Misfits vs Splyce
For our first match of the day, we have a pretty interesting clash between Splyce and Misfits. Now, on paper, this isn't exactly the most exciting match-up of the year, but it should be entertaining regardless.
That said, both of these two teams are entering the match with different amounts of hype and momentum. Perhaps that's even an understatement. Splyce are currently in the process of upsetting the status quo and are doing all that is within their power in order to cement themselves as a bona fide LEC contender. Misfits Gaming, on the other hand, aren't doing much. In fact, they're not doing anything at all.
We all know of their immense talent and inherent potential -- but we're not seeing it on the Summoners Rift. Their play could perhaps only be described as "abysmal". You always see potential avenues towards success and you're fully aware of their stacked roster, but for one reason or another, things never come to fruition. Sometimes they put up a fight (and then lose), but mostly they just roll over and get smacked around for thirty minutes or less until their Nexus explodes. Watching them play is nothing short of confusing and underwhelming. The fact that we're seeing so many experienced veterans and legends fail to such a degree only adds insult to injury.
After failing to mount an offensive throughout 2019, the organization has decided to make a drastic move -- one that we haven't seen done before in the LEC: they will field their Academy roster. We're not talking about a single change here either -- all five players are getting swapped out, and their "B team" is getting a chance to shine.
Now, this is both a good thing and a bad one. It's bad for obvious reasons -- they're fielding their Academy line-up. They're definitely not as skilled as the main roster, but then again, it's hard to say that without laughing after witnessing just how bad and out of sync their LEC line-up was over the last seven months. Drastic change was necessary. People didn't expect things to transpire in such a way, but what else could have Misfits done? No one in their right mind would think that a roster led by sOAZ, Maxlore, Febiven, Hans Sama, and Gorilla would get subbed out in favor of anyone else, but it's an understandable decision after their underwhelming performance.
Who's to blame really doesn't matter at this point. Misfits' regular season run is all but over at this point, and even if they step up immensely over the next couple of weeks, there's no way they'll be able to clinch a playoff spot. Not right now, and not in such a hyper competitive environment.
On one hand, Misfits certainly have an upper hand -- a negligible one, but it does exist. They're fielding a completely different roster; a roster that's unknown to Splyce. If they play their cards right and focus on their strengths, they could potentially surprise, especially in the early game.
Unfortunately for them, as big of change as they made, it won't be enough. Not in the grand scheme of things, and not against a team of Splyce's caliber. The boys in gray and yellow are simply too well-equipped right now. They're dangerous and highly capable in all stages of the game and have shown no signs of stopping. They've only lost twice so far and are coming in hot after multiple dominant wins -- one of which came over Fnatic. They might not be perfect, but their individual mechanical skill and team-wide cohesion are downright amazing. They're still a late game behemoth, but they actually managed to diversify their arsenal over the last couple of months. They're equally as dangerous early on, and their fearless attitude in the game often gives them an edge regardless of the opponent.
They improved the most over the off-season period and are looking to continue building on their momentum.
In the end, we simply have to side with the Splyce boys. They're a Top 3 team right now for a reason, and they've done more than enough to earn both our respect as well as full benefit of the doubt. That said, if Misfits' B team comes out the gate swinging, this might be at least a bit closer than most people expect.