JD Gaming heavily favored to go undefeated into LPL Summer Week 4
The LPL 2022 Summer Split has gotten off to a pulsating start. After the first week of matches, JD Gaming and Victory Five are yet to lose. That isn’t much of a surprise, given they were the strongest teams during the Spring Split. Occupying the top four spots are also EDG and TOP Esports with one loss each.
Do keep in mind, not all teams played an equal amount of matches yet and we might be in for a shift in the standings come Week 4.
State of the LPL Summer after three weeks of play
JD’s rise has been particularly noteworthy because they began the spring season with a 5-5 record. They then flicked a switch and went from mid-table strugglers to being champion material. Winning six straight games in a row against some top sides, including regular season champs Victory 5, raised some eyebrows. On top of that, they made it through the spring playoffs, where they finished fourth. This gave them momentum coming into the summer, and they have so far managed to sustain it.
It’s not that they have just been dominant against the weaker teams. In two of the three games, they have had to play Top Esports, the 2022 LPL spring finalists, and Edward Gaming, defending world champion. They have defeated both these sides to become one of the early pace-setters, and put the cat among the pigeons. Coming into Week 4 they face TT and FPX, both of whom are struggling heavily this split. Do not be surprised if we have the first 7-0 in the LPL after this week.
LNG are another team that has come in on the back of some outstanding form. Expectations have slowly been increasing ever since they put together a world-class roster after Worlds 2021, and their superstars midlaner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang hasn’t let them down. Doinb was expected to help bring the team closer to capturing a world championship, but that didn’t happen in the 2022 LPL spring split.
Doinb looked out of sorts in the Spring, one of the reasons for the team’s lacklustre showing, but he has revved up superbly in the summer so far and has made a massive difference to the team’s fortunes. Doinb’s exit has made FunPlus Phoenix a little shaky as well. Not that expectations are riding high on them, but he was one of their biggest USP’s over the past year. They went 0-3 down and haven’t promise since against the LPL powerhouses. Meanwhile Team WE and FunPlus Phoenix are yet to blow up the enemy nexus twice in a series.
Important match-ups in LPL Summer 2022 Week 4
Top Esports, who finished fifth in the spring with a 11-5 record, take on LNG and Weibo Gaming this week. Top Esports began with a loss against JD Gaming in the first week, but have since bounced back by taking down WE, IG, FPX and Bilibili Gaming. This puts them in an excellent position going into the fourth week of matches. They have often been guilty of frittering away map control when you least expect them to, but their manner of wins in their last three matches points to a marked improvement. FPX are hoping their new top laner Summit can add a new dimension to their roster. It’s one of the touger weeks for TOP, but if they manage to win both matches they are likely going to climb to 2nd in the standings.
V5 and RNG both have a relatively easy week ahead of them. Arguably two of the best LPL outfits went head to head in best-of-three last weekend, with V5 coming out on top. RNG are the reigning MSI 2022 champions, but V5 really liked to nail in the idea that Spring Playoffs were just a fluke. I fully expect both teams to end up with only a single loss or less at the end of this week.
Keep in mind, V5 are still without Spring Split 2022 MVP Song “Rookie” Eui-ji due to covid complications. They will likely field Dream, the rookie mid laner, who leads all players in the role they specialise in, with a KDA of 13.4. He also leads all mid laners in CS per minute and gold per minute. In two of the first six games, he has also been named player of the game twice.
Finally, LNG is set to meet TOP Esports and LGD this week in the first real test of their prowess. We already covered how Doinb is rallying the team this split, and a potential 2-0 this week will finally put LNG up as a real contender this Split.