opponent is Meteor, a well-known player who seems to be having a hard time this season. This match is another great match to showcase his potential.
It would seem that BLG has regained their form. Earlier this week they took down RNG, a team that before that match was undefeated. Most importantly, both Biubiu and Zeka picked up MVP, who were two of the players that many were concerned about. Should they continue this good form, BLG should be more than able to fight for playoffs.
Match 2: Team World Elite vs JD Gaming
Team World Elite have stumbled twice already in a little more than a week. First, they fell to RNG and then to Rare Atom. Shanks has returned to the bench and Yimeng stepped up to the main roster. In his first match against Rare Atom, he didn’t have the best time. Hopefully for him, and the team, he shows up for this match.
However, JDG aren’t looking much better. They got rocked by TOP last Sunday and so far haven’t impressed much this split. While the argument does exist that they could improve after the Lunar New Year, with how competitive the LPL is, it could be a bit too late.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Match 3: FunPlus Phoenix vs TOP Esports
In what is probably the match of the week, FPX will take on TOP Esports. After a rough start, both teams have seemingly regained their form. TOP are sitting at seventh with a three-match winning streak, and all three were convincing wins.
However, FPX also look incredible. After a close loss to EDG, FPX have stomped out their opponents in 2:0 matches. Their new jungler Bo seems to be on point, and their bot lane is looking like one of the best in the world. This match should be an incredible one, which hopefully won’t end in a quick 2:0 for either side.
Week 5: Day 7
Match 1: LNG vs Rare Atom
Rare Atom have shown to be nothing if not inconsistent. They managed to take down teams that looked better than them, like Team World Elite, but fell to a BLG that looked lost. In a league like the LPL, this is unacceptable, especially for a team that has players the caliber that Rare Atom does.
A team that is shocking many fans and analysts is LNG. Coming into 2021, this was a team full of question marks. However, it seems that they are working together perfectly. M1kuya seems to be one the better weak-side top laners, Icon and Tarzan are stomping around in the 2 vs 2, and their bot lane seems ready to challenge the top of the league.
Match 2: Victory Five vs eStar
Victory Five have had a rough couple of matches. They continue with their top lane identity crisis, and fans are already begging for LangX to return to the main roster. Their bot lane carries are also starting to raise some questions, as neither Y4 nor Trigger have looked great this season so far.
On the other hand, eStar are looking to catch their breath. After a decent enough start to the season, they got demolished by Invictus Gaming, FPX and LNG. While these were expected loses, they were so one-sided that it felt like eStar gave up. If they enter with that attituded against Victory Five, it doesn’t bode well for them.
Prediction: Victory Five
Match 3: Invictus Gaming vs RNG
The final match before the break should be another great one. Invictus Gaming have a lot to prove to their fans. And in theory, if anyone could hard punish XiaoHu in the top lane, it would be TheShy. This game will be a great measuring stick for IG’s strength.
While RNG did lose their first match against BLG, they have done a great job in the LPL so far. Their mid-jungle synergy seems to be on point, and Gala has been performing well too. In what will be a match between two of the oldest organizations in China, the match could come down to the wire.
Prediction: Invictus Gaming
And that concludes the preview of the rest of week 5. Since there will be no games for two weeks, the articles during that time will focus on some of the teams and their performances. The LPL will return on February 22, so be sure to stay tuned. Until then, happy Lunar New Year!
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