As week three rapidly approaches, teams are starting to distance themselves from each other. On one hand, you have LNG, EDG, and Team World Elite, with over 3 wins apiece. Down at the bottom of the table, Rogue Warriors, ThunderTalk Gaming, and Victory Five are still winless. In a split as competitive as the LPL, every series matters, so starting off well generally is a good omen for teams that want to land near the top. Without further ado, here are the matches of the upcoming week.
Week 2: Day 6
Match 1: Victory Five vs Rare Atom
Saturday’s first match features Victory Five and Rare Atom. V5 once again are struggling, as they lost both of their series in a clean 0:2 fashion. While both of their losses were to teams at the top of the table, the way that they lost raises questions about the roster’s future.
Up against them, Rare Atom seem like they will fulfill a gatekeeping role this summer. They beat OMG convincingly, had a close win over LGD, and lost to EDG. As one of the squads that made no changes coming into summer, Rare Atom need to improve if they want to push it even further than they did in spring.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Match 2: EDG vs Rogue Warriors
The second match of the day should be even more one-sided than the first. Despite picking up a game win against Ultra Prime, Rogue Warriors still look like a bottom-of-the-table team. Their top side of the map seems to have improved, but they continue to have problems in the mid-lane and the mid-game. Rogue Warriors’ fans should get ready for a long summer.
Up against them are EDG. Once again, EDG are off to a solid start, taking down BLG, IG, and RA. While none of these teams are currently viewed as tournament favourites, EDG had solid wins, especially against the latter two. If EDG keep up their solid performance, they should be able to once again contest for the title.
Match 3: ThunderTalk Gaming vs FunPlus Phoenix
Despite being 2:1 in the standings, FPX aren’t looking that great. They lost a game against Ultra Prime, and while the series against LNG could have ended 2:0 in favour of FPX, they threw game 2 and got stomped in game 3. While this match should be a fairly simple one for the side of FPX, once again, questions are being asked about this squad.
Not only is ThunderTalk Gaming 0:3, but they are also 0:6 in games as well. To be fair, their opponents were teams that were expected to fight for the top six, but still, they were rough losses. ThunderTalk will need to start showing that they have more in the tank if they want to fight for playoffs.
Prediction: FunPlus Phoenix
Week 2: Day 7
Match 1: LGD vs JD Gaming
JD Gaming will want to bounce back after suffering a close loss to LNG. After stomping in week one, with four of their five players being on the “Team Of The Week”, JDG had the rug swept from under them by LNG, who took them down 2:1. Now against LDG, JDG will once again look to return to the path of victory.
Despite looking better than they did in spring, it looks like it will be a rough split for LGD fans. A lot like in their match against Rare Atom, LGD came so close to beating BLG but fell short in the end. Results like those can be quite costly, especially in a league as competitive as the LPL. If they want to take down JDG, LGD will need to show that they are better than what they’ve performed on the rift so far.
Prediction: JD Gaming
Match 2: Bilibili vs Suning
The second match of the day features two who were probably hoping for a better start to the split. While Suning had two formidable teams, in Invictus Gaming and World Elite, both were arguably winnable. Suning probably will still make playoffs, but if last split was anything to go by, every game can matter massively.
On the other side of the rift, BLG also had a slow start to the split. Their series against EDG was winnable, and so was their series against LNG. To be fair to the latter series, few were expecting LNG to look as good as they are. Nonetheless, BLG could have rocked ahead from the other teams, but instead are now sitting at 1:2.
Match 3: RNG vs LNG
The final match of week 2 features two of the most hyped teams in the current moment. RNG are the current reigning MSI champions. After dominating all round-robin in spring, fans are already expecting them to do it again this summer, despite the multiple upgraded teams. With multiple champions that RNG used at MSI still being viable or meta, there should be no reason why RNG doesn’t dominate once again.
Up against them is LNG. Few were expecting much out of this team, as many even said they wouldn’t make playoffs. Nonetheless, LNG took down BLG, then JDG and recently FPX. If they do manage to take RNG down here, it might be time to say that LNG are the real deal this summer.
Week 3: Day 1
Match 1: OMG vs Rogue Warriors
Week three will kick off with a very interesting match between OMG and Rogue Warriors. OMG managed to take down Invictus Gaming in their series last Monday. Cold had a monstrous performance, arguably the best he’s played in years. Cold will look to continue helping the rookies he plays with transition into making their mark in pro play.
Up against OMG, Rogue Warriors will have their best shot so far to claim their first series win. While they did come close against Ultra Prime, they fell short. Now, they are facing another team that many have missing playoffs as well. These are the series that are so crucial for teams to win, as they don’t usually have many chances against the top teams.
Match 2: Ultra Prime vs Invictus Gaming
The second series of the day will be an interesting one to watch. Invictus Gaming have a lot to prove to their fans after losing to OMG. Their loss before that to EDG was acceptable, considering EDG are one of the teams poised to win it all. However, OMG is a team that many don’t have even making playoffs. Should IG trip up here, it might be time for them to make massive changes to the team.
