Misfits vs Astralis
Next up, we have a clash between Misfits Gaming and Astralis. Now, on the off-chance you're frowning, know that you're not in the minority. This simply isn't all that exciting of a clash, although it will probably entertain — regardless if it veers towards the fiesta realm or not. There's quite a lot on the line for both these teams, although it's fair to say that they find themselves at opposite ends of the gatekeeper spectrum, despite being relatively close in the standings.
Astralis, for instance, has been playing a lot better than most people expected. They don't have all that much to work with in terms of talent and potential, but they're a feisty bunch and they've been playing their hearts out on a regular basis. Still, even at the best of times, their play leaves a lot to be desired. Well, we're putting it mildly here. They're a bottom-tier dweller through and through, although they can, at times, punch a bit above their weight class. Those are the moments when they have all the hallmarks of a gatekeeper which might not sound all that impressive, but is way more than anyone expected from them coming into 2021. For Astralis, anything other than dreadful play can rightfully be deemed as overperforming, so credit where credit is due. They're not horrible per se, but they do pale in comparison to most of their LEC peers -- that's when you really start to realize just how underwhelming they truly are.
Misfits, on the other hand, are quite hard to rank right now. Are they great? Perish the thought. But they're not abysmal either. It really depends on the day. It seems, however, that their worst days are behind them, but how long that'll be the case still remains to be seen. After a dreadful couple of weeks, it seems as though they've corrected course and are now playing about as well as we expected from them coming into the year. Again, they're far from a top-tier behemoth, but they have all the right tools to compete for a spot in the playoffs and even give someone ranked above them a run for their money. They have ample talent, but they haven't been harnessing it all that well. And that's strange, to say the least. They should definitely look a lot better now that they've had more than two months to develop synergy and get on the same page. But for one reason or another, they're still the same Misfits of yore -- good, but far from great. Their innate potential means very little if there's no one who can teach this ragtag bunch how to tap into it and, in doing so, catalyze growth.
This time around they're scheduled to face Astralis -- hardly an insurmountable challenge, even with MagiFelix aboard. It's not like Misfits will run through them, of course, but they have all the right tools to get the win and inch closer to the 2021 LEC Spring Split playoffs.