MSI is over, with G2 Esports emerging victorious. The first half of Season 9 is in the books, and the Road to Worlds has begun. How will the Summer Split shape up? Today we cover the Summer Split predictions for the four major leagues: NA’s LCS, EU’s LEC, China’s LPL, and Korea’s LCK. Will any changes occur from Spring?
|1. Team Liquid||-||2.87 To Win Outright*|
|2. TSM||-||2.87 To Win Outright*|
|3. Cloud 9||-||3.5 To Win Outright*|
|4. FlyQuest||-||21 To Win Outright*|
|5. Golden Guardians||-||21 To Win Outright*|
|6. Echo Fox||-||100 To Win Outright*|
|7. Counter Logic Gaming||-||41 To Win Outright*|
|8. 100 Thieves||↑ 2||34 To Win Outright*|
|9. Optic Gaming||↓ 1||34 To Win Outright*|
|10. Clutch Gaming||↓ 1||51 To Win Outright*|
We start the Summer Split predictions with the region that stunned the world at MSI. Despite a frankly embarrassing loss to G2 in the finals of MSI, Team Liquid should complete the first four-peat in a major region since 2016-2017 G2. They showed that despite a consistent 2019 meta that doesn’t favor their bottom centric playstyle, they win games they on paper should lose. Team Liquid is looking like the best esports bet when it comes to the LCS. The rest of the playoff teams are fairly stagnant compared to Spring. Team SoloMid seemed like the only real contender to Team Liquid, with Cloud9 being far and away the third best.
The middle of the pack should stay relatively the same as well. If FlyQuest can stay consistent they have a chance of getting to Worlds, but they aren’t beating the top three in a best of five. GGS, Echo Fox, and CLG stay despite the latter’s addition of Ruin, mostly because the team still has significant issues. The former two didn’t make many additions, but the depth by GGS might help their case if the situation demands it.
As for things that change, 100T move up a spot due to the addition of Amazing, who historically is a significant boost for teams. They should move ahead of Optic and Clutch, who are still in a lot of trouble. Overall North America’s Summer Split predictions echo the results of Spring. Only 100T and CLG made significant roster changes, but they shouldn’t be enough to make playoffs.
|G2 Esports||-||2.75 To Win Outright*|
|Fnatic||↑ 1||3 To Win Outright*|
|Origen||↓ 1||5.5 To Win Outright*|
|Splyce||-||13 To Win Outright*|
|SK Gaming||↑ 1||25 To Win Outright*|
|Vitality||↓ 1||17 To Win Outright*|
|Misfits||↑ 1||17 To Win Outright*|
|Excel Esports||↑ 1||50 To Win Outright*|
|Schalke 04||↓ 2||25 To Win Outright*|
|Rogue Esports||-||99 To Win Outright*|
After a dominant performance by G2 at MSI, Europe claimed its first international title in nearly a decade. Some pundits are hailing the LEC as the dominant force after this, but they forget a key factor. G2 are so far and above the rest of the LEC that the parity is comparable to the NBA’s “Warriors win lul” situation. They have the best players in their solo lanes, and a supporting cast who can easily set them up for victory. For the Summer Split predictions, putting them below first is lunacy, as they are by far the best as the odds show.
Below them, Fnatic and Origen sit above the rest, but are far below the kings. Fnatic had a really rough start to Spring, and the development of Nemesis gave this team new life. In Summer they should not have the same sluggish start, putting them over Origen. Conventional wisdom would dictate Origen placing over Fnatic as in Spring, but a Fnatic without that disastrous first half should surpass them.
Splyce, SK, Vitality, and Misfits sit in the middle of the pack. Splyce are obviously better than a majority of the teams, but can hardly touch the top three. They can absolutely stun and make a run, but it will take some forcing. SK are a team on the rise with solid depth and a newfound focus around Crownshot and Selfmade. The latter can establish himself as the best jungler in the LEC if the cards are played right. Vitality drop a spot due to how much of a mess they looked towards the tail end of Spring. They dropped four of their last five before falling to Fnatic, and it was not pretty. They will still make playoffs with their talent, but Attila has become a liability that needs to perform. Misfits make it into the “playoff possibles” due to their newfound depth they can use to bolster the roster. Maxlore and Febiven were called out for underperforming all season, and Misfits have Kirei and Lider lying in wait. If they institute the new talent and it meshes, they could make a run. Else they might just pass Schalke.
The bottom of the table has a new member here. Excel and Rogue were dreadful in spring, but made significant roster changes. Excel move to eighth because they addressed the issues in their carry lanes, adding Hjarnan and Mickey. Definitely not a playoff contender, but a team who can produce an occasional upset which can pay-out big if you're planning on doing some betting on League of Legends. Speaking of upsets, Schalke falls to ninth for a good reason. The team imploded in the second half, going 3-7 to finish the season. They only beat Rogue, the worst team in the league, and Misfits who were a mess of their own. This team boils down to Upset, who cannot carry the team solo. Odo or Abbedagge must step up or this team is doomed to fail. Rogue made changes, but swapping your main squad for your Academy team isn’t going to be an instant fix. Unfortunately, we believe this team will finish last again.
