The halfway point has officially been met in the LEC as second round matches are starting between teams. This week, an evenly matched rematch between Misfits and SK Gaming could prove vital for both teams this season after Misfits failed to win their first encounter.
With Rogue, G2, and Fnatic solidifying their spots in the top three, the middle of the pack is in complete shambles. This week we take a look at value matchups within the LEC as Sk Gaming and Astralis look to have profitable weeks.
Schalke vs. SK Gaming (Day One)
SK Gaming went 1-1 last week making it look easy against Vitality but struggled to over-perform against the likes of Fnatic. This week, their schedule permits the chances of an upset on either day and while this pick may be more of a reach in terms of practicality, there is a lot of value in that kind of play.
While Schalke 04 looked nearly unbeatable in the first few weeks, we’re starting to see signs of weakness on their roster primarily in the jungle-mid duo. When Humanoid is flustered with decision-making in mid to late game, he tends to look rather human. This is where that crafty trio of SK Gaming can find an opportunity to pounce on any hasty thinking from S04.
When SK is at their best, TnyX is manning the jungle like a composer at a symphony. He has a great read for the map and once he lands a first successful gank he can quickly impose himself to snowball those advantages over time. Look for SK to exploit their top side of the map with TynX and Jenax looking to pounce on tactical errors of Schalke 04 early and often.
Pick: SK Gaming
Betting Site: GG.bet
MAD Lions vs. Excel (Day One)
Excel have been an up-and-down team so far this split. But when MAD Lions are bad, they are exponentially worse. Last week, Elyoya made some head-scratching decisions in the jungle in their losses to Rogue and Schalke 04. While Excel aren’t the same playstyle team as the ones previously mentioned, they possess strengths where MAD Lions have shown particular weaknesses this split.
For starters, we touched on earlier this split about the fall of form that MAD Lions’ bot lane had been suffering in 2021. Patrik and Tore have been playing together for almost two years now and their synergy in this bot lane will definitely be a catalyst for victory in this game. More importantly, this matchup will be decided on jungle pressure and tempo. At the moment, it seems like Dan has the upper hand in that department with the way he is able to maneuver around the map for his team. While MAD Lions aren’t completely outmatched in this series, it’s hard to justify them as the favorites in this matchup given the recent stretch of games.
Betting Site: Unikrn
Excel vs. Astralis (Day Two)
After last week’s MagiFaker pop-off debut, Astralis seem to have found a new talisman on their team. Magifelix’s rise to the LEC has been long overdue for some fans, but with his impressive performance against S04, he has made it clear that he has the talent to stay on board. Replacing Nukeduck is no small task for the Swede but he’s doing so admirably, and has another chance to make his presence felt in mid lane against Excel’s Czekolad.
When analyzing the chances for success on this team, Astralis need to hunker down and put their resources on the top side of the map. Whiteknight has shown promise on certain champions this season despite getting very little resources thrown his way. If Astralis can continue forging win conditions around their unique set of players this could yet be another instance where an upset takes place at the hands of Astralis Gaming. Whether or not MagiFaker pops his head out for another appearance is yet to be determined, but expect this game to be a raucous back and forth affair.
Betting Site: Luckbox
Misfits vs. SK Gaming (Day Two)
This pick is a little tricky because the strengths of both teams can lend themselves to go either way. Which is why the odds are so closely tied in this encounter, but we have faith in the mid game mobility of SK Gaming to get themselves the W. As previously stated, SK Gaming have a lot of value in upset games because of players like Jenax and Jezu who have proven they can punch above their weight. Even though the name recognition factor isn’t as high on SK, they have a plethora of young and talented players who are eager to show up their opponents at every turn.
Misfits aren’t to be slept on in this matchup, though. HiRit continues to be a fantasy LCS sleeper pick every week because he’s able to rack up points in a win or a loss. However, fantasy stats don’t always translate to productive winning League of Legends play. To get the victory over SK Gaming, they need to rekindle some of that killer edge that they previously displayed against Fnatic this season. With a loss already to SK Gaming this season, it’s hard to give them the benefit of the doubt and with the odds slightly in their favor, going for SK isn’t as far-fetched as the standings suggest.
Pick: SK Gaming
Betting Site: Winners.bet