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These are still early days in the LFL Summer Split, but GameWard are doing the early running. They have charged to two dominating wins to open the split, and look good for a third one in a row when they take on Team Oplon. Luck of the draw has Oplon, who have lost two in two to be right at the bottom presently, take on the pace setters.
On the face of it, this is a mismatch. It’s for Oplon to prove there’s spunk and lots of it. Let’s not talk of an upset just yet. Even if Oplon challenges GameWard, it’ll be a massive step in the right direction. So go ahead, hinge your bets on GameWard to make it three in a row here on Wednesday.
In the game against Misfits, GameWard held on to a healthy 13k gold lead at the end of a contest that appeared a lot closer than the overall result suggests. They landed 13 kills to the three by Misfits; captured five towers more than their opponents. While they were level with barons and dragons, considerable damage had been done. Kamilus and Czekolad led the way with high kill participation; they were involved in seven assists apiece, while Innaxe and Akabane landed four kills apiece.
Karmine Corps ran them a lot closer but GameWard closed out the game with a 9k gold advantage at the end. They landed 18 kills, 13 more than Karmine. In terms of towers capture, GameWard just about managed to nick Karmine. Their biggest takeaway from the game was their manner of keeping Rekkles quiet and denying him the big kills. He ended with underwhelming numbers: 0 kills, 0 deaths, 18 assists.
All said, Rekkles still tried to thrive in a role beyond his comfort zone, and he didn’t do too badly, but the others around him had an underwhelming game that eventually proved to be the difference.
GameWard has started well; but has a long way to go. They will be mindful of such jump starts in the past. In the spring split, they started similarly, before enduring a mid-season slump that eventually sent them crashing to eighth, with a 7-11 record. Team Oplon fared even worse, finishing last with a 2-16 record.
The only way is up for them. But having begun with two losses, they need to rack up a few wins so as to not go down the slippery slope a tad too soon. In the spring split, they’d reached a point of no return even before the halfway mark. Games against them were reduced to one-way traffic from there on.
Mirage Elyandra started with a loss, but regained some semblance of form in their maiden win two days ago. Now, they will be hoping to build on these improvements when they take on toppers LDLC OL, who are sitting pretty with two wins in two matches. Mirage are seeking a massive upturn in form and fortunes after finishing ninth in the spring split, where they managed an unacceptable 33% win record in 18 games.
LDLC OL, meanwhile, are looking to keep their status as the team with the top billing. They won 13 out of their 18 games in the regular split, staving off intense competition from Karmine Corp and BDS Academy. They’ve started well this time around too, and the signs are promising.
The positive for Mirage so far is in their loss to Vitality.Bee, they weren’t blown away. They started well, and even took a slender gold lead before they saw Vitality steal a tower from under their nose and then surge ahead in the game. Cody Sun was unusually quiet, and it appeared as if Vitality had planned to keep him quiet and cut out all his options.
Elyandra didn’t have a plan B once that happened. Vitality ended with 19 kills to Mirage’s 5, and 10 towers to Mirage’s 2. The slide was sharp, but there were pockets where they prevented Vitality from razing them down. While much of the focus was on the defence, they will also do well to try and better their offensive proficiency.
In the second game, much of the focus was on driving forward and looking to be all out aggressive. Although that comes with the inherent risk of being killed, their bot lane proficiency helped close out the game in the end. Mirage ended with 63.9k gold to BDS’s 50.6k. They ended with 24 kills as compared to BDS’s 2. You didn’t need to look at any of the other parameters in what was a one-sided contest from start to finish. Clearly they seemed to have learnt from their opening game, and will be looking to build forward.
This is a clash of two enterprising outfits. A clash of two teams looking to push the bar higher with every passing game. Team GO have won two games early, Karmine are 1-1, but don’t let that hoodwink you of what they can achieve. When these two sides clash on Wednesday, it’ll be a fight between two aggressive sides that fight fire with fire.
Taking a step back isn’t part of their plans. It’s to go high or go home. While such a strategy can backfire at times, Karmine are known to be more pedigreed when it comes to the experience.
Karmine are coming off a winning run at the EU Masters, where they beat LDLC OL by a 3-1 margin. In that game, Karmine quickly realised the need to be themselves – ie aggressive. They realised this after LDLC had a better start to the series. A poor engagement led to Karmine being 1-3 down. A desperate engagement led to a clean ace in 27 minutes.
They then bounced back in the second game to take an early gold lead and amassed kills that eventually helped them take control of the match. Just when you thought the LFL chaos had it in them, a great team fight from Elder Dragon steal by Karmine turned it around as they made it 1-1. That was the springboard for domination in the final game. Essentially, the point being Karmine are excellent and at their most efficient best when they’re aggressive. There is no reason to fix something that ain’t broken.
All said, Karmine Corp has had a bumpy ride. They finished third in the spring split and had to fight through the play-in stage of the EU masters. At the semifinals, they had to dig into their reserves to beat Vitality bee. In the final, they ran into an undefeated outfit, who ran them to the ground initially before they gathered their wits to win. This is a team that has been tested and pushed to a limit.
Vitality Bee are one of four teams that have surged to two straight wins. Misfits Premier are one of four teams that have lost two games. So when they clash on Wednesday, it’s a clash of contrasting teams. Either a winning streak will end or a losing streak will be broken.
Team Vitality have signed two junglers. Jungler Kang “Haru” Min-seung, who already signed with the team, has already been a starter at the summer split. Zhou “Bo” Yang-Bo will use the time to develop as a substitute while acquiring his visa and learning English. The plan is for Bo to start in 2023, if not earlier.
The move has come about because Vitality have benched Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek despite being on contract. This decision to bench Selfmade was in accordance with a request by the coaching staff. They clearly see a different vision in how to play mid-to-late-game on the rift. It makes it evident Vitality are looking at finding their perfect formula still.
Misfits are also going about a few changes. They will field support Tobias “Dreamer Ace Schreckeneder in their roster. The consequence of this move is, ahead of the season, their former support, Oskar “Vander” Bogdan moved into a coaching position.
Dreamer Ace had a decent spring split following a quarterfinal qualification at the European Masters with Unicorns Of Love Sexy Edition. He will hope to continue that same form here.
Team BDS Academy
Solary are looking to break a two-match losing streak, just like Team BDS Academy. On paper, BDS have the better odds owing to being more experienced in terms of their personnel. If the spring split is anything to go by, you would have done well to take note of Team BDS Academy’s ability to bounce back.
Dead and buried at one stage and destined to finish in the second half, they went on a run of four straight wins to end the split third with a 67% win record. Solary had the exact opposite. They were in a decent position to finish in the top five and then lost four in a row to eventually finish seventh.
On paper, this would seem heavily tilted towards BDS, but Solary are confident of turning things around in the summer. That needs to start right here.
|LFL League 2022 Information|
|Teams||Team BDS Academy vs LDLC OL, Team GO vs Solary, Gameward v Misfits Premier, Karmine Corp vs Team Oplon, vitality Bee vs Mirage Elyandra|
|Location||Event in France|
|Time||June 8 at 12.00 PM ET|
|How to watch||Official 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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