Team Vitality vs exceL
Predicting the outcome of this one match feels pretty darn impossible. We're talking about two teams of fairly equal strength and potential, and also two teams that are inherently flawed in every sense of the word. Heck, one could go even further and call them "bottom-tier dwellers" and, frankly, it'd be hard to argue otherwise. There's just very little to commend them for.
Now, that doesn't mean they can't pack a punch from time to time, or that they're incapable of upsetting when the stars align. On the contrary! Both Vitality and Excel have the tools to compete, but there's always that one moment when things go awry. It's mostly during the transition from one stage of the game to another. They're fairly capable early on, but, even when they have the lead (which isn't as rare an occurrence as you might think), they're not skilled or cohesive enough to snowball the game and close things out. And watching them fumble and fail on so many different occasions has been quite disheartening — they're trying their hardest, but things just aren't going their way. And it means very little whether they're fighting a top-tier behemoth (a G2 Esports or Fnatic) or some other bottom-tier team that's struggling just as much.
The outlook isn't bright for either of these two, but at least they have a shot at reaching the playoffs, no matter how small or insignificant a shot it might be. In other words, they have a reason to fight and tryhard. The odds are stacked against them, but it wouldn't be the first time, so they're probably not complaining. Heck, they're used to being looked over.
The reason why this particular clash is fairly interesting is because Vitality have shown signs of life. Their upset win over SK Gaming yesterday wasn't a fluke, and, at the very least, is a sign that they should not to be taken lightly. They're still fighting for every inch of the Summoner's Rift, and even though they're severely flawed (both individually as well as a five-man unit), they don't intend on slowing down or surrendering any time soon. They want to grow and improve, and the fact that they performed so well against a very game SK is a very promising sign of what's the come.
Now, frankly, no one's expecting much from Vitality going forward, but they at least have a shot at playing spoiler. They might be going down, but they can certainly take someone down with them. They're playing without any hesitation or reserve precisely because they have nothing to lose, and that makes them quite a dangerous opponent, in spite of appearances.
Excel, on the other hand, are struggling in a myriad of ways, and it seems as though they're fumbling in the exact same ways as Excel of yore -- they crack under pressure. They're pretty darn good up until their backs are against the wall. Once that happens, their play regresses beyond belief. And, well, they were never a supremely talented bunch to begin with. They have a shot at reaching the playoffs (mathematically speaking), but if they continue playing so darn badly, they'll almost certainly end up in eighth or ninth place.
We're going to side with Vitality on this one, but we're doing so with quite a lot of hesitation. This, in many ways, is a fight between two bottom-tier dwellers, and whenever that's the case, nuances end up being the determining factor. Still, Excel are on a six game losing streak, and that alone tells you all you need to know when it comes to their current power level and overall potential. Vitality aren't much better, but at least they've shown signs of life and are fighting with a lot more vigour than XL.
In any case, expect a fairly sloppy (but entertaining) clash that'll surely veer towards the fiesta realm!