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The fourth split of Brazil’s professional League of Legends gets underway on Saturday with a blockbuster clash between PaiN Gaming and Red Canids. paiN are looking to build on their fourth-place finish in 2022’s Split-1, where they came back from the dead to win five in a row to vault themselves into the playoffs by virtue of finishing in the top six.
Red Canids finished a step higher at third, with a 11-7 record. In terms of odds, there’s very little to choose from. They’re both fan favorites, both have strong rosters and both are coming off an impressive season. You’re unlikely to go wrong with either pick, but for the record, Red Canids are slightly favored, perhaps because of where they finished in Split-1.
It’s easy, however, to simply look at Split-1 performances alone. Truth be told, Red Canids have some improvements to mark quickly. While they’ve been a dominant force in Brazil, they’ve tended to struggle at the big stage. Take MSI 2022 for example, where they finished third out of four teams in their group, managing all of two wins in six matches. This was despite turning the tables to secure a superb win against PSG Talon in their tournament opener.
They have announced the signing of top laner Felipe “Boal” alongside Guilherme “Guigo”. Boal played for Flamengo, with whom he masterminded the title of the 2nd Split of the CBLOL Academy 2021 and the runner-up of the 1st Split of the Brazilian Championship (CBLOL) 2022.
The signings come on the back of their MSI reversal, where they failed to make it past the group stage. In addition to tops Guigo and Boal and mid-laner Grevthar, the main lineup of RED Canids includes hunter Gabriel Vinicius “Aegis”, marksman Alexandre “TitaN” and support Gabriel “Jojo”.
INTZ have had plenty of time to chew on their disappointments from Split-1, where they finished 10th in a field of ten. With three wins and 15 losses, including eight in a row, they were quite a distance away from even the ninth-placed Flamengo Esports. This makes them rank outsiders coming into the current split, with plenty to prove.
If there’s any consolation, it’s the fact that they will be playing a slightly easier opponent first-up in Rengsa Esports, who finished eighth in the previous split with six wins and 12 losses, faring only marginally better than INTZ. This one, therefore, is a clash of the underdogs, with Rengsa having a slight edge on the basis of finishing higher in Split-1 of 2022.
INTZ have had a rough two years. Ever since they won the 2019 CBLOL Summer Playoffs, where they edged out Flamengo eSports, things have gone downhill. Their 2019 success was particularly sweet because INTZ fought back from the brink of elimination to win the last two games to snatch the title away from Flamengo.
Since then, covid hit and a severe fund crunch saw them looking to raise new investment to stay afloat. This has indirectly affected their roster. Having endured a fair bit of turbulence, they’re slowly trying to bounce back k again to the heights of 2019.
In split-1, only three players started in all 18 games at Rengsa Esports. This points to a lack of continuity for whatever reason. Primarily, it was their inability to string together a winning combination. If among those who played all games, the most proficient of them all lands 3.39 kills, then there will be questions raised about their standards. Goku landed 3.39 kills, but in conceding 3.22 deaths, he didn’t help the team’s cause.
Minerva had 2.72 kills but 3.44 deaths. No matter whatever he did from there on with the assists, it was always a losing cause. Going into this split, they need more continuity, which will only come from backing off their talent and giving them a longer rope instead of chopping and changing.
This is a battle of two mid-table teams looking to break into the top half. Liberty finished sixth in split-1 with a 10-8 record. Netshoes Miners finished a spot above at fifth with a similar record. Liberty could’ve ended up seventh, but for a run of three straight wins that helped them end the split strongly. They hold the slight edge in this clash too.
Last week, Miners signed new South Korean reinforcement Sive Support in addition to the promotion of Hugato to the organization’s first team. Miners assembled their team keeping faith in DoRun, Anyyy and Celo. Hugato comes from the Academy team, which is a ringing endorsement of his improvement.
He replaced Croc, who has moved to LOUD for this split, while Sive replaces Hawk, who was among their starters during the previous stage. June 11 will also mark a debut for Miners against Liberty.
In split-1, Liberty were led by some individual brilliance of Matsukaze, whose methodical preparation and offensive proficiency single-handedly helped them sail past potentially sticky pickles. As the season progressed, the newly introduced Zeri and Renata Glasc in the bot lane helped Liberty take advantage of inexperienced teams.
