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EDG head into this match as the favorite for various reasons. Both sides have already played a match, with EDG winning theirs and Top Esports losing theirs. Of course, we must consider that EDG had a far easier matchup. Top Esports didn’t get as far as EDG in the spring playoffs and accumulated fewer points than EDG in the spring group stages.
EDG, along with LNG, are arguably JD Gaming’s biggest challenger. Part of EDG’s goal in the group stages will be to retain their 13-3 win-loss record from last season or better it. However, there isn’t a lot of value in picking EDward Gaming for this match.
On the other hand, Top Esports offer excellent value. Top Esports also have a far superior record, with nine wins and just two losses. They can conjure up something good on their day because they have some quality players on their roster. The fixture list hasn’t been kind to them, but we think they’re worth a punt.
EDward Gaming made a perfect start to their LPL Summer 2023 campaign with a 2-0 win over Ninjas in Pyjamas. They made it as far as the semifinal last season, so the aim for this season is straightforward: go one further and win the final. Their win-loss record in the league was identical to champions JD Gaming last season – they did lose more maps, but the difference was marginal.
They froze under pressure when it came to the most critical matches last season. They lost 3-0 to JD Gaming in their first semifinal but had another shot in the losers bracket but lost 3-2 to Bilibili Gaming. The loss to JD Gaming seemed to shake their confidence a little, so it’ll be interesting to see if they’ve grown since.
They’ve stuck to the roster from last season, which suggests that their management believes that the players from last season can get the job done this time. The team doesn’t have too many stars, bar bot laner Leave. He has averaged 4.02 kills, 2.77 deaths, and 4.77 assists this season. This is impressive, but quite a few bot laners in the league have better stats this year. It’s probably not going to be enough to win the tournament, but it could give them the edge in this match.
Making a solid start to the season is crucial. EDG need to build momentum in the early season before facing some of the top teams. Winning these games will give them confidence when facing some of the league's bigger sides. Beating Top Esports will also be a significant motivational factor since they have a poor record against them. If they beat, it’ll feel like a curse has been lifted, so there’s all to play for in this game.
Top Esports have nothing to fear against EDG for multiple reasons. They have a far better head-to-head record and aren’t expected to win this match – it’s the perfect head space to be in before heading into the match. They’ve also been tested by LNG – one of the strongest sides in the league – in their first match of the season, so they know what will be required of them against another top side. In fact, you could argue that LNG are a stronger side than EDG as things stand.
Last season was a bit underwhelming for Top Esports, who have gone deeper into the playoffs in the past. They won nine, lost seven of their league games, and beat Team WE in the first round of the playoffs before losing 3-2 to OMG in the next round last season. There’s one constant, even when they lose games: they always put up a strong fight.
EDG will not enjoy facing them – not just because of their poor record against Top Esports but also because they push you to the limit. Top Esports also have two players on their roster with 4 kills or more per match this season: Rookie and Jackie Love. There aren’t many teams in the league that can claim such a stat. Even current champions JD Gaming can’t claim that.
Rookie has averaged 4 kills, 1.92 deaths, and 5.12 assists per match, and JackeyLove has averaged 4.26 kills, 2.26 deaths, and 5.58 assists per match. The only issue is that there’s a drop in quality if you take Rookie and JackeyLove out of the equation. The team isn’t as balanced as some of the other sides in the league. EDG can’t claim to have two players with such quality, which is why we’ve gone with Top Esports as a pick for this match.
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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