LEC Summer Split 2020 Week 6 Preview
We took some time off but so did the LEC so we didn't miss much with this league, but we are back and the table is still pretty jaw ...
The Chinese LPL League is different from the other three major leagues in terms of team numbers. With ten teams playing in other leagues, China has expanded its already large number of teams to as many as seventeen.
Due to the massive number of teams and the high number of player changes in the league, it is difficult to advance the teams in advance. So we have divided the teams into three groups. There is a high likelihood of a spring champion amongst the top favorites, midfield teams fighting for the playoffs and a team of chasers challenging the midfield so you probably won't see any of the super surprises in the playoffs. The teams are grouped alphabetically.
EDG is a long time LPL's team and after a bit of a downturn, the team will leave with a renewed coaching line, but largely on the same lineup this year. Club legend Ming "Clearlove" Kai takes the lead in the role of head coach and it is interesting to see how old teammates respect the outsider in the new role. The biggest change for the team is the transfer of bottom-laner Hu "iBoy" Xian-Zhao to ViCi Gaming and this position will be filled by EDG's well-known Academy raised by Wang "Hope" Jie. Not necessarily the number one favorite but definitely a playoff team.
The reigning world champion is definitely going to be the biggest favorite for the season. Last year, the team found their own style of play around star player Kim "Doinb" Tae-Sang. The team as a whole didn't change much, the only major change is the addition of Korean star player Kim "Khan" Dong-Han to the top-lane. Khan transferred to FPX from SK Telecom T1. On paper, Khan is the perfect addition to the team, as Doinb is an unusual mid-laner and likes to play tank champions, and Khan is well known for being a Top Lane Carry. There is no better way to let the top-laner shine than when the mid-laner plays tank. Thus, this duo will dominate both China and international matches as long as the synergy with the rest of the team remains at the same level as last year's squad. On a bad day, the team is probably top 3.
The 2018 World Cup squad played the same occupation last year. However, after a strong spring season, success was weaker in both LPL and Worlds, and so changes have occurred over the winter. The only significant change to the player line-up is the departure of Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bon from the squad, and Ding "Puff" Wang ViCi Gaming has come to fill this gap. Puff's long-term support Su "Southwind" Zhi-Lin also joined IG, but it is unclear whether Southwind Wang "Baolan" Liu-Yin will be in the opening lineup. In the December Demacia Cup, IG played part of the Academy occupation, but at that time the team tested the Puff-Southwind duo with bot-lane. The head coach is a very interesting name as SK Telecom T1 assistant coach Kim "Fly" Sang-Chul takes on the role of head coach and fights for the title against SK Telecom T1 head coach in the Chinese league. IG is one of the championship favorites, especially as their top-lane and Jungle are at the very top of the league. If the bot-lane is able to find a common pitch with the team, they will be able to challenge for the FPX championship, but at least they will play for medals.
Along with EDG, RNG is one of the league's greatest enduring teams. Bot-Lane superstar Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao has been the cornerstone of the team for most of his long career and, despite his great disappointment at the Worlds, will continue to be with the team this year. The four players in the opening lineup remain the same and the only change is in the jungler role as the Taiwanese Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan is replaced by the young rising Chinese Li "XLB" Xiao-Long. However, the most interesting change will be seen when Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong, who once formed a legendary pair with Uzi, quits his career and moves on to head coaching. Turning into a coach as a coach seems to be the trend this winter and it's nice to see how Mata succeeds. RNG was the runner-up in almost the same line-up and the winner of the Demacia Cup in December. It is therefore expected that success will continue in the spring season. Depending on how Mata takes on the role of coach, RNG can be the biggest challenger for FPX.
