The seventh week of LPL action is just around the corner. At the end of week 6, the weekend will feature three matches instead of the usual two. This will persist for weeks 7 and 8 before it returns to normal to wrap up the season. This means that the action will start two hours earlier than usual, so be sure to set your alarms to the correct hour to not miss any of the action.
Week 6: Day 6
Match 1: LGD vs Rogue Warriors
Two teams that are at the bottom of the table will get Saturday’s action started. Rogue Warriors are currently on a seven-game losing streak, with all of those matches being 0:2 losses. Betty joined the squad and is now their starting carry, but it could be too little too late.
LGD finally got a win on the board. In their last match before the Lunar New Year, LGD took down ThunderTalk Gaming 2:0. Kramer and Kui each picked up one match MVP a piece, and will want to continue their form against Rogue Warriors. In what could be a very close match, it will come down to who shows up on the day.
Match 2: eStar vs Top Esports
eStar is another team that much like the two above, are struggling this season. It is important to note that eStar are currently rebuilding their roster. Three of their five players are rookies, with H4cker and ShiauC being the veteran players. It is understandable that they might struggle in a league like the LPL.
Up against them are a team with only one rookie. Top Esports is a team full of super-stars and world-class players. Zhuo is the team’s only newcomer, and while he is still a bit rough around the edges, he does seem to have the talent needed to round out this squad. Expect Top to start climbing the leaderboards and fight for a top-four spot.
Match 3: RNG vs FunPlus Phoenix
Saturday’s final match is also the most promising one. RNG are currently at the top of the table, only behind FPX and EDG, but with a game advantage over FPX. The squad looks good so far this year, with all of the players pull their weight. Most importantly, XiaoHu fits in perfectly as the team’s top laner, allowing him to be the voice of experience in the top lane.
On the other hand, FPX have had an interesting split so far. After Tian stepped down, Bo emerged as a powerhouse in the jungle, but due to participating in matchmaking in the LDL, he stepped down as the jungler. FPX have now promoted Beichuan, a brand new jungler who started his pro career this year.
Week 6: Day 7
Match 1: Victory Five vs LNG
Sunday’s action begins with two teams towards the middle of the table. LNG have been all over the place this split, winning matches convincingly to lose in the next one. While the team is certainly still in the race for playoffs, the top four seems like a distant dream.
Similarly, Victory Five have also been all over the place. They were the first team to drop to ThunderTalk Gaming, a team that is at the bottom of the standings. That’s not to say that the team doesn’t have their moments of brilliance, especially mid laner Mole, who is tied with Scout for mid laner with the most solo kills.
Match 2: Rare Atom vs OMG
OMG is another team that is at the bottom of the standings. While they did manage to pick up a win against BLG just before the break, they got crushed by Victory Five in the first week back. OMG is another team that is going through a roster revamp, with multiple young players that haven’t made a name for themselves just yet.
After a rough start to the split, Rare Atom seems to be back in shape. Leyan returning to the starting roster seems to have worked wonders for the team. Fofo and iBoy seem to be freed up to play, knowing that they have an aggressive jungler that will probably follow up with them.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Match 3: Suning vs Invictus Gaming
Wrapping up Sunday’s action, Suning will take on Invictus Gaming. Suning haven’t impressed so far this split, only taking down teams where they were the clear favourites to begin. While the only player change made was On replacing SwordArt, most of the coaching staff changed, and it is likely that this is the effect.
Speaking of teams that didn’t impress, Invictus Gaming hasn’t had the best time themselves. Sitting at 4:4, IG seems to still lack a proper shotcaller, a problem that has plagued the team since JackeyLove left. Now playing Lucas instead of Baolan, Invictus Gaming fans are beginning to feel a bit desperate.
Prediction: Invictus Gaming
Week 7: Day 1
Match 1: Rogue Warriors vs EDG
EDG will start off week seven. The team has been on an absolute rampage and looking near unstoppable. Viper and Meiko seem to be winning every lane and Scout is playing the best league of legends of his career, which says a lot. Right now, EDG is looking like the scariest team in the LPL.
However, only the opposite can be said of Rogue Warriors. Despite having quality in their players, it seems like the team never clicked. Rogue Warriors never seem to be on the same page, meaning it is easy to pick them apart. And make no mistake, Rogue Warriors will need nothing short of a miracle if they plan on taking down EDG.
Match 2: FunPlus Phoenix vs JD Gaming
Monday’s second match is a very promising one. While both teams are a bit of an unknown quantity right now, they both have potential. FunPlus Phoenix are currently trying out a new jungler since Bo’s fate is yet to be decided. The rest of the team seems to be in top form, but their lack of a jungle to play around seems to be holding them back.
On the other hand, JD Gaming were starting to ramp up before the break. Upon returning, they faced a Suning that looks lost and ThunderTalk Gaming. Neither of these should be good measuring sticks for a team like JDG, who wants to be fighting for the championship title.
