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Gentlemans Gaming were among the four teams who had to battle to not get relegated ahead of season 7. While they managed that, the following season at the premier level didn’t exactly go well for them – they finished 7th in Ultraliga season 7. This year, they’ve gotten off to a decent start and are sitting in joint third after the first week, with a win over Komil and Friends to kick start the season, followed by a loss to Illuminar Gaming.
While this start is unlikely to mean too much so early in the season, it is a start that will encourage them going into a tournament where they’ve been perennial under-performers. The last time GG finished above 7th place was in season 4, which was incidentally the last time that they made it to the playoffs.
They will be underdogs for the most part during this season as well, but with their entire roster’s contracts lapsing in August later this year, you cannot discount the fact that there are some players with a point to prove. In a season where there is general chaos with respect to other teams’ changing rosters as well, this could be a plus point.
Zero Tenacity are having a much better year than their opponents on Tuesday, with the most significant recent result being their fourth place finish in season 7 of this tournament. Since then, they’ve missed out on qualification for the European Masters with a tiebreaker loss to Evil Geniuses sealing their fate in the Spring play-ins.
It wouldn’t have helped tat their first game of this season was against AGO ROGUE, who are strong favorites to keep the first place that they’re currently holding. Zero Tenacity were run ragged by ROGUE’s bot laner, Lucker, who came away with KDA numbers of 8/3/4, being assisted strongly by support player promisq who returned sensational KDA figures of 2/2/10. In all, Zero Tenacity managed only 9 kills versus ROGUE’s 21, and it was as deflating a start to the season as one can have.
Contrary to their name, though, they did show tenacity in the face of defeat and bounced back strongly in week 1 with a win against Iron Wolves, where they got their kills up to 17 and only had 7 deaths. Based on that performance, we expect them to breeze through against GG at the start of week 2.
It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for devils.one lately. They finished bottom of the table in season 7 of the Ultraliga, one in which they picked up only two wins, and a total of zero points at the end. At the moment, they’re one of the six teams who are tied in third place after the first week, all of whom have won one and lost one. Heading into this round, devils.one are placed top of that pile, but we expect that to change swiftly when they take on defending champions AGO ROGUE who are playing on a distinctly higher level than most teams in this league.
They began their tournament with an absolute battering at the hands of Team ESCA Gaming, a match in which they managed a sum total of 3 kills, all of which came from bot laner Lothen, who incidentally happened to be their only player who picked up fewer than 2 kills during the course of the match. On day 2, they followed up the disappointment by edging out a narrow win against Forsaken in a match that will be remembered for support player Robertoos’ stunning return of 15 assists while only copping a single death. If he gets anywhere close to those heights against ROGUE, devils.one may just manage to challenge them. But it is looking exceedingly unlikely in the lead-up.
There is little doubt that AGO ROGUE are among the best teams in Europe at the moment. That much was clear in the European Masters where they bagged 13,500 euros after making it to the semi-finals.
Prior to that, of course, they bagged the Ultraliga season 7 title with a 3-0 win in the finals against Team ESCA Gaming. That win came immediately after they’d won the Trinity Force Puchar Polski in 2021 as well. In short – they’ve been serial winners off late, with three strong playoffs performances in major tournaments of which two have resulted in championship titles. Based on their decimation of Zero Tenacity and Goskilla in week 1, we don’t see anyone coming close to challenging them during the group stages of season 8. At the moment, they sit on top with a 100% win record.
Team ESCA Gaming
Iron Wolves haven’t made a great start to their campaign, having already lost their first two games to Illuminar Gaming and Zero Tenacity. They’ve got a few important new members into the team recently. They’d added a jungler in Krysia, a support in Boly and a sun bot laner in Optimas. They’ve lost Souli and Czypsy.
It’ll take time for the team to gel but they would’ve preferred a better start and now need to get a result against a difficult opponent so early into the season. Their two losses see them at the bottom of the standings after finishing in 2nd place in the league standings for last season. Last season they won 13 of their 18 games, winning one and losing one against their upcoming opponents.
Yashiro, the bot laner, is one of their key players. In 2022, he averages 4.58 kills, 2.86 deaths, 5.47 assists and has collected 13.8k in gold. They’ll need him to be in good form heading into this match.
Team ESCA Gaming lost out in the Grand Finals to AGO Rogue 3-0 and will be hoping that they can get over that hurdle and win it all this time around. They finished in 3rd place in the league standings prior to the playoffs with 12 wins and six losses. They’ve got an entirely new roster now with five new starters, so this is a new era for the side.
They’ve made a decent start to this campaign with one win and one loss on the board, getting the better of devils.one and falling short against Komil & Friends. Following ESCA Gaming’s progress will be one of the more exciting aspects of this season with an entirely new roster.
Iron Wolves head into this match as favorites but there’s good value in putting your money on Team ESCA Gaming and we’d suggest you pick them for this. Iron Wolves have struggled to find their feet and we think it’ll take them more time still.
Komil and Friends
The cycle of a roster in the League of Legends circuit is often quite short and the Polish side have got an entirely new one for this season. So far, they have won one game against Team ECA gaming and fallen short against Gentlemen’s Gaming. With most new rosters, it’s hard to know how they’ll go about for the rest of the season with a larger sample size.
Komil and Friends did all right last season, qualifying for the playoffs by finishing in 5th place before being knocked out 3-1 in the first round by Zero Tenacity. They won nine games and lost nine in the league last season and will want to improve on their league standings and playoff spot this year.
Komil and Friends looks like a safe bet heading into this one. Both sides need some time to gel together. Komil and Friends have the greater expectations and have already got one win on board. They should have enough against Goskilla.
Goskilla have also got a completely new roster now but the changes haven’t paid off so far. They’ve lost their two matches in the season to AGO ROGUE and Forsaken. They can be forgiven for not having enough in the tank against AGO ROGUE, who are the best side in the league but would’ve been more hopeful of getting something against Forsaken.
In season 7, they didn’t make the playoffs after finishing in 8th place with six wins and 12 losses. The roster shake up would’ve been made with the hope of finishing higher this season but the results haven’t come so far.
Illuminar were on one of the poorer teams in the league last season, finishing in 9th place with six wins and 12 losses on the board. Things have swung entirely this season with the side winning their first two games with the new roster. The changes have clearly worked and with 16 games still left in the league, they only need five more wins to better their record from last season.
They’ll want to get it as quickly as possible and start with their next opponents. So far, they’ve gone up against Iron Wolves and Gentleman’s Gaming, two sides with a good reputation and who made the playoffs last season, and have come on top. This bodes very well for Illuminar, who are the only side other than last season’s Grand Finals winners, AGO ROGUE, with a 100% record in the league so far.
Forsaken had a decent outing last time around, qualifying for the playoffs by finishing in 6th being seen past by Team ESCA Gaming 3-1 in the first round. They won nine games and lost nine in the league last season and have clearly made changes to their roster to improve on that this season.
So far, they’ve continued with the 50% win record from last year, getting the better of Goskilla but losing out to devils.one.
Forsaken head into this match as the less likely to win it despite their greater standing last year. It’s hard to make a case against Illuminar because of the start they’ve made to this season. Stick with Illuminar for this one. They’ve got all the momentum that a team on the rise needs.
|Ultraliga Season 8 Information|
|Teams||Gentlemans Gaming vs Zero Tenacity, devils.one vs AGO ROGUE, Iron Wolves vs Team ESCA Gaming, Komil and Friends vs Goskilla, Illuminar vs Forsaken|
|Time||Tuesday, June 7 at 1pm CET onwards|
|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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