By the beginning of the autumn, few would have added ViCi Gaming to this list, but many things have happened during the winter. The biggest factor is SK Telecom T1's long-time coach Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun joining the team. KkOma is assisted by Lee "PoohManDu" Jeong-hyeon, who has been coached by SKT and ViCi Gaming. In addition to coaching, the players have also been completely redone. In the summer, the top-laner Cube is out of the starting line-up of a team that made a complete landing. The most notable newcomer is EDG's longtime bot-laner Hu "iBoy" Xian-Zhao, with Lee "Chieftain" Jae-yub, Deng "Forge" Jie and Hu "Maestro" Jian-Xin completing the line-up. Many of the players in the lineup are young promises, but with players like this, kkOma is known to have a strong track record in SKT. The Korean coach didn't have much influence on the spring team, but during the spring and before the start of the summer season, changes will certainly be seen if the game does not appeal to the tough coach. By direct configuration, ViCi is not one of the top favorites, but kkOman's touch is known to be golden. However, it is possible that this team will be disappointed with the spring season so I might not spend my money on the ViC Championship.
BLG was one of the biggest surprises last summer. It finished fourth in the regular season and dropped EDG in the playoffs. In the end, the FPX was too hard for the semi-finals and the team did not fully recover from the bronze match against Top Esports. The December Demacia Cup was also very mediocre from Bilibil's point of view, so repeating the summer feats is probably not a realistic goal. Aside from leaving Mid-laner Kuro and the arrival of Chu "FoFo" Chun-Lan, the team's only player traffic has been between the Academy and the main team, so much of the same starting point will be taken to 2020 as the previous year ended. The midfield team will definitely and on a good day challenge their best.
Much the same story as the previous team. The only change to the bot-laner imp in the starting lineup was retiring during the winter, and Zuo "LvMao" Ming-Hao, who has grown as a replacement on the team, is now in the spotlight. The team missed out on the playoffs in the summer season, but Demacia Cup third place gives promise for improvement. Although some of the teams in the Demacia Cup played under the Academy occupation, the medal from there gives a good starting point for the season. With many competitors making bigger changes, JDG can take advantage of this early in the season to take the necessary points to get a playoff spot. However, there is no serious threat to the championship favorites.
The organization that has become better known on the Dota 2 side has long been on the LoL side without significant success. Needless to say, the team doesn't like talking about 2019. Now, however, the organization has made changes to the team and the biggest change is Oh "ZanDarC" Chang-Jong joining as head coach. An experienced Korean coach has coached KT Rolster's various teams and most recently the organization's representative team. ZanDarC brought with him Jung "Han" Peanut "Wang-hon, who represented most of Korea's most successful organizations. In addition to the popular favorite, Peanut, the team has brought in an almost complete lineup of Chinese players, though it is unclear whether these players will replace their predecessors. The only sure sequel is Korean bot-laner Ha "Kramer" Jong-hun. Another thing that is certain is that the team can't wreck worse than last summer. I believe that with the new coach and line-up, the team will rise to the midfield and although it will certainly try a bit on their line-up, success will improve.
Just a couple of years ago, dropping OMG into the championship favorites would have been almost a blasphemy, but now raising the team to the middle may be partly a result of historical considerations. During the summer season, the team was the last of the team. However, I have to say that the team has made a lot of changes during the winter and even on paper, its rise towards the middle box may well be justified. Solo lanes remained the same, but the remaining three players were replaced. The duo Han "Smlz" Jin and Yang "H4cker" Zhi-Hao, coming from Suning, who advanced to the playoffs in the summer, bear the main responsibility for raising the team level. Midfielder for the weaker half of the spring season, but the team's gaze is likely to be more evolving toward the summer season and Worlds qualifiers.
The team missed the playoffs last summer, but it is one of the biggest changes made during the winter. Both coaching and most of the starting lineup were new. Bot-laner and jungler were right, but the rest of the pitches were completely circulated. The SKT spin on China brought Kim "Crazy" Jae-hee to bring skill to top-lane and Lee "Ruby" Sol-min mid-lane, who played in the Korean center squad. The new line-up is complemented by Le "Ley" Yi, who has traveled around the top Chinese teams. The new head coach is seen as former racing player Kim "HooN" Nam-hoo, who has coached three teams in both Korea and China after his playing career. Roque Warrioes also rises from the bottom mud to seriously fight for the playoff spot. It won its block in the Demacia Cup and in the playoffs had to bend to the winner of the entire tournament, EDG.
