The LPL’s eighth week is just around the corner, and the end of the split draws near. With only a handful of games remaining, no teams have been eliminated just yet. That said, that can change this weekend, with the first team possibly dropping out of playoffs. Another team could also mathematically confirm their playoffs spot, but that would require a series of unlikely events. Either way, this weekend and next week should have plenty of action-packed games. So without further ado, here’s a glimpse of the upcoming games.
Week 7: Day 6
Match 1: LNG vs LGD
LNG and LGD will play in Saturday’s first match. LNG are currently in the playoff race, but right now are on the cusp of playoffs, fighting with teams like V5 and Suning. They can’t afford to drop a match like this one if they want to make it into playoffs.
Up against them, LGD are at the bottom of the table. Along with TT, eStar, OMG, and Rogue Warriors, they form the bottom five that have a long road ahead of them, if they want to make playoffs. If LGD want a crack at making playoffs, they need to show that they are better than a gatekeeping team. Show that you are stronger than the gatekeeper, and they will probably let you pass.
Match 2: FunPlus Phoenix vs Rare Atom
In what is one of the more promising matches, RA will take on FPX. FPX are having a hard time readjusting to their new jungler, who is still learning to play on the big stage. Will they lost to RNG, they did dismantle JDG, so they are clearly still competitive. FPX need this win to keep their distance from RA, who are directly below them.
Rare Atom are on a six-game winning streak. It seems like Leyan returning to the roster was the key to RA finding success once again. However, it must be noted that RA don’t have the cleanest series. Even against lower-tier teams, they still often do drop matches. This will be RA’s greatest trial-by-fire to date.
Prediction: FunPlus Phoenix
Match 3: EDG vs RNG
The match everyone has been waiting for. RNG and EDG, the two teams that have dominated the LPL from the start of spring will face off. In a match that could decide who takes first place in the split, it will come down to the wire to who takes it all.
RNG’s top side have been smashing in all their opponents. XiaoHu has impressed, Wei has dominated and Cryin has some of the best stats in the league. However, EDG are no slouches in those roles, especially Scout, who is alongside Cryin in every stat. But EDG’s strength lies in their bot lane. Viper and Meiko have dominated the bot lane, which happens to be RNG’s weakness. If Flandre holds the fort and Jiejie doesn’t fall too behind, EDG should have the advantage.
Week 7: Day 7
Match 1: Rogue Warriors vs OMG
If Saturday’s final match is between the two best teams, Sunday’s first is the opposite. OMG and Rogue Warriors are at the bottom of the table, each with only a single match win to their name.
OMG have gone for a partial roster remake, bringing in young players that don’t have a lot of LPL history behind them and joining them with Cold a veteran support player. On the other hand, Rogue Warriors have put together a team of well-known names in the hopes that they could use their experience to help young mid laner Forge carry them. Sadly, it hasn’t worked out for RW. In fact, if they lose here, they will be the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs race.
Match 2: ThunderTalk Gaming vs Bilibili Gaming
If there was an award for “most disappointing team in the split” BLG would take it. With names like the ones they have, this team should have no problems making it into the top 10. However, they have struggled from the start of the split, never looking like a playoff team. Whether they make playoffs or not, the fans will hope summer will be better.
A team that no one had expectations of was ThunderTalk Gaming. Previous known as Dominus, they were the worst team in the LPL in 2020. They brought in a few rookies and unknown faces, but no one was sure if they would be good or not. While they don’t seem like a playoff team yet, they are in the right direction and could put up more of a fight in the Summer Split.
Prediction: Bilibili Gaming
Match 3: Top Esports vs Invictus Gaming
The final match of week 7 also promises to be a great one. IG will take on Top Esports. Top Esports seems to be back in form, absolutely thrashing their previous opponents. A team that many expected to be at the top, seems to be rising the league to join the top four.
However, Invictus Gaming is a team that you can never count out. Just last week they ended EDG’s winning streak, handing them their first loss of the split. Only to go on and lose to Suning in their next series. Invictus Gaming have the talent to be a top team, and sometimes they manage to show up and crush their opponents. While Top are the favorites, they cannot disrespect IG.
Prediction: Top Esports
Week 8: Day 1
Match 1: Victory Five vs JD Gaming
Week eight will start off with V5 and JDG. JDG have been very up and down this split, losing to the teams above them and beating the teams below them. While this means that they are likely make playoffs, they aren’t in the position that many expected them to be.
Another roster that hasn’t fully lived up to their potential is Victory Five. Coming into the split, many had V5 somewhere in the top six. However, V5 have shown to be very irregular, leading them to trip over teams that they probably shouldn’t have, such as ThunderTalk Gaming. Weiwei will need to have the performance of his life if he wants to bring down JDG.
Prediction: JD Gaming
Match 2: RNG vs eStar
RNG will take on eStar in Monday’s second match. So ar this split, eStar have won twice and lost nine times. This would be the second of three splits in the LPL that eStar has failed to do well, as they struggled last summer too. With the team recently being acquired by the Nenking Group, it is possible they undergo changes for summer.
