SK Gaming vs Misfits Gaming
In the opening match of the day, we will see the surging SK take on Misfits Gaming, who have hit a bit of a slump as of late and are 1-4 in their last five games, whereas SK found themselves on a completely opposite path with a 3-2 record from their last five.
We already got to see this match unfold in June when SK won quite convincingly (+16 kill differential) and based on the teams’ recent performances it’s difficult to imagine this one will play out any differently. The biggest difference between these two sides is not necessarily the better individual quality on Misfits, but rather the superior macro play from SK.
Looking at these two team play, SK play much more like a cohesive unit and while they still lack that experience to push a bit further, they are a team that will punish anyone who fails to play at the same tempo as them. Misfits, on the other side, are a team that can have their flashes of greatness, but it seems like the longer their games go, the higher is the chance they will find a way to lose no matter how far ahead they are.
If we draw a line SK are the most likely victors, and while there are arguments to be made Misfits can win, I’m not to big on Misfit’s performances. The only player who has been at least somewhat decent is Kobbe with 4.4 KDA, whereas his teammates are all below 3.0, with Doss averaging 1.9.
On the side of SK, the only player below 3.0 KDA remains Jenax, while Crownshot shines at 6.2. His performances as of late were also quite impressive, especially against MAD Lions. The only thing that could be an issue is Aphelios nerfs, meaning Crownshot will likely play Ezreal since it’s his second most efficient champion – that is if Misfits don’t ban it. Nevertheless, there is still Caitlyn, who received a significant buff, yet we can’t know for sure which ADC will shine on her since she was not picked yet this split.
Prediction: SK Gaming to win – 1.806
Schalke 04 vs Excel
Schalke 04 might be regarded as the weakest team in the league, but their numbers from the last two games would suggest otherwise. The individual performance from Schalke players against G2 and Misfits was just phenomenal and yes some may say it was a fluke, but would Schalke be playing at this pace throughout the whole split, we would be looking at completely different standings.
Abbedagge had a great performance on Azir and Zoe, while Neon and DreamS really proved their worth in the bottom lane. But if there is one player who impressed it was Gilius in the jungle with his 10/1/8 and 8/2/4 records across the two series.
Excel, on the other end took down SK and Vitality last week. The first game was quite convincing, whereas I am not too impressed with Excel and their performance against Vitality. The fact that Patrick did most of the work on Aphelios doesn’t scream overall quality and we once more got to see just how “special” Special is with his 0/3/3 LeBlanc.
While I want to be excited about Excel and their potential as a well-coached team, I have a difficult time believing Kryze is ready for LEC, Caedrel is good enough jungler to help his team and most of all, I am not convinced with Special’s hit-or-miss games.
Both teams share the same 3-2 record across last five, but it’s fair to rank Schalke’s win higher since they have defeated G2, Misfits and Fnatic. One thing we can’t ignore is how more aggressive Schalke have become as of late. Across the last three games, they have seen on average 30.7 kills, which is significantly higher than their split’s average of 21.8. Excel have found themselves in a similar trajectory with 22 average kills across the last five, which is again higher than their average of 20.5.
Last time out there were only 17 kills between Excel and Schalke, however, with the race for the playoffs heating up expecting another slow game is out of the question. A Yuumi pick would throw this theory out of the window, however, it remains to be seen whether the buffs she received in 10.15 will be enough for the cat to return to pro play.
Prediction: Over 22.5 kills – 1.892
MAD Lions vs OG
MAD Lions lost their last game against SK, or better yet gave up a free win to SK in what was one of the biggest upset wins of the season, but a closer look reveals MAD Lions looked a bit too comfortable heading into the match and got burned for that. Orome had a terrible day and there are no words to describe Shad0w’s performance either.
Nevertheless, that one loss is not enough for us to believe MAD Lions are no longer one of the top teams in the LEC. They’re still the team with the highest kill/game (15.1) and third-lowest deaths/game (9.8) behind their next opponents Origen, who average 9.5 deaths per game and 10.4 kills per game (sixth-highest).
Talking about low kill count, Origen were not too convincing as of late with their losses to Vitality and Fnatic, where they have averaged only five kills across the two series, while they gave up 19.5 deaths on average.
While Origen have looked better with Jactoll, the honeymoon phase is seemingly over and it seems like Jactroll failed to add that aggression Origen need. To be fair, they were never a very aggressive team, but averaging only five kills across two games is worrying. Another thing that concerns me is the fact that Origen don’t look like a team that can respond to MAD Lions’ high tempo, which will be a huge problem this Friday.
All things considered, MAD Lions are a far better team and while we can’t ignore their loss to SK, we also can’t look past OG’s losses against Vitality and Fnatic. Bet on MAD Lions to close this out with ease like they did the last two times when they met with OG (+8 kills, +14 kills).
Prediction: MAD Lions -5.5 kills – 1.917
Vitality vs G2 Esports
G2 are still not at the level they would like to be and their shocking win against Rogue proves that. However, instead of looking at that match as a fluke win, we must give G2 a lot of praise for producing such a comeback. Yes, some of it was on Rogue who dropped the ball, but having the mentality to push through and never give up is something not many teams have.
The fact of the matter here is that G2 need to win here as anything less would effectively put them in a very unenviable spot ahead of the playoffs. Given G2’s struggles, there is a chance Vitality could impress and win, since they have managed more than a few upset wins, perhaps they can do it again. However, we have to take note of the fact that Vitality won only two games out of the last five played – both against Origen.
In fact, the only teams Vitality managed to defeat this split are Schalke at the start of the split, G2 during their slump, the unconvincing Origen and SK before ZaZe and Crownshot found their rhythm. In short, Vitality have not shown anything this split and were very lucky to face teams that were temporarily struggling or are just bad.
Prediction: G2 Esports – 7.5 kills – 1.961
Fnatic vs Rogue
The match of the week and possibly the most exciting match we have seen so far this split will see Rogue take on the rejuvenated Fnatic who have set their eyes on the playoffs and are ready to make their fans proud.
Rogue are coming into this match following a painful loss to G2, where they showcased to the world the true definition of what “choking” is. This team is still talented, but at the same time, that kind of losses make you wonder was it only a slip-up or are Rogue bad under pressure?
Fnatic are entering this bout following one of the best performances of this split. The individual play was just spectacular, especially from Bwipo and Nemesis who had a phenomenal day. The biggest surprise in that game, however, was Fnatic’s unique draft which is a clear indication Fnatic are approaching games in a different way.
Their versatility and the ability to craft composition to counter anything will be Fnatic’s biggest weapon here. Rogue are a team that plays the same style every game and while there is a saying “don’t fix it id it’s not broken”, that doesn’t necessarily translate here, especially when facing an aggressive early-game oriented team as Fnatic (or at least the Fnatic we knew).
Without hyping Fnatic too much after one win, they have looked like a completely different team last week and if they can keep this going, Fnatic will rise once more.
Prediction: Fnatic – to win – 1.854