As we approach week 4, four teams remain with zeroes, either wins or losses. LNG and EDG are the two teams with zero losses and are starting to grow apart from the teams below them. Meanwhile, Victory Five and Rogue Warriors remain with zero wins and are slowly seeing teams grow apart from them, making a playoff dream harder and harder. However, this will change as both teams will face each other on Monday. Here is a rundown of that match, and many more that will happen over the course of next week.
Week 3: Day 6
Match 1: World Elite vs Rare Atom
Saturday’s first match should be a good one. World Elite got humbled by FPX in their previous match. A team that many had high hopes for didn’t manage to impress against FPX and fell 0:2 in that series. Rare Atom should be a more even matchup and should give fans a better idea as to where this team will end up.
After taking down Top Esports, Rare Atom is coming into this match with quite a bit of momentum behind them. Despite many labeling them as a gatekeeping team, they showed that they can take down opponents that, on paper, are better than them. Maybe summer will have a better ending than spring did for RA.
Prediction: Rare Atom
Match 2: OMG vs Bilibili Gaming
OMG have been an absolute treat to watch this split so far. With Creme showing incredible skill on the assassins, OMG are sitting at 3:1 so far this split. This will be another test for this young OMG roster. BLG are a middle-of-the-pack team that will likely gatekeep the weaker teams. A convincing win here means that OMG should absolutely be taken seriously this split.
BLG needs to pick up wins now. Despite taking down LGD, that series was anything but convincing, and they fell to Suning in the last series. Despite Zeka’s best attempts, the team doesn’t seem to be clicking, and if they fall here, it probably means that once again, BLG will fail to make playoffs in the end of the split.
Match 3: FunPlus Phoenix vs RNG
The final series of the day will be a rematch of the Spring Split finals. However, both teams find themselves in very different situations. FPX seem to have bounced back from their loss to LNG fairly well, taking a convincing win over Team WE. With LWX and Crisp looking much better in their last series, FPX are still top contenders for the LPL title.
However, RNG doesn’t find themselves in the same boat. Despite taking down Rogue Warriors, they are yet to have a convincing series this summer. They fell to OMG’s assassin comps and got demolished by LNG. RNG seems to not be as comfortable in the current meta where assassins like Viego, Akali and Sylas are all played. And sadly for them, FPX is one of the teams that are currently on the assassin hype train.
Week 3: Day 7
Match 1: LGD vs Suning
Suning once again find themselves having a rough start to the split. Currently the World Champion runner-up, Suning still haven’t returned to the same form that they were in last summer. Sitting at 2:3 so far this split, they sit alongside their opponents in this match.
LGD are another team that is having mixed results. They managed to take down JDG, only to get slapped around by Top Esports, who had previously fallen to JDG. LGD are one of the teams that people are saying could have a shot at playoffs this split. Picking up wins in series against teams that are in the same situation as they are is key if they want to make it in the end of the split.
Match 2: Invictus Gaming vs LNG
Despite wining their last match, against Ultra Prime, IG are yet to convince this split. Sitting at 2 and 2 this split, IG have to show that they can still compete with the top of the table. A win here will show that IG are still a team that should be feared, as they would end LNG’s wining streak if the did manage to upset them.
On the other hand, LNG had their first major hiccup against TT. Perhaps they simply underestimated TT, but they nearly lost to the last-placed team as the first-placed team. If it wasn’t for the heroics of Icon, who had a monstrous game on Xerath, LNG would have fallen to TT. A convincing win here should help LNG fans recover their confidence in their team.
Match 3: JD Gaming vs EDG
The final match of week 3 features EDG and JDG. EDG are currently one of the undefeated teams, alongside LNG. They are already a series down LNG, as they have 5 wins to LNG’s 6. A loss here will mean that LNG will start to run away with their advantage, especially if LNG beat IG. However, EDG are the heavy favourites in this match and are playing some amazing League of Legends.
The same can’t be said about JDG. After their loss to LNG, they fell again, this time to LGD. Even in their last match, where they beat V5, wasn’t convincing, as V5 did manage to win a game in the series. JD Gaming are struggling, especially around the bot lane, as neither Loken nor LvMao are playing at the level expected of them.
Week 4: Day 1
Match 1: Victory Five vs Rogue Warriors
This series should be an absolute barn burner, for all the wrong reasons. Both of these teams have shown very few signs of life this split, and quite a few of their fans have already given up on their playoff hopes. Regardless of all that, these teams had to meet sometime, and the time will be next Monday.
Victory Five are, understandably, struggling this split. With four rookie players, and none of them, with the exception of Kepler, being hyped rookies, V5 is struggling to find an identity. Up against them, Rogue Warriors have their biggest chance to not end the split 0:16. If they lose here, their match against TT will most likely be RW last chance to avoid the dreaded 0:16 split.