|1. SKT T1||-||2.6 To Win Outright*|
|2. Griffin||-||2.75 To Win Outright*|
|3. Damwon||↑ 1||13 To Win Outright*|
|4. SANDBOX Gaming||↑ 4||15 To Win Outright*|
|5. KT Rolster||↑ 4||10 To Win Outright*|
|6. Hanwha Life Esports||-||34 To Win Outright*|
|7. Kingzone DragonX||↓ 3||34 To Win Outright*|
|8. Gen.G||↓ 1||34 To Win Outright*|
|9. Afreeca Freecs||↓ 1||34 To Win Outright*|
|10. Jin Air Green Wings||-||500 To Win Outright*|
The LCK left MSI unhappy after SKT bowed out in the semifinals, marking the first MSI finals to not feature a Korean squad. Domestically they are one of two teams that stand above the rest. SKT and Griffin are the two teams to watch for in the battle for first, as they boast the most stacked rosters in the LCK. Betting on these two whenever they are not facing each other is most likely a win. SKT has the slight edge given their consistency and aptitude in best of matches, but Griffin could feasibly take the LCK if they get on the same page. With the recent addition of Doran to the active roster, Sword can be swapped out if he underperforms.
For the next set of playoff teams, we have SANDBOX, Damwon, and KT Rolster. Yes, you read that right. What could move KT from ninth place to fifth? What about the greatest Korean ADC of all time? The addition of Pray allows KT to patch their notoriously weaker bottom lane. This fifth placement also requires Smeb, BDD, and Score to return to form, but last split was the worst ever for each of them. Damwon were on a roll at the tail end of the split, but fell to KZ in playoffs. In light of recent developments to be discussed later, they move up to third. Sandbox were gods of the regular season but collapsed to Damwon in the playoffs. They should be a lock to make it there again, but beating SKT, Griffin, or Damwon would be a nearly insurmountable task.
On the outside looking in we have Kingzone, GenG, and Hanwha Life. Hanwha were floating around .500 all of Spring, and they actually have the best chance to be a dark horse playoff contender. They will get rolled by the top three, but can surprise from time to time. Gen.G looked pretty abysmal in Spring, but still seem good enough to avoid relegation. The real shocker is Kingzone. The team announced that Pawn, who returned to form in Spring, would not be playing in Summer due to health concerns. This leaves Naehyun as their regular starter. Naehyun is considered among the worst solo laners among major region players. The rest of the squad will have to step up big time to carry the slack, but we can hardly see it happening.
Rounding out the basement we have the surprisingly bad Afreeca and the Meme Wings of Jin Air. Cutting to the chase, Jin Air will finish tenth again. They are the worst eastern team in a power four region by a fair margin, as the esports betting odds clearly say. Afreeca slip because of the upward movement by KT, and are in a similar spot to S04 in Europe by being a one-man team. Someone free Kiin please?
|1. Invictus Gaming||-||2.6 To Win Outright*|
|2. FunPlus Phoenix||↑ 1||8 To Win Outright*|
|3. Top Esports||↑ 1||6 To Win Outright*|
|4. JD Gaming||↓ 3||15 To Win Outright*|
|5. Royal Never Give Up||-||3.5 To Win Outright*|
|6. Dominus Esports (SinoDragon)||-||23 To Win Outright*|
|7. World Elite||-||15 To Win Outright*|
|8. EDG||-||21 To Win Outright*|
|9. Bilibili||-||21 To Win Outright*|
|10. LGD||↑ 1||41 To Win Outright*|
Finally, in the Summer Split predictions, we come to the region that had the best group stage in MSI history, and were on the business end of the third biggest upset in League’s competitive history. As a disclaimer, we will only be covering who is expected to be the top ten, as the LPL is too massive to cover in a simple review such as this.
At the top are the usual suspects. Invictus Gaming, Top Esports, and FunPlus should continue to reign supreme in China. Invictus are, of course, the LPL betting favorites to win, but their confidence is called into question after being embarrassed by Team Liquid at MSI. They have some of the best players in the world, but teams have fallen from grace after far less. FunPlus seemed the only team that could topple the Invictus reign, but their misstep against JDG saw them finish third. Top performed exactly as expected, and should be a lock to finish third again.
In the middle of the playoffs we have JDG, RNG, SD, and WE. JDG had a miracle run against all odds in Spring, reaching finals as the eighth seed. While that is not expected to happen again, they showed they are better than their record indicated and they have potential. A top four finish wouldn’t be a surprise, but a revamped Royal could stand in the way. RNG came back with Uzi and a pickup of LangX (formerly known as XiaoAL), giving them the second deepest top lane in China. They won’t touch the likes of Top or FunPlus, but could definitely take down the rest if online. Dominus Esports and WE are pretty far below RNG and JDG, but should be playoff locks regardless.
At the bottom of the playoff hunt we have EDG, Bilibili, and LGD. Suning moves out of the playoff race by losing the top laner they put a lot of resources into, and the rest of their roster underperforming significantly. EDG were a shadow of days past in Spring, and just lost Ray to inactivity. They replaced him with Jinoo, but that is a sidegrade at best. Bilibili might be on the outside looking in, but have a shot if they gel consistently. LGD only move up because of Suning dropping, but they should be a longshot to make playoffs in a perfect world for them.
After having said all that, we do not believe there will be major shifts at the top of the leagues when compared to the Spring Split. However, keep an eye out as there are always teams that seem to upset and go against all odds one way or another.
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*Odds subject to change