Esports action contniues this Tuesday, the 13th of April and as usual, our gaming expert Michael Lee is back to give a full preview and betting tips for some of his favourite matchups of the night across the LoL Pro League Spring semi-finals and the DPC 2021.
LoL Pro League Spring
After losing to FunPlus Phoenix in the upper bracket finals (2-3), EDward Gaming are now set to clash with the LoL Pro League (LPL) Spring regular-season champion Royal Never Give Up for a spot in the grand finals. These teams last met at the start of March, when RNG won 2-1, however, it's EDward Gaming who enter the match as heavy favourites.
EDG began their LPL Spring playoffs with a 3-0 sweep of Top Esports to advance into the upper bracket finals, where they got edged out by FunPlus Phoenix (2-3) after leading the series 2-1. RNG, meanwhile, began their LPL playoffs with a clash against FPX which they lost 0-3, but bounced back with a close 3-2 victory against Top Esports on Saturday.
RNG and EDG have both seen plenty of success this season, largely because they're "scaling teams", which has proven to be a very effective style in the current meta. It is, however, not as effective when faced with a very strong early game team such as FPX.
It's hard to say which side will come out ahead, largely because they're stylistically so similar. Since both sides will prioritize scaling and late-game strengths, it makes sense to side with the team that has better individual talent, and in this case that team is EDG.
Although RNG deserves some praise for their win against Top Esports, it seemed more like RNG came away with yet another steal rather than showing any outstanding quality. EDG, meanwhile are coming into this match off one of their best series of the season.
I don't expect a one-sided series, but I also don't believe RNG can defeat EDG unless they improve upon their showing against Top.
DPC 2021 China Upper Division Season 2
Sparking Arrow Gaming and Royal Never Give Up will meet in the opening match of the tournament. These teams last met in January when SAG won 2-0, however, they're still 4-6 in the head-to-head with RNG since April 2020.
RNG are priced as favourites for this match despite their shaky performances at i-League 2021, where they lost to Elephant (1-2) and EHOME (0-2). Although I wouldn't say RNG are a weak team, I can't be to excited about a team that has just a month ago made a roster change.
In March, RNG parted ways with Gao "Setsu" Zhenxiong and replaced him with Deng "Dstones"' Lei. While Dstones is a good player, he has played only four games with his new team, so he hasn't had a chance to find his place in the team yet. While Dstones isn't playing at 100%, he is a former player of SAG, so perhaps he can help RNG find the right style to counter their next opponents.
SAG enter this match within a six-game losing streak which includes losses against amateur teams in Digital Gaming (1-2) and ShenZhen. THey've also not played a single match in over two weeks, which is slightly concerning.
Both teams have made roster changes and haven't been too active in April, which is why I expect to see an open match that can swing any direction. I would still prefer RNG over SAG, but I don't expect RNG will win without dropping a map. A 2-1 win for RNG.
DreamLeague S15 DPC EU Upper Division
OG have not looked like their old selves for the past year, failing to win a single tournament throughout 2020. Although they came close to lifting a trophy on several occasions, OG consistently fell apart in grand finals, finishing as runners up in five tournaments.
OG's struggles were mostly related to constant roster changes, neither of which helped them find traction, however, that just might have changed ahead of this tournament. On Sunday, OG announced the return of Anathan "ana" Pham, who will reunite with the core with which he won two back-to-back The International titles.
Ana took a break in 2020 and hasn't been active since September 2020, so I don't expect him to look as good as he did in his prime. That said, the last time ana returned to OG, the team went on to win TI.
Brame have earned their spot at this tournament by finishing inside the top-two in the lower bracket. There, they dropped only two games against Creepwave (1-2) and a tiebreaker match against Hellbear Smashers (0-1). They deserve a lot of praise for their performances across the last month, however, this is still a B-tier squad that can't compare to a European titan such as OG.
Although OG aren't playing as well as they did in 2018-2019, they are still one of the strongest teams in the scene. Bet on OG to win 2-0!
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