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Canids sapped of momentum after three straight losses
Punt on LOUD to emerge out of mid-table logjam after patchy first half
Can Vivo Keyd Stars’ academy players replicate success at higher level?
Vivo Keyd Stars have had two contrasting runs. The main team has struggled and are currently placed last with a 2-8 win record in Split-1 of 2023, and a playoff berth all but out of bounds. At the same time, their academy roster has been on a giant-killing spree. This has meant several of those players are suddenly being talked of as potential first-team material going forward. Whether that happens in the remainder of this split remains to be seen, with eight games left.
PaiN Gaming are only slightly better off, with a 5-5 record, but from eighth, they’re now in a logjam with three others for fourth following two consecutive victories. A playoff berth is far from guaranteed, but at least they’ve looked like a team that is capable of withstanding sustained pressure, something Vivo Keyd Stars haven’t.
This gives paiN a wholesome advantage in this match. Back them to deliver returns on your punts. In theory, this isn’t a hard match to predict.
PaiN’s best are far from where top teams should ideally be. And therein lies the problem. Take for example their best kill date is Bvoy’s 3.7 and their best assist rate is CarioK’s 7.3 These pale in comparison to corresponding numbers of players from, let’s say, Los Grandes, the current toppers.
Bot laner Netuno, for example, has an average kill rate of 7.1 and zay’s prolific support role has seen him lend an assist rate of 12.6, among the best in the business. As such, paiN aren’t yet title contender material, but they aren’t the worst team around either. They have to take their game up by several notches to challenge the top two.
That Bvoy surpassed his average to land 6 kills and 6 assists in a dominating performance in their most recent game, a 1-0 win, against LOUD stands them in good stead. CarioK also exceeded perhaps his own expectations in landing 10 assists, again above his average. These contributed to a dominating win over LOUD, where they landed 15 kills to LOUD’s six and won with nearly an 8k gold surge.
Very little separates these two sides in the standings. They’ve both got a 5-5 record and jostling to steer clear of the mid-table clutter.
The only difference is Kabum are coming off two successive losses, while LOUD will be looking to ensure their losing spree doesn’t stretch to two games back to back. One of these losses was to paiN, their long-time rivals, the manner of defeat quite comprehensive, as stated in our first preview.
They could however draw some comfort from Ceos remaining prolific in terms of kill participation and Robo leading the way with offensive proficiency. All said LOUD’s manner of caving in against paiN was very unlike them purely because of the experience and pedigree in their ranks. This is why despite finding themselves in a vulnerable position, the punters still back them to break out of a rut and garner full points in this clash.
Kabum have blown hot and cold, but their wins have been dotted by special performances. Example: Their win over Red Canids Kalunga to end their winning streak. A team that had dominated in each of their games prior to that, Red found themselves pushed to a corner and eventually handed their first defeat.
Even in losses, there has been something Kabum have shown: stoic defense, the ability to counter and fight fire with fire. Yet, you got the sense that they needed that little something to be considered serious contenders.
After their performance against REDs, you got the sense that they had shown that extra something to be counted upon as a serious team that means business. Now for them to win back some consistency to blaze into the top three.
A blockbuster clash to end Saturday awaits. Two of the strongest teams in the pack, ones others want to emulate, will go head-to-head in what will be one of the most compelling tussles of the split. Los Grandes are on top with an 8-2 record; RED Canids are two wins off the leaders at third but have been completely sapped of momentum after taking the early season honors.
They’re coming off three straight losses and will need to rewire themselves going into the second half of the competition. In normal circumstances, you’d have struggled to pick an outright winner, but for now, Los Grandes have a slender advantage and could be your moneyball pick for this match.
RED Canids have made some changes, but the reasons will blow you away. Communication, not form, is supposedly why academy support player scamber is replacing South Korea’s Kuri. Incidentally, Kuri has been signed as Jojo’s replacement during the transfer window prior to the split. They also have a new mid laner with Aithusa coming in for Avenger.
Kuri’s kill participation rate has been impressive at an average of 9.6 assists, but he’s been found lacking in terms of his kill rate, which is a lowly 0.7. This chop-and-change approach that has led to several players coming in will now mean they will need to tweak and tailor plans, which once again could affect their overall rhythm and team combinations.
History is replete with instances where such wholesome changes mid-split have resulted in both an unprecedented high as well as a dangerous slide down the slope. Only time will tell how this will affect the RED Canids.
Teams: Red Canids, Loud, INTZ, Los Grandes, Kabum, Furia, paIN Gaming, Fluxo
Time: Saturday, February 25 at 11 am ET onwards
How to watch: CBLOL 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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