As teams return from the Lunar New Year break, the LPL prepares to begin the second half of the split. As the league currently stands, EDG is the only undefeated team, with FPX hot on their heels. On the other side of the table, OMG, LGD, and Rogue Warriors find themselves with one match victory apiece. With Week 6 of 10 starting up, teams at the bottom of the table need to begin to shape up or it will be too late.
Week 6: Day 1
Match 1: Suning vs JD Gaming
The first match back from the Lunar New Year will feature two teams that need to prove themselves. Suning has looked unimpressive since their return to the LPL. Two of their three victories were against OMG and LGD, two teams at the bottom of the table.
On the other hand, JDG has also had a rough time. Not looking like themselves in the begging of the split, JDG had a couple of bad series. However, in the last week before the break, they looked like they returned to form, as they had a commanding victory over Team WE.
Prediction: JD Gaming
Match 2: FunPlus Phoenix vs Team World Elite
Two teams towards the top of the table, FPX and Team World Elite have been on opposite trends. Team WE has been struggling, as their last few matches resulted in losses. Fans are wondering what happened to their team, so started out so well, but now seem to be struggling.
On the other hand, FPX have looked incredible. Ever since Bo stepped onto the rift on the side of FPX, it has been nothing but 2-0 stomps. Despite their close loss to EDG early on in the split, FPX are looking like the scariest team in the LPL.
Week 6: Day 2
Match 1: Bilibili Gaming vs EDG
Starting off the second day of matches, EDG are the only team to remain undefeated. Viper and Meiko are proving themselves to be a top 3 bot lane, and Flandre has proven to be an excellent shot-caller. With Scout and Jiejie performing perfectly well in the 2×2, EDG are undefeated for a reason.
On the other side of the rift, BLG have to be the most consistently inconsistent team. In the same week they were the first team to take down RNG, only to be the first team to lose to OMG. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason behind BLG’s struggles. They simply perform well or they fall flat, with seemingly no explanation.
Match 2: Top Esports vs LNG
Two teams that have a lot of questions around them, TOP will take on LNG. Top Esports seemed to be back in form, but their dismantling courtesy of FPX might say otherwise. Top had a rough start to the split, but then had quite a few good matches. Granted, they weren’t against the hardest opponents.
On the other hand, LNG seem like they will be the gatekeeper team. Their losses were to the hands of Team WE, who looked good in Week 2, FPX, who have been on a rampage and Rare Atom, who seem to have found themselves with Leyan in the jungle. This match will be a testament to if LNG will be the gatekeepers of the top four or of playoffs in general.
Week 6: Day 3
Match 1: ThunderTalk Gaming vs Rare Atom
One of the teams that seem to be having a resurgence in the standings, Rare Atom look like a different team with Leyan. Previously, the aggressive jungler had no follow-up. Now with Fofo there to back up and take duels, Rare Atom seem like a top team.
Meanwhile, ThunderTalk had a two-game winning streak. However, they got crushed by team LGD, a team that was winless prior to that match. With their bot lane looking like their strongest point, they will have quite the task up against iBoy and Hang.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Match 2: Team World Elite vs eStar
After their early split success, eStar seemed to run out of fuel. They are on a five-game losing streak. While their earlier losses were understandable, against the likes of IG, LNG and FPX, their last two losses were to TT and Victory Five, two teams that haven’t impressed so far this year.
Meanwhile, Team WE are on a three-game losing streak, possibly four should they fall to FPX. While these losses are to teams that look menacing, Team WE also looked like the best team in China prior to their loss to RNG. Either way, one of these team’s losing streak will end, while the other will only spiral further out of control.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Week 6: Day 4
Match 1: OMG vs Victory Five
Victory Five have struggled recently, trying out different top laners and rotating between their bot lane carries. This has caused the team to look lost and lack communication, making what could be a top team look like a mid-tier team. Currently 4-4, V5 need to be more consistent if they want to contest the top of the table.
OMG finally got the monkey off of their back. Right before the break, OMG took down BLG, leading them to their first match win in the LPL 2021. While this won’t magically make them a top team, this makes it impossible for them to finish winless, which is a lot less pressure.
Prediction: Victory Five
Match 2: Rogue Warriors vs RNG
Despite tripping over BLG, RNG are still at the top of the table. While many were concerned with XiaoHu moving into the top lane, the team seems to be doing just fine so far. No longer just playing the mages, XiaoHu’s most played champion so far in 2021 is Gnar with a 66% win rate.
Meanwhile, Rogue Warriors have struggled all split long. After taking down Top Esports, Rogue Warriors have been nothing but a punching bag for the other teams. With Betty rumored to be starting after the break, he will the third bot lane carry in six weeks.
Week 6: Day 5
Match 1: JD Gaming vs ThunderTalk Gaming
ThunderTalk Gaming have started to look more competitive since Xiaopeng returned to the jungle. Previously benched for Bless, Xiaopeng brought some spring to TT’s step. While their win condition is still their bot lane, Xiaopeng has looked much better.
With Mystic rumored to be joining the starting roster, JDG could look like a different team after the break. In a match against a lower team like TT, JDG could afford to try out their new roster, and if it doesn’t work out, change back to their old roster and still win the match. While we are unsure which JDG will play the match, JDG are still expected to win.
Prediction: JD Gaming
Match 2: Invictus Gaming vs EDG
In a match between two LPL titans, EDG and IG will duke it out on February 26. Should EDG defeat BLG earlier in the week, they will sit at 8-0, which would have qualified them for playoffs last spring. With there being ten seeds for playoffs this year, it seems like EDG is all but confirmed.
Up against them, Invictus Gaming have had a bumpy ride this split. Sitting with a 4-4 record, IG have struggled against better teams. While this roster does have an ocean of potential, it seems like they can never make full use of all that potential.
And that concludes the preview of the first five days of Week 6 of the LPL. Be sure to come back next time, to read about the last matches of Week 6, as well as the first five days of Week 7.
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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay