Rogue vs SK Gaming
Next up, we have a clash between Rogue and SK Gaming. On paper, this isn't exactly the most hype match-up one can imagine, but it's not bad either — far from it, in fact! Most people will tune in because of Rogue and it's easy to understand why: they're undoubtedly one of the best and most cohesive teams in the LEC right now. Heck, we can even go a step further and say they're a shoo-in for Top 3. That's quite high praise (especially this early on), but it's well-warranted!
The loss of Vander, it seems like, didn't affect them all that much. In fact, it's like they didn't lose anyone at all -- their synergy seems intact. By signing Odoamne, however, they've gained one of the most experienced top laners in the entirety of Europe. And it's already paying dividends. The same goes for their brand-new support Trymbi who was promoted from AGO Rogue. He's nowhere near as experienced as the man he replaced, but you'd never be able to tell solely from his play, which is definitely a huge boon for Rogue.
Right now, they're sitting on a perfect 2W-0L record and are tied for first place with none other than G2 Esports. While they'll probably drop a game or two over the coming weeks, they should still be able to remain near the very top of the region. Right now, as things stand, there's no one else to challenge them. MAD Lions aren't as cohesive, Fnatic are struggling in every sense of the word, Vitality is dangerous but not as experienced or commanding, with Misfits Gaming being both hot and cold, depending on the day. This means there's no real opposition for Rogue other than, well, G2 Esports.
Opposite them, however, is a team that's still hard to read precisely because of their inexperience. Still, their lack of veterancy is by no means the be-all and end-all — this five-man bunch is feisty as heck and it can definitely go blow for blow with some of the best teams in the region. They might not be household names, but they deserve a ton of respect nonetheless. They have nothing to lose, is the thing, and they're playing like the underdogs they are. That is perhaps their biggest strength and they know it, too. They're currently sitting on a .500 record with a win over Astralis and a loss to G2, but it's fair to say that they looked darn impressive in both games, in spite of not having a single superstar player or grizzled veteran. There's such a staggering amount of talent present in Europe's "Academy" leagues, it's truly incredible — these individuals are completely unknown to the broader public and yet they're already displaying immense maturity and trading blows with the who's who of the LEC. The sky's the limit for this promising young squad, although they probably won't realize their inherent potential any time soon. They need time to synergize and carve out an identity for themselves, but once that happens, they'll no doubt become an instant playoff contender.
In the meantime, we simply have to side with Rogue as it's the only logical choice. That said, don't expect a one-sided affair — both teams will surely fight their hearts out, which means that fireworks are all but guaranteed!