Origen vs exceL
Next up, we have a fairly interesting clash between Origen and Excel Esports. On paper, there's not a lot to like as Origen are the heavy favorites in every way, shape, and form. Therefore, the game itself shouldn't be too competitive or drawn-out. Still, seeing how we *are* at the start of the split, teams are as inconsistent as they can possibly be meaning this could, in theory, go either way.
Let's dive a bit deeper.
Even though they've made a couple of changes to their starting line-up, Excel Esports failed to accomplish much in their first few outings in the second half of the season. In fact, they've looked pretty mediocre at best. Their result, therefore, shows the same. Three losses, zero wins, and seemingly no chance of leaving a mark in the grand scheme of things. When you compare this Excel to, say, SK Gaming or Team Vitality -- LEC's ninth and tenth ranked teams from Spring, the difference is night and day. The former regressed and worsened, whereas the latter two improved in ways we didn't even know were possible.
In other words, don't expect much from Excel going forward. They might be able to get a couple of wins on the board but, seeing how the region noticeably improved during the course of the off-season, even that might be an optimistic stretch.
Origen, on the other hand, are a tough nut to crack regardless of the meta. They were both amazing and abysmal last week which means gauging their overall strength and potential is downright impossible at this point in time. Obviously, they have a metric ton of talent on their roster but whether or not they can utilize it fully right now still remains to be seen. They're somewhat one-dimensional but at least they have the best top laner in the region by their side -- Alphari can always hard-carry beyond reason when given the resources.
Overall, Excel shouldn't be able to do much against a team of Origen's caliber. OG might not be clean or commanding right now (as evidenced by their volatile performances last week), but at least they have the fortitude and resilience to improve in ways that matter most and ultimately correct course.
That said, if we don't see the Origen of old, this might be a lot closer than most people expect.