LEC 2022 Spring Split Picks, Predictions, January 28

  • BDS and Astralis will open a new round of the LEC with an even money matchup
  • Fnatic and Rogue content will highlight blockbuster round
  • Vitality, Mad Lions should come away from their matches with wins

BDS vs Astralis Pick

Astralis (moneyline)

LEC 2022 Spring Split

BDS vs Astralis Predictions

When you are at rock bottom, the only way is up. This holds true for both Team BDS and Astralis, who are currently joint-eighth and tenth respectively. BDS have one win to show in five games; Astralis are winless after five. It is a double round robin format, and with another 13 games left apiece, both teams will need to put together a string of wins to get some momentum before they can dream of finishing in the top half of the points table.

Lots of hopes were riding on BDS, the Swiss outfit, who took the spot vacated by FC Schalke 04 Esport after five years of competing in the LEC. They revealed a star-studded line-up, including two ex-Schalke players, ahead of the season, but all that off-season promise hasn’t held up so far with their performances way below par. Now, it’s an opportunity for them to wipe the slate clean and begin their upward move.

Astralis too made a couple of big-ticket signings in the off-season by acquiring the services of Dajor and Kobbe, who replaced MagiFlex and Jeskla respectively. Dajor’s elevation was particularly significant as his LEC debut came within months of his competitive debut. On paper, they have the personnel. Now, it’s about translating potential into performance. It seems evident why this is a clash between two equals on the face of it. By the end of their contest on Friday, Astralis would’ve either broken their losing run or extended it.

BDS Need To Stay In The Contest

One glance at the numbers and data from their last three fixtures point to a very revealing pattern. BDS get sucker punched. They don’t remain in the contest for long to challenge their opponents, let alone win. Partly, one of the reasons for this could be a crisis of confidence. When teams are often on a losing streak, there can be a tendency to have self-doubts. Is our strategy the right one? What if our Plan A doesn’t work? Who do we turn to in certain situations? Where do we look towards for a solution?

Eight days ago, against Misfits, they didn’t manage to raid a single tower, even as their opponents captured 10 towers. They also landed six kills fewer. Two days ago, they allowed Vitality, undergoing their own set of struggles, dominate from start to finish. Vitality effected 18 kills to BDS’ eight while capturing 10 towers to BDS’ grand sum of zero. Then against Team Rogue, they landed just six kills, while conceding 20 – another indication of the massive gulf in performance of the two teams. The alarm bells are ringing.

Astralis Need To Hit Reset

For much of their contest against MAD Lions two days ago, it appeared as if Astralis would break their jinx. They focused on the enemy bottom lane, but MAD Lions held their nerve. Every move they made was countered, not even one final push proving enough. A day prior to that, they lost 1-0 to Fnatic. Astralis are at that stage where their they’ve put in plans but have seen all of it backfire spectacularly. They need to hit the reset button now.

Key Players To Watch Out For

It will be hard to look beyond Kobbe for Astralis. He has a mighty fine creep score of 340.4, their highest. What he could do better though is try and better his existing kills to death ratio. Right now, he effects 2.8 kills but fritters the advantage by averaging almost the same number of deaths (2.6). In promisq, they have a fine support player whose assist rate of 6.8 is mighty impressive. What Kobbe is to Astralis, cinkrof is to BDS – averaging a similar ratio of kills to deaths. They also have another aggressor in NUCLEARINT, who will be expected to do bulk of the running in the bottom lane to hand.

Mad Lions vs Excel Pick

Mad Lions (moneyline)

Mad Lions vs Excel Predictions

In what promises to be an intriguing contest in the mid-table, MAD Lions would be looking to record their fourth win when they square off against sixth placed Excel, who have two wins and three losses.

While it does appear as if both teams aren’t too far from each other, there are certain parameters the punters have studied to differentiate the two sides. Excel have the odds stacked against them, and could give you wholesome returns on your money should they cause an upset here. But is there a reason for cautious optimism?

The Match Ups

For starters, they have signed a new positional coach in Reignover, who has returned to his old stomping ground in Europe. During his time in the LCS, the 26-year-old veteran made his name as a player, turning up for a number of outfits like CLG, Immortals, and Team Liquid. Not being able to find much success as a player in North America led to him transitioning into a new role of positional coach of Cloud9 in 2019. Now it is a similar role he will don with the Spanish-based outfit.

The move is significant because MAD Lions have had to regroup after losing both star mid laner Humanoid and AD carry Carzzy in the 2021 offseason. They were able to keep key members like Armut, Elyoya, and Kaiser, but they’ll need some help to integrate two new rookies into the fold.

Last week, they beat G2 Esports but got pounded by Rogue. So recent form has been patchy. Against G2, they effected 12 kills, conceding only 4. Against Rogue, they managed just 10 kills while seeing their opponents land 26. They also managed to capture just one tower even as Rogue surrounded as many as 10 towers. Kaiser led the way with a decent number of assists (9) but they struggled to find players in the bottom lane who could take the opponents on. They’ll need to regroup quickly.

Excel have won two of their last three bouts. They beat Vitality and SK Gaming on either side of a loss to the Misfits. Against Vitality, they landed 13 kills to the opponent’s eight; against SK Gaming, they landed 18 kills to their opponent’s 11.

Key Players To Watch Out For

UNFORGIVEN holds the aces for the MAD Lions. He has a mighty fine kill rate of 6.6, the highest among players from both sides. This along with his death rate of 1.6 and assists of 5.4. All combined, he brings to the table a creep score of 343.6. He’ll look for some support from Armut.

