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The new format for the season finals of the LEC has created several interesting opportunities for dominant teams to stamp their authority on their rivals and for underperforming teams to rally and mount a comeback, thanks to the fact that all participating teams have faced each other in the recent past and will do so yet again, but in lengthy best of five matches.
Historically, MAD Lions have shown a tendency to start a LEC Split in shoddy form but improve throughout the season. After winning the first three games in the Summer Split, they lost five in a row in the Regular Season. However, they would only be able to improve enough to finish in 7th place, with a record of four wins and five losses (4-5).
On the contrary, Excel Esports had a tough run of opening matches, suffering three back-to-back losses before finding some momentum and winning five of six games in the Regular Season. They would go on to win their group stage match against MAD Lions with a dominant 2-0 score and move on to play three games in the Playoffs: the upper bracket final, which they lost narrowly (3-2) to Excel Esports, the lower bracket final in which they beat Fnatic (3-1) and the Grand Final, where they suffered a one-sided loss to G2 Esports.
With the mixed bag of results out of the way, they are now set to face a team that they are quite competent at beating in MAD Lions.
Prior to their LEC Summer 2023 Group Stage meeting, the two teams had faced each other fifteen times in the past, with MAD Lions winning eight and Excel Esports winning seven times. Their most recent meeting in the opening match of the Group Stage was a largely one-sided affair with Excel Esports emerging on top while Mad Lions would go on to lose 2-0 again to Fnatic and face elimination from the 2023 Summer Split.
For the upcoming match, MAD Lions has seemingly been picked by Excel Esports as a sure-shot way to get a quick win and advance through to the next round of the Season Finals. MAD Lions will have to adopt a wildly different strategy if they are to turn things around at this stage. Oddsmakers have rated Excel as favorites, while MAD Lions are almost three-to-one underdogs.
The arrival of Lee "Peach" Min-gyu in May 2023 has proven to be a game-changer for Excel Esports. Prior to his joining the team, the statistics show that contests between Excel and MAD Lions have always been relatively even. In the Summer Split, he dealt a significant 346.2 Damage Per Minute, helping Excel Esports make much-needed adjustments to get past the mid-table teams on the roster.
While it remains to be seen how Excel bounce back from the crushing loss to G2, the team impressed with its statistics from the tournament, despite drawing first blood only in 11% of all games, they dealt an overall 2177 Damage Per Minute, with 13.4 kills and 11.1 deaths per game, making for a K/D ratio of 1.7.
The team also performed decently on the economy front, obtaining 1826 Gold Per Minute and winning 75% of the time when ahead at 15 minutes. Excel Esports established the first tower in 44.4% of all games over the course of the season. When playing as the blue side, they won three and lost two games. As red, it has been 50:50 for Excel Esports, with two wins and two losses.
The heat is on for MAD Lions, as they have been cherry-picked by Excel Esports as an easy win in the opening round of the tournament. With the current roster of players and their strategies between the two teams, Excel has one up on them.
MAD Lions is facing an uphill battle right from the first round of the tournament and will need to do something unconventional to salvage a win, or the tournament's momentum will be against them right from the start.
If viewed as a whole, their performances in the 2023 LEC Summer Split have been decent. They won four and lost five, and their major losses only came toward the very end of the tournament.
Like Excel, they dealt 2374 damage per minute and drew first blood in 22.2% of all their games. Their K/D ratio can be improved. It currently stands at 1.1, with 12.9 kills to 16.6 deaths per game. Over the course of the Summer Split, MAD Lions obtained an average of 1782 Gold Per Minute. We’re eager to see MAD Lions do something a little different in the upcoming LEC 2023 Season finals to get past Excel Esports and their latest addition, Peach.
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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