Up against them, RNG will want a clean victory. Currently fighting for a top-two seed, RNG needs to keep up the pressure if they intend on securing their spot. With the new playoff format, both of the top two teams are guaranteed to make it into round four, skipping out no three long, fought-out, best-of-five series.
Week 8: Day 2
Match 1: FunPlus Phoenix vs LGD
FPX have had an interesting year so far. Playing 3 different junglers so far this split, FPX have been all over the place. However, there are two members that have stepped up compared to their performances last year. Lwx and Crisp are looking like the best bot lane in the world right now, and they have been putting on a show.
Up against that, LGD’s bot lane has been very quiet. Kramer and Peace have been a fairly calm bot lane so far. While they don’t necessarily lose the games, they need help to win in the laning phase. Without the attention of Uniboy and Kui, they don’t tend to get their feet off the ground.
Match 2: Top Esports vs Bilibili Gaming
Top Esports are currently sitting at six wins. This means that they are currently tied with the likes of JDG and IG, and are only one game ahead of Suning, V5 and LNG. If Top wants to truly cement themselves back at the top of the table, then taking down BLG is their responsibility.
BLG continues to be the most irregular team in the LPL. They are a team that will beat a team that seems much better than them, like RNG, only to lose to OMG, a team way below them. While normally this would still allow you to qualify for playoffs, the only teams that they beat that were above them were RNG and Rare Atom, before changing to Leyan. BLG is running out of time if they want to make playoffs.
Prediction: Top Esports
Week 8: Day 3
Match 1: Rare Atom vs Victory Five
While Rare Atom are consistently showing up and winning series, they haven’t been consistently winning games. They dropped games against TT and OMG, two bottom of the table teams, leading some fans to bring up questions. If Rare truly wants to bring peace of mind to their fans, then a convincing win here might do the trick.
On the other hand, Victory Five needs to show that they can still make playoffs. As the league currently stands, LNG, V5 and Suning are all tied for ninth. Should things remain the same, one of those three teams will miss out on playoffs. After doing so well and turning their year around last summer, Victory Five will want to keep that momentum up.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Match 2: Suning vs Rogue Warriors
As mentioned above, Suning are on the edge of playoffs. When it comes to making it in or not, every match counts. Considering the current state that their opponents find themselves in, it would be unacceptable if Suning were to trip over RW. Should that happen, then their playoffs race becomes harder.
There is a large possibility that Rogue Warriors will come into this match already mathematically eliminated. That immediately makes them one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Rogue Warriors are already a very scrappy team, that loves to take any and every fight possible. If they start playing without any pressure, this means they can play as aggressively as they want without the drawbacks of missing playoffs.
Week 8: Day 4
Match 1: OMG vs Team World Elite
Coming into this match, OMG will be living on a prayer. They are a team that rebuilt this year, and as such have had difficulties contesting the best. Even if they beat RW, there are too many teams fighting for playoffs that have great numbers advantage over them. OMG will need a miracle if they want to make it into playoffs.
On the other hand, Team World Elite want to show that they are back in top form. After sliding for a bit before the Lunar New Year, they seem to back in form. With Beishang continuing to look like the best jungler in the LPL, they seem like a team that could fight for the championship.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Match 2: EDG vs LNG
The two possible outcomes for this match will tell two different stories. Should EDG take the win, that will not only lock them into playoffs, but show that they belong in the top quarter of the table. However, it must be stated that after LNG, EDG only have eStar left as a lower half team to face.
On the other hand, should LNG pull an upset here, then everything in the top half could go up in flames. EDG would no longer look as strong as fans posed them to be, possibly creating concerns going into playoffs. And it would also mean that LNG are the real deal, and that they should be in playoffs and should be feared in playoffs.
Week 8: Day 5
Match 1: LGD vs eStar
In what will be the most important match either of these teams have played so far in the LPL, LGD will take on eStar. The reason why this will be the most important match for both, is that the loser here will be mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, barring an upset in one of their previous matches.
No one had high hopes for either of these teams coming into spring. In fact, LGD were dead last on many analysts’ predictions. However, upon returning from the break, LGD have managed to take down two teams, escaping from the bottom 2. On the other hand, eStar started the split off well, but then have slid back, further and further. With both teams expected to play their hearts out, this match should be an interesting one for sure.
Match 2: FunPlus Phoenix vs ThunderTalk Gaming
The final match of the article features FPX and TT, two teams living very different realities. TT have had their fair moments this split, with Xiaopeng helping the team look better and their bot lane popping off in some of their matches. However, the team remains below average and will need to improve even further if they want to make playoffs in summer.
Up against TT, FPX really have no excuses. Across the board, FPX have better players, better macro and better teamfighting. FPX are still in the run for a top-two spot, and if EDG or RNG happen to trip up, then they just might overtake them. However, that means that FPX must confirm their favoritism here first, and takedown TT in a convincing manner.
And that concludes the preview of the last two days of week 7 and the first five days of week 8. Be sure to come back next time, to read about the last matches of Week 8, as well as the first five days of Week 9.
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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay