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There’s a clear favorite heading into this tie. G2 Esports have arguably been the most dominant LoL esports team this summer, with eight wins out of nine league games and two comfortable group stage wins against KOI and Team BDS. They are the favorites to win this match and the LEC summer championship.
Excel were abysmal in spring, finishing in last place. This is a massive improvement but G2 is a different kettle of fish. One could argue that G2 are even better now than when they won the winter championship. Excel just have to put their best foot forward and hope for some good fortune. This feels like a step too far for Excel.
When the two sides faced each other earlier in the season, G2 comfortably won the match. Excel will certainly up their game for this tie, but we think beating G2 is far too improbable now. There’s almost no value in picking G2, but we can’t see another outcome besides a G2 win for this match. It’s a best-of-five match, so even if G2 have a few lapses of concentration, we figure they’ll find a way back into the game.
G2 Esports are well and truly back. They underwhelmed last season by their own high standards, with a third-place league finish and a first-round playoff exit. Of course, they were knocked out by the eventual champions MAD Lions in a closely fought match, but they never really looked like their dominant selves for most of last season, and the early exit was ultimately not much of a surprise.
This season, they look like a team that’s on a mission to make things right. They’ve lost to MAD Lions once again this season but recorded no other losses so far. You could argue that no team has dominated their regional LoL esports league like G2 Esports have this season.
For years, G2 Esports have been the team to beat in the LEC, and that aura is well and truly back this season. The bookies clearly see it as well because they’ve given Excel no chance in this match. If the league form wasn’t enough to convince everyone that they’re a force to be reckoned with again, then the group-stage games certainly did that.
They’re a frightening outfit with two members (Hans Sama and Yike) averaging over 4 kills per game this year, and two more (BrokenBlade and Caps) averaging over three kills per game this year. It doesn’t get much better than that.
There have been times over the years, where G2 have underperformed – it’s often felt like a lack of application as opposed to talent. They know what it takes to win, as was evident last winter, but there’s a perception around the LEC that they’ve got a step further this season. When they’re in this sort of form, the sky's the limit.
Excel had a disastrous campaign last season. They won just two of their nine games last season and finished in last place. They won five of their nine games this season, which was enough to take them to third place on the league table,
Five out of nine might not feel like a big deal but it’s a remarkable improvement for a side that looked hopeless last season. It’s even more impressive when you consider that they didn't make too many changes between the spring and summer season. They added Peach as a Jungler, but the rest of the squad is the same as last season. There’s nothing in Peach’s stats to suggest that he’s made a massive difference, either.
The team has been rewarded for sticking together during a difficult spell and building chemistry over time. One player who has stayed consistent throughout the year is Patrik. He has averaged 4.06 kills per game, 2.88 deaths per game, and 5 assists per game this year.
It was one thing to do well in the league, but they followed it up with two excellent performances in the group stage. They were deserving winners against defending champions MAD Lions and SK Gaming.
Of course, Patrik’s stats, as impressive as they are, also display the difference in quality between the two sides. Patrik’s the only member of the Excel roster with a kills per-average value over four, whereas G2 Esports have four players in and around that number.
No one expected Excel to go through to the next round, nor should they. Getting this far has been an achievement. All they can do now is make it as difficult as possible for G2 Esports and learn how much more they have to do to get to G2’s level.
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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