Their map control, patience, pace of play were all impressive. Where they faulted was their inability to seize on key moments despite having the advantage. They will do well to correct those this time around.
Expect explosive action, gung-ho aggression and a fight to the finish when these two teams take on each other. It’s after all a battle between No. 1 and No. 2 from Split-1 of 2022. FURIA finished second, with a 12-6 record. KabuM were toppers, having won 13 out of their 18 matches. Yet, FURIA’s experienced roster gives them the edge with the punters labeling them as marginal favorites.
In what was seen as a clear move to ensure they move on from regional domination, FURIA made waves when they brought together some of the best players in the region ahead of Split-1. Out of all of them, support player RedBert stood out: he had won two splits in the previous two years and had the experience of being a part of Worlds 2020.
Together with players picked up from last year’s playoff teams, the roster has a good potential to build on their split-1 finish. In Envy and Netuno, they have two bankable stars. Envy lands 4.11 kills, 2.06 death and 6.17 assists, along with a creep score of 272.5. Netuno goes one better, landing 4.39 kills, 1.89 deaths and 5.44 assists, along with a creep score of 307.6.
There are some new additions to the roster. One of the big-ticket signings is that of Igor “DudsTheBoy” Man, alongside Wiz (Caçador) and Parang (Top laner). They have also parted ways with David “Disave” Sá, who has been with the team since the end of 2018. In the coaching staff, Matheus “Professor” Leirião has left, with André “ti0ben” Martinez, former coach of paiN’s Academy team, taking over as assistant coach.
He will work in partnership with Jean François “Nuddle” Caron, the head coach. In the top lane, they’ve now got Emanuel “Rusty” Vitor, who showed promising signs during the trial run. Then there’s Rodrigo “Medina” Cunha, who also faces the first opportunity in a great team at CBLoL, as the academy coach.
Flamengo Los Grandes
Flamengo had a disappointing finish to split-1, finishing ninth out of 10. Overall, they had an underwhelming 5-13 record that did no justice to the talent on their roster. But talent is one thing, performance on the big stage is another and when it mattered, they were found wanting.
How a team with several performing academy stars faltered that badly despite having developed a decent core group is something they would have done well to answer between the two splits. LOUD only fared marginally batter with their heads above water.
They finished seventh with a 10-8 record. Yet, LOUD have lost some key players, which is perhaps why the punters aren’t giving them a great chance of winning this clash. In many ways, this is a clash between two teams wanting to prove to themselves and to everyone else that they’re a lot better than their position in the table at the end of split-1.
They have now been taken over by Los Grandes, who have rebranded the team. In their roster is Rodrigo ‘Tay” who will play the role of a top laner and South Korean hunter Seung-ho “Geum Go” playing the support cast. After being released from LOUD, Tay is back to the top lane, a position he has played right through his career, and hi to the top, one of the positions in which he has played throughout his career.
Tay is a veteran of the Brazilian LoL scene, with stints at teams like g3nerationX, paiN Gaming, INTZ and, more recently, LOUD. Versatile, Tay has played as a midfielder, marksman, hunter and top. He joins the team replacing Felipe “Boal”, who transferred to Red Canids to share position with Guilherme “Guigo”.
After officially unveiling South Korean hunter Jong-hoon “Croc” , LOUD have announced their full line-up. Among the big news is that Diego “Brance ” and support Victor “Vahvel” have been promoted from the academy setup to the main team. Brance comes in for Igor “DudsTheBoy”, who has now moved to KabuM!.
Meanwhile, Vahvel will share the support position with Denilson “Ceos”, the only player remaining from the team’s first line-up. They are joined by Croc, who has been signed to replace Rodrigo “Tay”, who has moved to Flamengo Los Grandes after being released.
|CBLOL Split 2 Information|
|Teams||PaiN Gaming vs Red Canids, INTZ vs Rensga Esports, Liberty vs Netshoes Miners, FURIA vs KaBum eSports, Flamengo Los Grandes vs LOUD|
|Time||Saturday, June 11 at 9pm EST|
|How to watch||Official Twitch channel|
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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