MAD Lions did the unthinkable and crushed Schalke 04 (3-1) in the second round of LEC 2020 Summer playoffs with what can be easily described as one of the best performances in a very long time. I was very skeptical about MAD Lions and their form heading into the lower bracket, namely due to their iffy displays towards the end of the split as well as their less-than-inspiring performance against G2 (1-3), but at the end of the day, they have proven they still got it in them to compete for top spots in the region.
Of course, it’s fair to say that Rogue are a stronger team than Schalke, which suggests MAD Lions will struggle a bit more to come out ahead victorious, however, it’s also worth noting that Rogue did not look too sharp recently.
Rogue got completely smashed by Fnatic in the first round of the upper bracket, which was only an extension of their iffy displays in the latter stages of the split. That does not take away from the fact that Rogue are still a solid team with strong macro play and a great sense of how to team fight, but at the same time, they’re also a team that gets easily countered.
I’m still not bough on the idea that Rogue are the strongest team in the league – which they aren’t – but are instead a team that figured out the meta early and used it to win games. There are also arguments to be made Rogue won the league because most other teams struggled and the effect of the online format, but that’s a story for another day.
Comparing Rogue and MAD Lions, both teams have shown their flashes of greatness, as well as weaknesses. Rogue tend to rely too much on their mid lane to carry, whereas MAD Lions seem to be very inconsistent in lanes. Additionally, MAD Lions tend to count on Zhiqiang “Shad0w” Zhao to do most of the heavy lifting from the jungle, which is not something I’m to excited about since he had his fair share of iffy performances.
The betting odds suggest MAD Lions are the favorites to win, which they might be since they looked very solid in their win against Schalke, but at the same time, I don’t see how is it fair to have Rogue priced so highly, granted their last few games were a bit shaky.
Rogue and MAD Lions last met at the start of August when Rogue won with a solid all-round performance and a strong showing from their bottom lane. I’m not sure whether Rogue are capable of another clean win this time out, but since MAD Lions’ bottom lane is very shaky, they should at very least force a five-map series.
Prediction: Rogue +1.5 maps – 1.633