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Team Liquid are slight favorites heading into this match because of their excellent start to the season. Of course, we must take form into account, but Evil Geniuses have been one of the best teams in the league for the last couple of seasons; it’s a bit surprising that the bookmakers haven’t accounted for recent history.
Team Liquid didn’t even make the playoffs last season, and they’ve had some winnable fixtures at the start of this campaign. Evil Geniuses have also had some winnable fixtures, so this shouldn’t take much away from Team Liquid’s form, but we still think it’s a bit premature to list Team Liquid as the clear favorites for this match.
Evil Geniuses tend to show up in the bigger matches, so they’ll certainly be up for this. They’ve also got great value for this match, so we think it’s best to stick with them for this match. Team Liquid still have a lot to prove before we can confirm that they’re the real deal.
Evil Geniuses have always been a bit unpredictable, but they’re even more so nowadays. In the past, they’d be inconsistent in the league before turning up in the playoffs, but last season’s 3-0 loss to Golden Guardians in round two of the playoffs suggests that they can’t just turn it up when they feel like it.
The start to this season hasn’t been too bad, but they’ve lost one of their three games to Dignitas: the worst team last season. We can’t state for certain that they’ve declined in the last six months; every time we’ve said that in the past, they tend to prove everyone wrong and go on a dominant run.
Some issues might be long-term. For example, Jojopyun, their mid laner and chief offensive weapon, was targeted last season. He used to average over 4 kills per game, but that figure has dropped down to 3.63 this year. He has also averaged 3.3 deaths per game this season, which is far too much. Teams have figured out a way to neutralize him, and Evil Geniuses haven’t found a solution to this so far.
Bot Laner FBI is still a big positive. He has averaged 4.76 kills per game, 2.28 deaths per game, and 5.48 assists per game this season. As long as he’s playing up to his standards, Evil Geniuses will be one of the stronger sides in the league, but they don’t strike fear in the opposition as they used without the dual threat of FBI and Jojopyun.
Despite this shortcoming in recent games, we think they have the quality to get the better of Team Liquid on their day. Team Liquid are still a bit of an unknown quantity this season, and the outcome of this result will clarify where both sides are headed. For now, we think Evil Geniuses have something left in the tank.
Team Liquid have been the big surprise of the season. They’re yet to lose a game, and they’re going into this match as favorites despite facing a tough Evil Geniuses side. The aim prior to the season’s start was pretty simple: make the playoffs. They’ve exceeded expectations and now look well-placed to finish in the top half of the table.
It’s hard to pinpoint what led to this improvement. They haven’t added anyone to the side since disappointing in the spring season. There was a feeling that they needed to add some quality in the summer because the entire franchise looked a bit disillusioned last season, but they’ve stuck to their guns and been rewarded for the same.
They don’t have any superstars in the squad; Haeri and Yeon are two solid players, but no one expected them to start the season so well. The former has averaged 3.24 kills per game, 2.57 deaths per game, and 4.62 assists per game this season.
Yeon has averaged 3.48 kills per game, 2.05 deaths per game, and 4.19 assists per game. Neither of them has impressed as much as Evil Geniuses’ FBI this year, but they don’t have clear weaknesses like Jojopyun either.
The bookies have Team Liquid winning this tie because of their incredible start to the season, but we have to account for the opponents they’ve faced in their first three matches. None of the sides they’ve faced are title contenders; Evil Geniuses will be the first team they face with that kind of reputation. Of course, you can only beat what’s in front of you, but there’s a difference in quality between Evil Geniuses and the teams they’ve faced so far. This doesn’t mean that they can’t beat Evil Geniuses, but we have to look at the value in picking them, and we don’t really see it at the moment. Winning this game could change how they’re perceived, but until they do that, we can’t confirm they’re the real deal.
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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