The LEC’s mid-season rankings are nearly upon us and no team in the league is undefeated anymore. After Schalke 04’s shock win over Rogue, the German outfit is operating at full steam as they look to solidify their place in the top four.
Meanwhile, on the bottom side of the table, Team Vitality’s substitution for Crownshot over Comp could throw a monkey wrench into how teams prepare for them in the next few weeks. In this breakdown, we will look at value picks and sleeper upsets that could take place this week given week four’s strength of schedule.
Vitality vs. Excel
Despite Vitality’s 1-6 record, the team has shown glimpses of promise and have truly played better than their record suggests thus far. The roster changes are coming at an inopportune time, but Vitality has the pieces to match Excel at their best moments.
Comp has been underwhelming this season, failing to live up to his hype of last Summer Split. But in that absence of form, Labrov has stepped up to the plate to show that Vitality’s bot lane still has signs of life. Vitality is promising in this matchup because they can match Excel at their best game. With Crownshot stepping in to help provide assistance on AD, this is where Vitality can start sneaking wins onto their record if other rosters aren’t careful.
Pick: Team Vitality
Betting Site: GG.Bet
Vitality vs. SK
SK Gaming continue to develop and show their poise, which raises the question as to why exactly are they underdogs in this matchup? While I previously gave Vitality points for playing better than their record, SK Gaming is doing the same kind of over-performing just at a higher clip.
While players like TynX and Blue received a lot of hype with their introduction into the split, their Support player Treatz has been eating up the POTG standings with three-man of the match performances so far. This is yet another LEC team that plays greater than the sum of their parts and expect SK Gaming to over-perform in this series as well.
Across the board, SK Gaming have more of those players with ‘killer instinct’ than their opponent, after watching Vitality’s first game on Day One of week four, you can assume that Head Coach Jesiz will make the right tactical changes to make sure SK Gaming walk away with at least one win this weekend. They have more than enough talent to meet that goal.
Pick: SK Gaming
Betting Site: Luckbox
Schalke vs. MAD Lions
Schalke 04 proved a lot of haters wrong this past week with their huge upset over Rogue (which we predicted). However, they have shown deficiencies in their mid-to-late game decision making and that is what may cost them in this week four matchup.
There are a few players on Schalke 04 who live by the sword and die by the sword. In order to get advantages where there seemingly couldn’t be any, this kind of tactic works well when your backs are against the wall. Against lesser teams, these kind of tactics could spell the beginning of the end for Schalke 04’s win streak because they don’t know how to take small incremental advantages and stack them over the course of a game.
Elyoya and Humanoid need to continue developing their synergy and this matchup is the perfect game to showcase how they can take over. As long as MAD can match the bot lane carry potential of Neon and Limit, this game will be much closer than the odds can give them credit for. Expect a shakeup to the rankings after this match.
Pick: MAD Lions
Betting Site: Unikrn
G2 vs. Rogue
After last weeks upset loss to Fnatic, the prospects of a Rogue upset this week are just as high after their win streak was snapped as well. G2 Esports look extremely good and polished in their wins, but in their losses, Jankos and Wunder have been made to look a lot worse than they are.
That’s why Rogue have what it takes to win this week. Rogues strongest assets by far are their top side of the map (and Hans Sama). Larssen continues to carry with an iron fist, but Odoamne’s presence in the top side will be the catalyst for victory this weekend now that Rogue have a consistent top laner at their disposal.
If Hans Sama continues putting together carry performances and Inspired and Odoamne facilitate that carry potential, this could be a detrimental game for G2. When it comes to early season synergy, Rogue have been the more accomplished side and their cohesion against a more ‘talented’ side will be their biggest selling point when looking at the odd sheet this week.
Betting Site: GG.Bet