Edward Gaming vs FunPlus Phoenix
If you haven't been following the 2022 LPL Spring Split, you'll probably be surprised to find out that EDward Gaming, one of the most stacked and capable line-ups in LoL history — and the defending World Champions, no less — are actually ranked seventh. And, to make things even more interesting, that's not because they're suddenly subpar or anything, but rather because they happen to be competing in the most stacked and competitive region in the world.
The fact that they — as talented as they are — couldn't secure a higher placement tells you all you need to know about the LPL and its abundance of talent. Granted, they're just a couple of wins below the number one team, but the point stands nonetheless. They couldn't go any higher than seventh place and that's at once both wholly incredible *and* mighty surprising. Victory Five, RNG, JDG, LNG, Top, and Weibo all did better and were more successful than the defending World Champions. Vexing to the extreme!
FunPlus Phoenix, on the other hand, barely even made the playoffs cut. That, too, is quite surprising, although nowhere near as much given the fact that they had lost many of their high profile players during the most recent off-season. Their stellar showing at the 2021 Demacia Cup was quite impressionable, but they rarely peaked as high afterwards. And, well, we haven't the foggiest idea as to why. Whether that was just a flash in the pan or perhaps an indication of their long-term potential still remains to be seen. Either way, they're capable, feisty, and not at all as "middling" as their otherwise quite underwhelming record would suggest.
The same goes for EDG and their overall position within the LPL hierarchy. They actually boast the fourth-highest map win percentage (62%) which means they've been a lot more competitive than one would expect given their current ranking. And, well, they've been only marginally worse than the likes of JDG, LNG, Top, and Weibo, which means they should not be underestimated whatsoever. They're still amongst the very best players in the world and their true ability and potential will now finally get to shine in the oh-so-exciting Best of 5 setting. That one fact cannot be overstated: most LPL giants thrive in a five-game series, and that is especially true for EDG. They know what needs to be done so as to get away with the win, which means that betting on them is the only logical option at this point in time.