MAD Lions vs SK Gaming
For our second match of the day we have an absolute barnburner: MAD Lions vs. SK Gaming. And no, that wasn't a typo. This clash between MAD and SK -- while certainly not a match-up between two giants of unparalleled strength -- is arguably one of the most interesting ones at this point in time. It's literally a clash between two fledgling generations of LEC talent. Both line-ups are exceptionally young and packed with potential, but they're also inherently flawed, which is so often the case with burgeoning players who are only just starting out.
MAD Lions, of course, have a lot more experience when compared to their peers over at SK, but they're also every bit as inconsistent, in no small part because of the two changes they'd made to their starting line-up -- Armut in the top lane and Elyoya in the jungle. Now, by the looks of it, both individuals can rightfully be deemed as upgrades (although we still can't say that with absolute certainty), but they still need a couple of weeks (if not months) to synergize with the rest of the team and actually start playing like a well-oiled machine. There are no shortcuts when it comes to building cohesion, for better or worse. It's a process filled with trial and error, and cutting corners simply isn't an option.
Regardless, they've done more than enough to warrant our benefit of the doubt. They're also coming into this week with a lot more hype and momentum seeing how they've taken down a struggling (but still capable) Fnatic. It was by no means a perfect showing, but they got the job done, and even looked fairly good in the process. At the very least, it was a promising sign of what's to come. MAD Lions are not to be trifled with, and when they set things up well and play to their strengths, they're undoubtedly one of the best teams in the LEC.
By the same token, SK Gaming have more than enough tools to compete on even footing, at least early on. They're not as inexperienced as we initially thought, and they'll surely give MAD Lions a run for their money. While it's still too early to predict anything with confidence, the notion of SK Gaming reaching playoffs isn't all that ludicrous, especially if their jungler Tynx continues playing at such an incredibly high level. The rest of his team is pretty darn capable as well, and they're all hungry for the spotlight. They're fighting for every inch of the Summoner's Rift, and watching them in action has truly been an absolute pleasure.
In the end, however, we simply have to side with the boys in white and yellow.