Rogue v Excel
Friday, February 28 – 18:00 CET
Rogue are a great team, that prides itself with very strong laning players, but when it comes to closing out the match, they tend to struggle. It’s a rather minor issue that they will be easily solvable with the help of their coach, yet still a problem that prevents them from reaching higher up the standing.
Excel on the other side are one of the most volatile teams in the league. They can put up a phenomenal performance one day only to fall flat the next, which makes their matches incredibly difficult to predict. Due to their inconsistency, Excel are currently ranked as a mid-table team, which is fair, however, there is a reason to believe they will improve as the time goes on. Not only do they have one of the best coaches in the league, but their players have also improved in the last five weeks.
The man to watch in Excel is their mid laner Son “Mickey” Young-min, who was known in 2019 to be one of the most, if not THE most inconsistent player in the LEC. Although he has improved in that regard and became more reliable with his performances, he can still be a bit volatile from time to time. Unfortunately, Excel’s success eventually comes down to how well Mickey performs on the given day, although we have seen some improvement from their ADC Patrik “Patrik” Jírů, which is a promising sign.
This match can easily go both ways, and although Rogue have shown more so far this split, there is no reason to have Excel priced as high as 2.8. They’re capable of an upset win and with those odds, they can be a very solid longshot bet. At very least, this should be a close match, as the only way Rogue can stomp Excel is if the British squad starts slow and drops the ball in the early game, which most likely won’t be the case, given that they desperately need this win, if they’re serious about entering the playoffs.
Prediction: Over 24.5 kills – 1.925 at Pinnacle
Longshot: Excel to win – 2.80 at Pinnacle
Vitality v MAD Lions
Friday, February 28 – 19:00 CET
As much as I would like to see Vitality succeed as a team, it’s very clear the French squad lacks the experience and quality to produce anything remarkable this split. That, however, is nothing unusual, given that the team is assembled from young players, who are all at the start of their LoL pro career. This team will surely improve as time goes on, but at this point, their only goal should be gaining experience and just playing to the best of their ability.
MAD Lions also field quite a few rookies, however, they have proven to be an exceptional team, which started to look like a proper playoff contender. They had quite a few standout performances so far, however, they have one major problem – drafts.
Out of all the team in LEC, MAD Lions tend to have one of the worst drafts (at least in the last couple of weeks), which more times than not puts them at a disadvantage. Fortunately, they have enough quality to overcome that, but for them to rank any higher, they should really work on fixing the issue.
In terms of this match, Vitality have little to no chance of causing an upset. They are still growing as a team and should look much better comes Summer Split, but as it stands now, they are nothing more than a bottom-three team. Pinnacle offers 1.85 on – 6.5 kills handicap on MAD Lions, which comes off as a great betting pick, as MAD Lions should have no problem coming out ahead with at least seven kills.
I am still a bit worried about the MAD Lions draft, however. Given that they are facing a significantly weaker team, MAD Lions could decide to test out some unusual picks to make the game more interesting, however, their superior quality alone should be enough to pocket a win here.
Prediction: MAD Lions -6.5 kills – 1.85 at Pinnacle
Fnatic v Misfits
Friday, February 28 – 20:00 CET
In terms of league standings, Misfits and Fnatic are equally strong, considering they are both holding onto a 7-3 record, but in reality, the gap between these two teams is rather huge.
There is no denying Misfits have had some great performances this season, mostly due to their great top-jungle-mid synergy, however, overall they still seem a bit shaky. While I would not like to discredit them for what they have shown so far, Misfits are still a tier below both G2 Esports and Fnatic, which should become clear this Friday.
Fnatic are entering this bout as heavy favorites, priced at 1.29 on Pinnacle, while Misfits hold onto 3.28 odds to upset their adversaries. Considering Fnatic had their iffy moments so far this season, it would seem like backing Misfits here to produce an upset would be a great bet. However, Fnatic looked way too good last week, which makes an upset win for Misfits very unlikely.
Despite the quality gap, it’s safe to expect a close match in the opening stages of the game, but once the teams enter the mid-late game, Fnatic should pull away and claim the spoils.
Prediction: Over 23.5 kills – 1.87 Pinnacle
Prediction: Fnatic -6.5 kills – 1.854 Pinnacle
Schalke 04 v Origen
Friday, February 28 – 21:00 CET
Origen are without a doubt a stronger team here and the shorter odds (1.21 on Pinnacle) makes it hard to believe otherwise. That said, it’s always difficult to play against an underdog. More times than not we see the stronger team approach fixtures against underdogs too relaxed, which tends to backfire.
Seeing underdogs claim the spoils is nothing new for esports, but it tends to be much more frequent in League of Legends and the reason behind it is simple; the favorites tend to take those kinds of matches too lightly and often decide for unfavorable drafts, just to have some fun.
If that wil be the case with Origen, they might be in for a tough match, considering Schalke are desperate for a win, meaning they will go all out and as we have seen before, Schalke can be deadly if they get a chance to shine. Since their roster shuffle, Schalke also significantly improved and although it’s hard to justify saying they’re now a playoffs team, Schalke are still not to be overlooked.
Origen might be a stronger team overall and should walk away with a win, however, it’s hard to expect they will stomp their adversaries, especially if they underestimate Schalke – which they most likely will. The total kills line is set at 21.5, which seems a bit low for this match. Schalke are desperate for a win and will most likely use a more aggressive approach as to get ahead in the early game, which leads us to believe this match can easily reach 22 kills in total.
Prediction: Over 21.5 kills – 1.81 Pinnacle
G2 Esports v SK Gaming
Friday, February 28 – 22:00 CET
There is really not a lot to be said about this match, as we have the strongest European team take on the shaky SK. Although SK are not sitting at the bottom of the league, they suffered a humiliating defeat last week to the team that is (Vitality), which automatically makes them the worst team.
Pinnacle is offering 1.869 on G2 to win this match with at least 10 kills to spare, which very generous. There might be some concerns with how seriously will G2 take this match, given that they are known to play games against underdogs very relaxed, however, considering they lost the spot at the top of the league, the reigning LEC champions will not take any prisoners here, as they can’t afford to lose any more matches.
Prediction: G2 Esports -9.5 kills – 1.969 at Pinnacle
Best bet: MAD Lions -6.5 kills – 1.85 at Pinnacle