Patrik scores on all counts for Excel. He averages 4.4 kills on an average per map, 2.4 deaths and 4.8 assists. A KDA of 3.83 along with a creep score of 337.4 points to immense ability. He will need another person in the bottom lane to swoop in on kills. Who will it be? Markoom or Finn?

Vitality vs SK Gaming Pick

Vitality (moneyline)

Vitality vs SK Gaming Predictions

On the face of it, this is a clash of the mid-table. Team Vitality have blown hot and cold to have two wins and three losses to be joint sixth just past the halfway mark of the Spring Split. SK Gaming have been more inconsistent than they could have afforded to, having a solitary win to show for their efforts in five games.

They are joint eighth currently, and in serious danger of scraping the bottom if they don’t revive their campaign right here, right now. The worrying aspect for them is they have now lost three games on the bounce, and pretty comprehensively at that. It is a trend they will quickly have to reverse, even if it currently appears to be far-fetched. So go ahead, place your bets on Vitality, who look favourites on current form.

Vitality – Playing Like A Team Unleashed

Vitality, meanwhile have won two out of their last three games. Their loss to Excel was followed by 1-0 wins over Team BDS and G2 Esports. The encouraging sign from their point of view will be their ability to correct mistakes they made in their loss to Excel. They managed to capture just three towers in the entire contest even as Excel surrounded 10 towers that eventually became theirs. While they were only slightly off the pace in terms of overall golds, Vitality manages to land just eight kills to Excel’s 13.

This put considerable pressure on them in their game last Saturday against Team BDS. But they played like a side unleashed. They landed 18 kills to their opponent’s 8, collected more than 15,000 golds than their opponents while not allowing them to capture a single tower, even as they took over 10 in the bargain. In Carzzy and Selfmade they found two players who rose to the occasion to land body blows on BDS’s chances of even putting up a semblance of a fight.

Then in their most recent clash against G2, they collected nearly 12,000 more golds and landed nine more kills than their opponents. By collecting four dragons and one baron – while not allowing their opponents to have any – they also flexed their muscle in putting up a dominant show. Along with Carzzy and Selfmade, Alphari too made his presence felt in landing 4 kills, 2 deaths and 9 assists during the course of what turned into a victory march. This is the kind of form they’ll now carry into Saturday’s game knowing fully well another win will vault them into being top contenders for the title.

SK Gaming Reliant on Jeans and Sertuss

In Jenax, they have a rare talent whose offensive proficiency gets talked of in the same breath as some of the best in the field. Jenax however would be mindful of having been part of just one winning map out of five. He lands 3.8 kills, but concedes 3 deaths – something he will look to get better. He also lands 4.8 assists and a KDA of 2.87. His creep score of 294.8 is mighty fine, but can be a tads better for a player with his calibre.

In Sertuss, they have the perfect ally. But again, in landing the same number of kills as deaths, he undersells his potential, making him an easy markout for the opponents. There is a clear pattern to his inability to seize on the advantage and thereby sift through the lanes. So irrespective of how many assists he’s involved in, he could potentially be a sitting target for the opponents. But he is among the best they have got and needs to be backed.Fnatic vs Rogue

Fnatic vs Rogue Pick

Rogue (moneyline)

Fnatic vs Rogue Predictions

It is a battle of the champions. Two gun teams on a winning run of five games go head to head. On Saturday, one of their winning streaks will be broken. That, however, is unlikely to break their spirits in their quest to become champions. Whichever side you back, you should quietly be confident of getting the best returns for your money because it’s that close. These two teams promise a tantalisingly close contest that could go down to the wire. You don’t want to miss this.

Humanoid, The Super Human

Humanoid’s offensive proficiency makes him a leader of the pack for Fnatic. He occupies a vital position in the bottom lane and his team will be massively reliant on him for landing the big kills. He has averaged 2.6 kills per map along with 2.2 deaths and 7.6 assists per game. That has pushed his KDA to 4.64 along with a creep score of 299.6.

Knowing the champions that they are, Fnatic will be looking for a lot more. Humanoid’s assist rate also points to excellent proficiency in the defence, which intern points to overall effectiveness across lanes. He’ll like to however reduce his death rte. The fewer times he’s killed on an average per map, the higher will be his values in the lanes. Razork too holds the aces as a bot laner, who is imperative to a team’s success because that is where most kills happen. A top team like Fnatic will always be on the lookout for developing their strengths there, and Razork seamlessly fits into the bill.

Comp and Larsenn: The Fire & Ice Combo

If Humanoid is Fnatic’s answer to offensive proficiency, Comp is Rogue’s trump card in the department. And his numbers are mind-blowing. He lands 6.2 kills on an average but conceded just 1 death per map. That is mind-boggling to think of. Add to it his assist rate of 8.8 and his KDA jumps to 15, easily the best in the field across teams.

No surprises then that his creep score touches 294.2, a measure of his success and ability to sift through lanes. In short, he’s blockbuster material. Larsen too has excellent numbers: 4.2 kills, 1.2 deaths, 8.2 assists and a KDA of 10.33. How good is it to have two firefighters in these two to drive the team forward? This one’s going to be mighty hard to predict, and could be decided in the final few moments of the game.

How to Watch LEC 2022 Spring Split

LEC 2022 Spring Split Information
Teams Fnatic, Rogue, G2, Vitality, Misfits, BDS, Mad Lions, Astralis, Excel, SK
Location Offline event, conducted in Europe
Time Friday, January 28 at 11.00 AM EST onwards
How to watch LEC official Twitch channel

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Nikhil Kalro

Expert on esports

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]