Prediction: FunPlus Phoenix
Week 7: Day 2
Match 1: Bilibili Gaming vs Invictus Gaming
As it currently stands, Invictus Gaming won’t be fighting for a top-four bye. They seem to be considerably behind the current teams that sit in the top four. However, this can turn out to be a blessing for IG, who usually take time to ramp up, and a few warm-up matches in playoffs might do them good.
A team that probably has the largest amount of disappointed fans, BLG had everything to do well this split. They brought over Aiming, an amazing carry from the LCK. Zeka, a promising youngster that impressed on Vici joined. Biubiu, who looked amazing on Victory Five joined. And yet despite this, the team currently sits at 4:5, with losses against teams that were on paper, easy matches.
Prediction: Invictus Gaming
Match 2: Suning vs ThunderTalk Gaming
While ThunderTalk is towards the bottom of the table with only two wins if you take the rookie status of their bot lane consideration, it is excusable. SamD is joined the LPL last summer, and Teeen is a rookie. Despite this, they are TT’s win condition, have they have gone toe-to-toe with bot lanes that on paper were much better.
While Suning may not be doing well as a team, that hasn’t stopped Angel from flexing against his mid laner counterpart. Up against Twilla, Angel is Suning’s best hope at cracking the game wide open and snowballing from the mid lane. Angel also has a very flexible champion pool, allowing him to perform well in most metas and match-ups.
Week 7: Day 3
Match 1: eStar vs Rare Atom
As the league currently stands, Rare Atom are in the top 6 and are two wins behind the top four. Top four not only guarantees you more points, but it also allows for a large skip in the playoffs. While top two might be a bit rough to contest, top four seems doable for RA.
On the other hand, eStar right now would be lucky to make playoffs at all. The team seems disjointed, with Irma struggling in the mid lane, Rat not performing well in lane and ShiauC being a bit predictable. While ZS has looked ok up in the top lane, it doesn’t seem to be enough to carry eStar, who are in a downward spiral.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Match 2: LGD vs Team World Elite
After a dip in performance before the Lunar New Year, Team World Elite seems to be back. They had two convincing wins, taking down FPX and eStar 2:0. The team seems to have a better understanding of how they want to play, and Breathe continues to show why he should be in the discussion for best top lane in the LPL.
Sadly for LGD, this seems to be the worst possible matchup for them. Kui usually sets the pace, but up against Beishang, he might have a hard time doing so. Uniboy tends to find early advantages, but the lane phase seems to be Shanks’ strength. And while Kramer is their late-game insurance, he is up against Jiumeng, a carry who seems to be on fire. This match should be another smooth 2:0 win for WE.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Week 7: Day 4
Match 1: OMG vs Top Esports
After tripping up against FPX, Top seems to be back in form. They had a commanding victory over LNG, a team that should make playoffs. In this match, across summoners rift, Top should have the upper hand. Top have multiple players that can win a game single-handedly, so it’s hard to imagine this match going any other way.
OMG have had several difficulties this split so far. But one of the more worrying ones is their top lane problem. Already having played three top laners, it seems like none of them fit into OMG’s plans. New, Alielie, and Bright have all tried to play in the top lane. History has shown that constantly rotating your top laner tends to have a negative effect on the team.
Prediction: Top Esports
Match 2: RNG vs LNG
This match will tell the fans some important information about one of these teams. Should RNG win, it will show that RNG should be a top-four team, having taken down all the other mid-tier teams that should make playoffs. Should LNG win, it will bring them back into the discussion for top-six and show that they can be consistent.
RNG have taken down V5 and IG, which are the other teams alongside LNG that seem to be better than most but not quite top-six material. LNG meanwhile have taken down IG themselves and bullied teams that are below them in the standings. With this match being crucial for the fate of one of these teams, this match has a lot of promise to it.
Week 7: Day 5
Match 1: eStar vs JD Gaming
Another team that are just on the cusp of the top team, JDG are starting to look like the team that many expected them to be. As they get back on track, JGD need to start asserting their dominance, especially against bottom-tier teams. While fans are enjoying the return to form, there are still questions to be asked, such as why they slumped in the first place.
Up against a much better opponent than them, eStar need to show what they have. With a roster full of rookies, a match against one of the best teams in the league is a great time to show what you have. If they manage to perform well against JDG, maybe they can get into shape to face a weaker team and turn their luck around.
Prediction: JD Gaming
Match 2: Victory Five vs Suning
Friday’s final match will feature V5 and Suning. Suning need to pick up this win if they want to remain in the discussion as a top team. Should they fall here, getting into playoffs seems like it could be a tough task. However, should they win, they could use that momentum to return to form.
Victory Five also have a lot to prove in this match. Should they beat Suning convincingly, that probably cements them in the top ten, maybe even eight. While fans may have been expecting more coming into the year, it is understandable given how competitive the LPL is.
Prediction: Victory Five
And that concludes the preview of the last two days of week 6 and the first five days of week 7. Be sure to come back next time, to read about the last matches of Week 7, as well as the first five days of Week 8.
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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay