G2 Esports vs MAD Lions
League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Summer Split will kick off with a rematch of 2020 Spring semi-finals between MAD Lions and G2 Esports. As we all can remember, last split MAD Lions humiliated G2 Esports in the opening round of the playoffs, but I’m still not convinced that game in any way showed the true balance of strength.
Although we can’t deny MAD Lions beat G2 twice the last split, they were somewhat lucky to pull out those wins. Their first win over G2 came during Week 5 of the regular season when G2 were struggling with their performance, meanwhile, MAD Lions clearly overperformed in the R1 of playoffs, albeit some of the blame for the loss also falls on G2’s poor performance that day.
What I’m going for here is that G2 are a much stronger team that MAD Lions. The latter have had a very memorable season, which is that more impressive since this team is assembled mostly from rookies, but it’s easy to jump on the hype train and forget G2 are undisputedly the strongest team Europe has ever produced. G2 are likely to come out ahead here, but since this is the first match of the split, I expect to see a lot of mistakes on both sides, especially from G2 who are back to fielding Caps in the mid lane and Perkz as their ADC.
MAD Lions have proven to be a worthy opponent before and since both teams tend to produce on average 30 kills or more, betting on the 30+ kills game is something I feel most comfortable suggesting.
Prediction: Over 30.5 kills – 2.03 Pinnacle
Schalke 04 vs Vitality
Schalke 04 are back with the same roster they fielded last split and I’m not sure how to feel about it. Although S04 managed to improve in the latter stages of the split when they acquired Innaxe, I’m not too sure whether this team has the needed talent to push for a solid finish this season.
Nevertheless, Lurox has been playing surprisingly well and we can say the same for Abbedagge, but considering how stacked the jungle and mid positions are in LEC, these two youngsters will have to show a bit more before we can start talking about S04 making it into the postseason.
Vitality finally managed to get Milica in the team which in my book will be an upgrade down the line, but we have to consider Milica hasn’t played a single competitive match since December. Other than that, Vitality brought in Labrov as their new support instead of Steeelback and replaced their jungler Skeanz with Nji, which makes no sense. Skeanz played well last split and was arguably one of the better players in the team besides Steeelback, who is also out of the team.
I’m excited to see what Vitality can produce this season, but at the same time, I am a bit shocked by their jungle and support changes. The new faces might impress, but until we see them in action, I am not too confident they can outperform a team that has already defeated them twice last split.
Prediction: Schalke 04 -6.5 kills – 1.97 Pinnacle – Best Bet
Excel vs Rogue
Rogue defeated Excel twice last split and will look to do it again in their opening fixture of the LEC Summer Split, however, I expect Rogue to struggle a bit more this time out.
I’m not trying to be biased here, but Excel is a team everyone should be excited about. The organization as a whole screams potential and the fact that Excel decided to start building a strong foundation with YoungBuck as their head coach who will look over young and promising players shows that Excel is not building a roster to win one split but grow into a European juggernaut.
In the off-season, Excel signed a new top laner Kryze and replaced Mickey with Special. These two additions make me believe Excel are set for a better finish this split, not only because Excel finally got rid of inconsistent Mickey and somewhat underwhelming Expect, but also because we have seen before how solid EUM rookies can be.
Rogue was a team I was very excited about the last split and while they have proven they can be a very solid team with strong lanes, I can’t help but feel like Rogue are exactly like Origen, but a level below. Nevertheless, Rogue are entering this split with the same roster they fielded the last split, which should give them an advantage over other teams in form of strong synergy. A lot of Rogue’s success will come down to Larssen’s performances, but I can’t say this team has the needed firepower to finish amongst top-four.
In a perfect world, Rogue should win here, but the opening matches of a new split rarely produce results we expect to see. Looking at Excel’s new roster and knowing YoungBuck is a perfect coach to prepare the youngsters for this bout, they should be capable of producing a close match. Rogue, may take an early lead due to their lane strength, but if they hadn’t improved their mid-late game, we might even see Excel produce an upset win.
Prediction: Excel Esports to win – 2.64 Pinnacle
Prediction: Excel Esports over 8.5 kills – 1.800 Pinnacle
Fnatic vs Misfits
Fnatic are objectively one of the strongest teams in Europe and when on their best, one of the strongest teams in the world. Having said that, their biggest weakness is their shaky performances at the start of splits. Year after year, we see Fnatic start each split poorly, only to pick up the pace later down the line and it’ safe to expect much of the same from Fnatic this split as well.
In their first match of 2020 LEC Summer, Fnatic will face Misfits, who were good last season and I’m certain they could have achieved much more if Bvoy wasn’t playing as poorly as he did. On a bright note, Bvoy is no longer a part of this roster and I’m not exaggerating when I say Misfits managed to get the best possible upgrade for Bvoy in Kobbe, who needs no special introduction to LEC fans. Apart from Kobbe, Misfits still have Febiven, who is arguably one of the best mid-laners in the league and I would personally put him above Nemesis, who can be good, but he can also be very average.
It remains to be seen how will Kobbe perform now that he is back in Europe, but if he can look even remotely as solid as he did back at Splyce, I can already see Misfits as a serious playoffs contenders. Their first match of the split won’t be easy, but if Febiven can show what he is capable of and if Kobbe can prove once more he is an elite-level ADC, Fnatic will have some serious issues wining here.
Odds on Misfits are way out of line here. With Kobbe, this team has the potential to reach new heights and since they are facing a team that is known to underperform early into the season and is on top of that heavily reliant on their bottom lane to deliver, betting on the improved Misfits makes the most sense.
Prediction: Misfits to win – 3.06 Pinnacle