Top Esports was the absolute star flight of the summer. However, the team melted completely in the playoffs, especially in the Worlds qualifiers. However, it did not manage to keep last year's line-up, with three pitches changing. Jungler Xx and bot-laner LokeN left during the winter, as did Ben, who spent time playing at Support. The team replaced bot-Lane duo Ying "Photic" Qi-Shen and Liang "yuyanjia" Jia-Yuan from their academy. From outside, Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan, who has been successful in Taiwan and China, came to the team. It is difficult to estimate the impact of the Bot-Lane changes, but the Jungler change is definitely a step forward. Is your team a repeat of last summer's success? Hardly. Is it a playoff team? Likely.
The team fought for the playoffs last summer, but were eventually left out. During the winter, the team kept the lineup the same, except Su "xiye" Han-Wei joined as the second mid-laner. Thus, the challenger role will remain in the spring season and may benefit from extensive roster changes during the early part of the season, and this advantage will result in a little tougher battle for the playoff spot. However, the team is full of really young players, so taking a step forward in 2020 is not at all impossible.
New team to league, so no benchmark. The team has been assembled around former players of the renowned junior organization Young Stars and strengthened with players from rival academy teams. Young Stars has raised a number of star players to the LPL and is now gaining experience and skills to showcase an entire team of players. The spring season goes by learning, as no one in the lineup has experience of being a player in the LPL Opening lineup, although some have played games at LPL from time to time.
To the surprise of many, LNG reached the playoffs during the summer season and, to an even greater surprise, it dropped IG in the opening round of the playoffs. However, the team did not reach feats after that, and the management recognized that the success of the summer might not be renewed with the same line-up. It acquired Jungion Xiong "Xx" Yu-Long from Top Esports and mid-Lanelle Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang from Suning. For some reason, however, I have the feeling that this team is playing at its best in the middle box, but probably at its lower end or below. Both incoming players have shown their level, but there is so much talent in the league that I do not believe it is enough with the remaining players to make another battle at the top.
Suning was the last team to advance to the playoffs in the summer and got a cold ride in the playoffs. Its performances, even in the Demacia Cup, did not offer much promise of success. In addition, it lost important players during the winter in the form of Maple, Smlz and H4cker. Sure enough, Lê "SofM" Quang Duy has come on as a quality player, but otherwise the linebacker has been fixed. Young Xiang "Angel" Tao moved from top-lane to mid-lane and so did young promise Wei "Weiwei" Bo-Han to replace Jungle's bot-lane. Of course, Angel has also played mid-lane in his career, so the change is not that big. Stepping up young players while changing pitches does not create faith
for the spring season, so Suning should be seen at the tail end. However, it must be remembered that young players will certainly take steps and the summer season may look very different.
Team WE can be considered an eternal middle-caste team. The team underwent changes, but when the comers are either junior or tail end teams, it does not take the hope that the midfield will change to favorites. In fact, the middle class is really hard this year, and it might drop the WE outside. The team is pretty tasteless and odorless, and even its Korean confirmations are by no means particularly successful. Even more, this team is looking for experience for players before stepping into bigger boots. Middle dipped tail end at best.
In the summer, they were out of the playoffs and their Demacia Cup run ended in the group stage. Not a very promising starting point for the spring season. The team also made some really weird changes of pitch throughout 2019. Now, of course, assistant coach Suannai has moved to head coach, so maybe this will change. Young blood has also been added for three players (997, Xiaohan, clx), and as the team is almost more Junior than LPL, there will certainly be some progress to be made during the year, at least if coaching keeps players in one position throughout the year. Do not fight for the top spot if young players find a good boost in the playoffs as early as spring.
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