Prediction: Victory Five
Match 2: OMG vs ThunderTalk Gaming
The second series of the day will be an interesting one. Originally, this day was supposed to feature the bottom four teams playing each other. However, OMG have so far impressed quite a bit this split, especially mid-laner Creme. And with his opposite number in this match being arguably the weakest point in their team, the stars are aligning for Creme to show up in this series.
However, all is not lost for the side of TT. Xiaopeng continues to show up, as he had a big part to play in their game win over LNG, TT’s best performance so far this split. While he marches to beat of his own drum, Xiaopeng has to be respected, especially be a fairly new jungler like Aki. If ThunderTalk is to take OMG down, it will most likely start in the jungle.
Week 4: Day 2
Match 1: Ultra Prime vs EDG
This match should be little more than an opportunity for EDG to flex their muscles. While Ultra Prime haven’t necessarily been terrible, they are far from being a playoff team. Meanwhile, EDG are at the top of the table, fighting against LNG for first place. With better players in all five roles, this match should be an open-and-shut case for EDG.
Against these odds, Ultra Prime have to show something new, if they want to take down EDG. While they did manage to take a game off of FPX and a series off Rogue Warriors, they haven’t done much since. ZS has been playing the more carry-orientated champions, to mixed results. However, he will have his work cut out for him against Flandre.
Match 2: Invictus Gaming vs LGD
The second match of the day features LGD and Invictus Gaming. IG are one of the hardest teams to quantify this split. They have the talent to be a top team in the LPL, but their results and gameplay have said otherwise. Hopefully that will change with the arrival of coach NoFe, but until that moment, IG will probably remain consistently inconsistent.
LGD are in a fairly similar boat. Shad0w has been LGD’s only consistent player, with even Xiye having games where he isn’t playing at his best. Kramer is mostly on Ezreal duty, Fearness plays weak-side, and Mark has games and games. LGD need to find their form, as well as their identity if they want to make playoffs this split.
Week 4: Day 3
Match 1: Bilibili Gaming vs Team World Elite
Wednesday’s first match features Team WE vs BLG. Team WE got schooled by FPX, as the spring finalists managed to shut down all of WE’s strengths. After that experience, Team WE will want to show that they are still a top team and deserve a higher spot in the playoffs. A convincing win here against BLG will return them to the top of the table, but fans and analysts will need more to consider them a top team again.
How BLG performs in this match should be very telling. A good showing here should give the fans some hope that they could make playoffs. However, given the team’s recent history, that seems like an unlikely result and an unlikely end to the split. A loss here would knock the team down considerably, meaning that they will need to play catch up to try to reach tenth and qualify for playoffs.
Prediction: Team World Elite
Match 2: Top Esports vs RNG
Wednesday’s final match features RNG and Top Esports. Neither one of these teams are having the start to the split that they expected. RNG are having a hard time adapting to the meta after MSI, and Top Esports are yet to take down a team that made playoffs last split.
RNG’s lack of success could be explained by a lack of scrim time. While other LPL teams were scrimming each other during the new patches, RNG were scrimming in Europe, on an older patch, preparing for MSI. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse for the one-sided losses they suffered so far this split. On the other hand, Top Esports do tend to have a slow start to the split. Even last split, they looked inconsistent until the end of the split. While it is unlikely that either of these teams miss playoffs, it isn’t reassuring to fans to see them struggle.
Prediction: Top Esports
Week 4: Day 4
Match 1: Rogue Warriors vs LGD
Next Friday’s first match will be LGD’s first real break in a while. Facing JDG, Top, Suning and IG in a row, LGD will probably welcome an easier match. With Shad0w playing some amazing League of Legends, LGD should run away with the early game, which tends to be RW’s best part of the game. With Fearness returning to the roster, LGD looks better and should be able to best RW with little effort.
That said, all isn’t hopeless for Rogue Warriors. Despite being an uphill battle, LGD is known for throwing winnable games, and RW being the scrappy team that they are, will pounce given the opportunity. With seasoned players like ZWuji and Qiuqiu on the roster, Rogue Warriors shouldn’t be completely discarded as a team that could pull off a few upsets.
Match 2: Ultra Prime vs JD Gaming
The final match of today’s article, JD Gaming will take on Ultra Prime. JDG fans will be anxious for this match, as it will be JDG’s third match this split against a, on paper, significantly weaker team. While their first one went swimmingly, the second almost ended in disaster.
Once again, Ultra Prime will face a team that, on paper, are much better than them. However, their one advantage is that their best player in Smlz is up against JDG’s weakest link in Loken. While unlikely, it is still possible that Ultra Prime pulls off a major upset, knocking JDG down a few pegs, and upping Ultra Prime’s chances at making playoffs.
Prediction: JD Gaming
And that concludes the preview of the final days of week 3, as well as the first four days of weak 4. Be sure to come back next time, to read about the last matches of Week 4, as well as the first few matches of Week 5.
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Follow JJ on Twitter: @NeonColouredJay