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Returning champs G2 can warm up against mid-table finishers Excel
Team BDS face a monumental task against a merged KOI/Rogue team
Team Heretics make their debut against an inconsistent Astralist
G2 look set to repeat history, having won the last spring split of the LEC.
Despite placing second in the last spring and summer splits of the LEC, G2 had a rather shaky attempt at the World Championships, crashing out of the group stage. G2 have had some notable performances in the last two years, including three first-place finishes at the LEC.
In the previous season, G2 had a win rate of 49%, dealing 2308 damage per minute and racking up 15 kills per game. The team won 63% of their games when ahead at 15 minutes.
Excel begin the 2022 season as underdogs, owing to their brilliant performance in the last season, the LCS, where they placed 6th in both the summer and spring splits. They have been a consistently mid-table team since entering the LEC in 2019.
Over the last split, Excel have been impressively consistent, with an overall win rate of 49%. They dealt 2025 damage per minute, getting 13 kills per game with a kill/death ratio of 1.9. Remarkably, Excel won 75% of their games when ahead at 15 minutes. They have an opportunity to rise above the middle ranks by beating G2, but the chances remain slim.
KOI are overwhelming favorites in this lopsided group stage matchup.
On October 6, 2022, KOI announced that they have merged with Rogue, who won the last summer split of the LEC. In 2022, the team placed first in the summer split and second in the spring split of the LEC. It remains to be seen if they can keep up the winning performances under a new brand name, but it’s highly likely.
In the concluded summer split, Rogue/KOI won 60% of their games, dealing 2161 damage per minute and getting 14 kills per game. Their kill/death ratio was 2, and they obtained 1841 gold per minute.
Team BDS didn’t have anything to write home about in 2022, finishing the two splits of the LEC in 9th and 10th place. They have their work cut out for them, as they are about to face off against a merged KOI/Rogue team, who are the favorites in this matchup.
With a win rate of 22% in 2022, Team BDS inflicted 1775 damage per minute and got 11.7 kills per game, with a kill/death ratio of 1. They won only 37.5% of games when they were ahead at 15 minutes and obtained an average 1713 gold per minute over the last season of the LEC.
Team Heretics are debuting in this tournament, but might have enough to beat Astralis.
In a matchup of bottom-table vs top-table teams, Astralis is set to face off against Team Heretics. Astalis had an unremarkable 2022, with a 9th place finish in the summer split, and a 10th place finish in the spring split.
In the last season, Astralis had a win rate of 28%, dealing 1962 damage per minute and getting 12 kills per game for a kill/death ratio of 1.1. Despite their shaky results, the team drew first blood in 53% of their games, which might be enough against a team like Heretics.
Team Heretics are about to take their first steps in the LEC. Having acquired the spot previously held by Misfits Gaming, the Spanish team are poised to make their debut against Astralis.
Team heretics had a remarkable win rate of 62% in 2022. They dealt 2076 damage per game and drew first blood 52.4% of the time, getting 13.6 kills per game with an impressive kill/death ratio of 2.4. However, we’d take these stats with a pinch of salt as Team Heretics are only entering their first S-Tier tournament at the LEC Winter 2023.
MAD Lions look like overwhelming favorites in this lopsided matchup.
Like a few of the teams mentioned above, SK Gaming had an average season in 2022, with their best results coming in the summer split at the 8th position. Despite being a bottom-table team it’s noteworthy how SK Gaming has been in top-tier LoL competition since 2010.
In the last split, SK Gaming had a win rate of 39%, winning 14 of the 36 games they played. The team drew first blood only 44.4% of the time and dealt 1777 damage per game to gather 12.8 kills per game with a kill/death ratio of 1.2.
MAD Lions are former LEC Champions, having won both the spring and summer splits in 2021. The team also finished the summer season in 4th place, losing to Fnatic in a 3-1 contest. 2023 could be the year that they return to their winning ways, and their matchup against SK Gaming is perfect for getting some momentum going in their favor.
In the last split, Dignitas had a decent win rate of 51%, winning 29 out of 58 games played. They drew first blood 57.9% of the time and scored 13.7 kills per game, with an overall kill/death ratio of 1.8. With the new additions to their coaching staff like Achuu and Zeph, we expect stronger performances from them in the upcoming season.
Fnatic should be able to stamp their authority early on in this tournament.
Despite never having won Gold at the LEC, Fnatic have been a consistent fixture in the final rounds of the competition. The team have finished in second and third place on numerous occasions since entering the tournament. Last year, they finished both splits in third place.
In the last season, they won 58% of their games while dealing 2186 damage per minute and racking up 13.3 kills per game. They had a kill/death ratio of 1.6, which puts them up there with the best teams in the LEC.
Team Vitality enter the 2023 season after finishing nearly last in the last spring split of the LCS in 7th place. They have not finished higher than 5th place in the current format of the tournament.
In the last summer split, Team Vitality won 47% of their games and maintained a kill/death ratio of 1.7. While their stats look good on paper, Team Vitality will need to keep it together under the pressure of S-Tier competition to improve their results.
Teams: G2 vs. Excel, KOI vs. Team BDS, Astralis vs. Team Heretics, SK Gaming vs. MAD Lions, Fnatic vs Team Vitality
Time: Saturday and Sunday, January 21 at 12pm ET onwards
How to Watch: LEC 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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