Ultra Prime have very few obligations in this series. Once again coming in with little to no pressure on them, Ultra Prime should just focus on playing their game and hoping that IG continue to fumble. Zs has been having a good split so far, as well as Smlz. As long as Ultra Prime plays their game, there will always be the chance that IG outplay themselves and UP walks away with the upset win.
Prediction: Invictus Gaming
Week 3: Day 2
Match 1: ThunderTalk Gaming vs LNG
Depending on the results of the weekend, there is a chance that this match will feature a team that hasn’t lost versus a team that hasn’t won. Sadly for TT, the possibility that they will play this match still winless is very real. While strength of schedule hasn’t blessed TT this split so far, they also haven’t been playing well.
Probably the biggest surprise so far this split, LNG has been playing some incredible League of Legends. With the same roster that barely made playoffs in spring, many had them below tenth this summer. However, they started out swinging, taking matches from teams that many had as pre-tournament favourites. Only time will tell how far LNG will go.
Match 2: Rare Atom vs Top Esports
The second match of the day should be an interesting one. Top Esports are currently 1:1, having beat TT handily, but lost in a fairly one-sided series to JDG. Rare Atom should be a gatekeeping team, so how Top performs against them will be crucial. A convincing win will indicate that JDG was probably early split jitters. But a loss here could smash Top’s fan’s dreams of a title this split.
Rare Atom also have a lot to prove this split. Making no changes whatsoever from spring, Rare Atom want to show that their massive winning streak in spring wasn’t luck. A team that could make some noise, a win here would give RA the momentum they need to fight for a playoff bye.
Prediction: Top Esports
Week 3: Day 3
Match 1: JD Gaming vs Victory Five
Wednesday will start off with JDG and V5. JD Gaming had an incredible week one. After a disappointing end to spring, JDG will want to show that they are still one of the premier teams in China. While their opponents this match shouldn’t be top opponents, it will be the perfect opportunity for JDG to flex their muscles and show that they still belong at the top of the table.
Victory Five has once again gone for a full reboot. This time, four out of five of their players are rookies, and their mid laner has joined the LPL from the LMS this spring. The team lacks a clear identity, and until they develop one, they will struggle.
Prediction: JD Gaming
Match 2: Team World Elite vs FunPlus Phoenix
This series will be all about the top side of the map. Beishang has been WE’s best player since 2020, and now Breathe has been performing beautifully. Up against them, Tian has had really solid performances since returning to FPX, and Nuguri looks like the best top laner in the league. With both mid laners being the heart and soul of their teams, the top side of the map will be amazing to watch.
However, both bot lanes have questions surrounding them. Lwx and Crisp have looked mentally boomed since losing to RNG in the finals, where they got outclassed by Gala and Ming. And while Elk, previously known as Jiumeng, and Missing tend to perform well, sometimes they randomly overextend and cost the team. Whoever manages to win the bot lane should take this series.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Week 3: Day 4
Match 1: RNG vs Rogue Warriors
RNG will face another team that will, more likely than not, end towards the bottom of the table. Other than their match against LNG, there won’t be much to judge RNG by, unless they lose all their matches, in which case there is plenty to worry about. Unlikely events aside, RNG will have another series where they can flex their muscles and try out new champions like Veigo and Gwen.
Rogue Warriors has a monumental task ahead of them if they want to best RNG. That said, please remember that Rogue Warriors one win in spring was against Top Esports, a series that arguably they had no right winning. RW tend to pull rabbits out of hats at the oddest times, so keep that in mind.
Week 3: Day 5
Match 1: Victory Five vs ThunderTalk Gaming
In a match that should be nothing short of a fiesta, one of two teams will pick up what will be, most likely, their first series win of the split. While there is the chance that RA, LNG, FPX, or JDG slip up, the odds aren’t in either of these team’s favour. Either way, one of these teams will walk away with a win, while the other will continue to go hungry.
LangX will be the only player on the rift who has been in a major league since before 2019. In a match full of rookie players, it will be time for the TT top laner to show the young guns how it’s done. That said, Uniboy could always have an amazing game and take over for the side of Victory Five. In a match between two teams that probably won’t make playoffs, the true winners will be the viewers. Maybe.
Prediction: ThunderTalk Gaming
Match 2: LGD vs Top Esports
Top Esports will want to keep their performance in check against this team. While LGD hasn’t been doing too well so far, they do seem to get early game advantages often. Top Esports has historically been an early-game team, so losing the early game would be a bad sign. Luckily for them, LGD tends to throw their early advantages, so a comeback would still be possible.
While LGD hasn’t been the greatest, Shad0w has most definitely been impressive so far. Applying pressure to his lanes, Shad0w often finds himself with an early-game lead. However, the problem has been transitioning from that early-game lead to a win, as the team has lost to both BLG and RA when they had significant advantages against both of them.
Prediction: Top Esports
And that concludes the preview of the final days of week 2, as well as the first five days of weak 3. Be sure to come back next time, to read about the last matches of Week 3, as well as the first few matches of Week 4.
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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay