Rogue vs MAD Lions
For our last Best of 5 of the week, we have an absolute barnburner in the making: Rogue vs. MAD Lions. This is pretty much the absolute best and most enticing clash of the week, and that includes the North American LCS as well. It has all the hallmarks of a spectacle, one that will surely entertain and deliver in all the right ways. Heck, we're putting it mildly here — Rogue and MAD Lions are astonishingly good and are more than worthy of our undivided attention.
But even though both line-ups possess a metric ton of talent and potential, there's still a gap between them. Rogue have more experience both individually but also as a unit, and that's precisely why they were able to best MAD Lions any time they clashed off in recent history. They might not be endlessly more talented or potent, but the differences between them are nuanced and staggeringly important. At this level of play, it's the minute stuff that ends up making a difference, the stuff most folks either can't fully grasp or just don't observe close enough. It's the way they set up objectives, over what they fight for (and when), how they go about controlling (and denying) vision, the moments in which Larssen decides to roam or Odoamne makes a TP play.
On a macro level, Rogue are right behind G2 Esports, and that's pretty much the highest praise one can give these days. They're controlled in their aggression, but it's still an on-and-off switch, and watching them balance things on the knife's edge has always been an absolute pleasure. They're also mighty confident and with good reason — they've earned it after persevering over the years and growing despite facing some of the stiffest competition in the West. They've made incredible progress over the last couple of weeks and are undeniably the second-best team in Europe. That alone is awe-inspiring in a myriad of ways, and is a true testament to their inherent talent and work ethic.
MAD Lions, on the other hand, can definitely pack a punch, even though they might telegraph their movement and actions a lot more frequently than Rogue. They're still rough around the edges, but certain members of the team — depending on the day and how much agency they've been given in the drat — can definitely hardcarry like their lives depend on it. Elyoya, in particular, has been their biggest catalyst, and the sheer fact that he's so darn good at this point in time is nothing short of mind-blowing. As a team, however, they're prone to making mistakes and being a bit too overeager. That last flaw can be quite a debilitating one, too, as evidenced on so many occasions in the past against the best teams in the region.
We're going to side with Rogue on this one, but it won't come easy nor are there any guarantees whatsoever. We're talking about two exceptional line-ups stacked with talent and potential, and watching them clash off will surely result in one of the most entertaining Best of 5s yet!