Over the years, LPL has been a fiercely competitive tournament, and the 2022 Summer Split promises no less. The tournament kicked off on June 10, but a city-wide shutdown of Shanghai owing to a rise in COVID-19 cases has once again thrown an air of uncertainty over physical participation.
Make sure to check out our guide on all things League of Legends betting and let’s take a look at the season in more detail.
RNG Among Favorites
Pandemic or no pandemic, it’s been business as usual for teams, who have looked to complete their off-season trades and signings. RNG has swapped its top laner with Bilibili Gaming, with Breathe expected to join ahead of the second half, even as Bin, RNG’s top laner all through the Spring Split, comes in ahead of the Summer Split. Bin and Breathe spent just one split apiece with their respective teams before the trade.
Bin will join a Bilibili team that spent the Spring Split in the middle of the LPL standings. After finishing in eighth place in the first half of the regular season, Bilibili was eliminated in the Spring Split playoffs by Top Esports, the eventual runners-up.
Meanwhile, Bilibili has released AD carry Uzi, who joined the team in a backup role after two years in hiatus. Prior to joining Bilibili, Uzi had last played on the professional scene in 2019. All seven seasons of his career up until then had been for RNG. He appeared in back-to-back world championship finals in 2013 and 2014, and also won the MSI in 2018. It’s this experience they’d hope comes in handy ahead of the Summer Split.
It’s the COVID threat that forced RNG, winners of the Spring Split, to miss MSI 2022 in Busan in May. RNG had to participate remotely, even as the other teams competed with artificial ping. This was hardly a consideration for RNG, who added another feather to their cap when they beat the all-dominating T1 3-2 in a pulsating finale. They finished second in the Spring Split, but expect them to come out all guns blazing and go for glory this time around.
RNG has been the LPL representative at three of the last four MSIs. They’ve won all three too. That said, it’s not like this will be a cakewalk. They have struggled to win the Summer Split lately. In 2018, it was FPX. Last year, Edward Gaming won it. RNG has the aces but will also have some pressure to contend with.
The Value Picks
A team that has made no changes for the Summer Split, JD Gaming will be looking to build on their third-place finish in the spring. It was among the bigger surprises then, but in keeping faith in the same roster that exceeded expectations, they have made a statement of intent.
Now, a second straight playoff spot is what they can realistically hope for, or maybe even gunning for the top two and an opportunity to impress at the worlds. Kanavi is crucial to their chances of sustaining their excellence from the Spring Split.
They weren’t favorites to top the pool after the Spring Split, so in many ways the result was unexpected. Having to repeat the same will be quite a challenge, although they’re well placed to do so. Rookie, their most prolific player in the spring, has flown home to Korea for a break, and COVID restrictions back in China mean he won’t be available for the first few games.
This is a massive blow, but if they can ride through the storm and not lose ground in the first half, they are very much capable of holding their own. Otherwise, much of their roster has exceeded expectations coming into 2022. They will want to keep that going.
LNG had a top-three finish written all over them in the spring; they finished fourth. In the playoffs, they endured massive turbulence as they failed to make it to the double-elimination bracket of the playoffs. They’re treating that as an aberration because the roster mostly has remained the same.
LNG will want to reconsider their decision to play with LvMao instead of lwandy, the support player. LNG also needs to look at their tactics in the bot lane and better define roles. Should Light continue to sustain his brilliant run of form, that, combined with lwandy’s potential return, should help vault LNG back into the top three.
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