SK Gaming vs exceL
To start off the day we have a rather peculiar match-up: SK Gaming vs. Excel Esports. Now, by no means is this a clash of titans or a game you absolutely have to watch, but it could affect the larger region-wide narrative, so at least there's something on the line.
SK Gaming is looking mighty strong (by SK Gaming standards, of course) and are currently in the running for playoffs. Even writing such a thing makes one feel strange -- like we're in an alternate reality. But they're winning more often than not and are finding quite a fair bit of success along the way (against pretty tough opposition). They still don't look like a worthy challenger, but they sure are playing like one. Their newest mid laner ZaZee is performing way above expectations and is not only holding his own but is even outperforming a good number of his peers and has the ability to land those crucial late game ultimates and swing the game in his team's favor. By the same token, Trick has improved leaps and bounds from Spring, which means SK actually have a potent early game. Nothing too mind-blowing, but they should definitely not be underestimated. Perhaps most importantly, they're finally investing their resources into their AD carry Crownshot. The Slovenian marksman has been doing quite a lot of heavy lifting for his team, and now he finally has the help he so desperately needed. He's SK's late game insurance, and with everyone else stepping up as well, they can actually transition from a solid early start into the mid and later stages of the game.
Excel Esports, on the other hand, are painfully hard to read right now. They're not good, but they're not abysmal either. One could argue that their lows have been much more pronounced when compared to SK Gaming, but they've been getting by quite nicely. A 4W-7L record is nothing to write home about, but it's not abysmal either. They're like the Excel Esports of old: not that good but always with the potential to upset and surprise. There's just nothing overly impressive with this team either, although it's important to note that they've also been playing through their bottom lane recently and with Patrik being exceptionally talented, it's no surprise that they're doing much better than most people expected.
Whenever we have two mid-tier gatekeepers clashing, predicting the outcome becomes downright impossible. They're basically even strength-wise and most of their power heavily hinges around the way they start the game off. In other words, they're extremely volatile which makes betting frustrating and, at worst, ill-advised. Still, SK Gaming have done a lot better recently and have earned everyone's benefit of the doubt. Granted, that might not be enough to get the win, but they're favored for a reason.