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SBTC Esports (moneyline)
The first split of the fifth season of the country’s professional LoL league veers past the halfway mark, with a clear leader established up top. Teams from 2-5 are in a jostle for ascendancy, and the double round-robin format allows teams to make up for lost ground.
The Vietnam Championship Series has been at the receiving end of the covid-19 pandemic, with its representative teams having had to skip three international tournaments in a row: Worlds 2020, Mid-Season Invitational 2021 and Worlds 2021. The final tournament, VCS Winter 2021, took place after the main World Championship when the LoL community had already gone on an off-season break.
The Vietnam Championship Series has been in existence since Riot Games launched them in 2013 alongside Garena as part of the Garena Premier League. However, in 2018, the VCS split from the GPL and became an independent league run by Riot Games.
Since then the season included spring and summer splits, but in 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual VCS Summer had to be cancelled and replaced by VCS Winter, which took place at the end of the year. This year, fortunately, we’ve had an on-time start to the first split of season five.
The two teams that will kickstart a busy weekend are Luxury Esports and SBTC Esports, which are currently placed fifth and sixth on the points table. Both of them have a 3-6 win-loss record going into the contest.
Luxury Esports has gained a reputation for being a consistent team. They finished fourth at last year’s winter split. It made them richer by USD 5492. SBTS Esports finished a lowly seventh, pocketing USD 3295.
As such, the prize money, compared to some of the bigger leagues around the world, is still modest. It’s a mere reflection of how much the Vietnam League has to traverse to be seen among the bigger leagues, like in Korea, China, France or even Brazil.
In August last year, Southeast Asian esports firm Ampverse acquired a controlling stake in SBTC Esports. As per a media release, the acquisition would allow the organisation to ‘scale its community and amplify its merchandise line’.
SBTC Esports currently fields professional teams in League of Legends and Wild Rift. The organisation also runs the SBTC academy, which provides funding, support and a professional esports environment for young talent across the country.
Coming back to this season, the only difference is that Luxury has some momentum to fall back on, having won two back-to-back games. SBTC has slumped badly but has won their previous outing to go into this clash with some confidence restored.
That said, it’ll still be a challenging task to overcome Luxury. The odds are firmly against them. Luxury is the in-form team and punters believe they are well placed to continue their winning run. Let’s peel through the layers to see why they feel so.
Luxury Esports are good, without being great. Two of their players land kills to the rune of 4.09 (Killerqueen) and 4.32 (Vit), but are averaging 4.05 and 3.47 deaths respectively, they nearly cancel out any advantage they may have gained through their offensive proficiency.
A ratio closer to 1 is an indication that they’re perhaps conceding the advantage, which doesn’t help their overall kill participation rate and does no good in their quest to close out games.
So their two most proficient players must work on reducing their deaths average. CBL, the supper player, offers a terrific assist rate of 10.67 on average, which is among the best in the Vietnam league.
This helps them stay in the contest that much longer and not hand the advantage to the opponents on a platter. A strong assist rate also eventually helps build toward big kills. The overall numbers tell you that while they aren’t world-beating, teams can’t take them lightly.
SBTC Esports are sailing on a similar boat. The only difference is amid a slew of average records, they have one superstar in Celebrity, who lands 4.89 kills, 2.89 deaths and 3.67 assists, along with a KDA of 2.96 and creep score of 280.94.
They aren’t helped by having inferior numbers of support players. Palette’s 8.39 assist rate is the best they’ve got. While that isn’t to be scoffed at, there are better and more proficient support players in the league. With those numbers alone, it’s impossible to build towards big kills and dominate the lanes or burn down towers.
I suppose, the inferior record of SBTC is a reflection of where they are as a team. It also tells you why Luxury, despite all their challenges, are the more favoured team going into this contest.
Saigon Buffalo (moneyline)
Saigon Buffalo is placed second in the table, with six wins and three losses. Team Secret, their opponents, are fourth with a 5-4 record. Both teams are coming off losses in their previous match and will be looking to return to winning ways. Before the loss, Saigon went on a four-match winning streak, which indicates their loss in the previous game may have been an aberration.
Team Secret was on a three-match winning streak before their loss. So both sides have been excellent when things have gone their way, but have stumbled at the first sign of being pushed to the corner. It’s this aspect they will look to get better at.
By being better placed and more experienced, Saigon is the favourite going into the match. On the face of it, Secret isn’t a bad bet for those willing to take an educated punt on the underdog, who could potentially win you big returns should they cause a stir and somehow manage to rustle up a win against the odds.
Saigon Buffalo have a point to prove, having finished outside the top four during the winter split. They finished fifth, thereby taking home US$ 4395. Team Secret finished a spot lower at sixth, winning prize money of US$ 3295.
Shogun the bot laner possesses tremendous numbers and is a bonafide match-winner for Saigon. He lands 5.2 kills, 2.82 deaths and 5.96 assists, along with a KDA of 4.1 and creep score of 264.4. With an equally dominating record and someone who can be the perfect foil is BeanJ, the jungler.
He lands 5.04 kills, 3.04 deaths and 7.7 assists, along with a KDA of 4.19 and creep score of 158.83. These two players bring with them the infinite potential to make Saigon the best team in Vietnam, and potentially make them challengers around the world.
Team Secret have two players who average over 4 kills. Artefact has the best record among everyone else in the team. He lands 4.72 kills, 2.17 deaths and 5.06 assists, along with a KDA of 4.51 and creep score of 245.78.
XuHao, the support player, lends expertise and experience of 18 maps, with a 55.6% win. His assist rate of 8.83 has led to their impressive kill participation rate in victories, something the team can potentially build on going forward.
|VCS 2022 Spring Split Information|
|Teams||Saigon Buffalo, Team Secret, SBTC Esports, Luxury Esports|
|Location||Events conducted in Vietnam|
|Time||Friday, April 1 at 4.30 PM EST onwards|
|How to watch||VCS 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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