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ThunderTalk head into this game as pretty overwhelming favorites, but they haven’t made a great start to this season. Ultra Prime, on the other hand, have made a fantastic start to the new season. In fact, if they win this match, they’ll have already matched their wins from last season.
The bookmakers clearly don’t think a team can change that much in a short time, which is why the odds are so heavily skewed in favor of ThunderTalk in this match. It must be noted that Ultra Prime have had some winnable fixtures, but this was a team that won just three matches last season, so they’re used to seeing every game as an insurmountable battle.
More importantly, the two teams that Ultra Prime have beaten so far – Anyone’s Legend and FunPlus Phoenix – have beaten ThunderTalk. ThunderTalk, however, have also beaten Top Esports, one of the tournament's better teams.
Ultra Prime have got highly valuable odds heading into this game, which is why we think they’re worth a punt. ThunderTalk’s confidence is really low at the moment, and this a must-win game in many ways. We don’t think they’ll be capable of handling the pressure so early in the season. Ultra Prime, on the other hand, have little to lose. They’ve exceeded expectations already and are in a good position to continue moving forward.
ThunderTalk finished in eighth place last year before getting knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. The aim for this season was clear: finish higher in the league and go deeper into the playoffs. They’ve only played three matches so far but are already looking to salvage this season.
They lost their first two matches to FunPlus Phoenix and Anyone’s Legend, teams that haven’t really set the world on fire this season, They redeemed themselves momentarily with a win against Top Esports a few days back, but this will not suffice for a team was expected to get closer to the elite before the season started.
The team has added Yuyanjia and 1xn in the summer, but the two haven’t had the desired impact. It looks like the team still needs some time to work on their cohesion, and the departures of XinLiu and iBoy weren’t well thought out.
They need ucal and huanfeng to step up this week. The two are their best players and are good enough on their day to get into most teams in the LPL, including some the top teams. Ucal is the more aggressive of the two. He has averaged 3.78 kills, 2.33 deaths, and 4.89 assists per match this year.
Huanfeng, on the other hand, has a better balance about himself. He has averaged 3.63 kills, 1.51 deaths, and 4.14 assists per match this year. Neither of them have played to the level that’s expected of them so far this season, but they showed signs of improvement in the match against Top Esports.
The issue is that they’re playing under pressure because of their poor start. They still aren’t fully used to their new teammates, so it is difficult to find a balance with games coming thick and fast. For now, they need to get back to basics, repeat whatever worked against Top Esports, and get some points on board by any means necessary. They can look at the little tactical details once they’ve got a base to build from. Despite their poor form in recent weeks and Ultra Prime’s improvement, this is still a game they should win. A loss will be catastrophic for the team.
Ultra Prime were abject last year. They managed just three wins last season, which puts the LPL in a poor light. It felt like the result was predetermined in some of the games. However, Ultra Prime have shown incredible spirit at the start of this campaign and even have a really strong possibility of winning this match. They’ve won two of their three matches, with two of the wins coming against teams that have taken ThunderTalk to the sword this season.
A big reason for the team’s uptick in form has been the team’s recruitment. They’ve added three new players to the roster – Hook, Forge, and SwordArt – who’ve made an immediate impact since coming. Sometimes all a team needs is some fresh faces to change the spirit around the team. A win here would equal their win tally from last season, which goes to show just how poor they were last season and how much they’ve improved in a short period of time.
Doggo will have to lead the way. He has averaged 3.24 kills, 2.55 assists, and 3.55 assists per match this year. Ultra Prime don’t have the individuals to win matches on their own but there’s more cohesion this year. They’ve also got less pressure, which should allow them to play their game. They’re worth the punt.
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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