Victory Five were the best team at the LPL 2022 Spring Split, hands down. Top Esports huffed and puffed into the Playoffs after finishing fifth in the same league. In terms of familiarity, both teams have had a fair share of run-ins, and are aware of each other’s game. In that sense, no team can claim to have an edge.
That said, Victory Five believed they were the favored team on current form, and TOP proved them wrong. Can they do it again?
Victory Five gets ever closer
V5 went on a giant-killing spree to rack up 14 wins out of 16, comfortably ahead of second-placed Royal Never Give Up. They got there on the back of an impressive five-match winning spree towards the end of the league phase. But that was a while ago. Since then, they have stumbled a bit, but that they are still in the hunt for their first-ever LPL crown should be comforting enough.
It’s been quite a remarkable turnaround too. Last year, they finished their summer campaign winless. Even a single win from there on would have counted as an improvement. They not only surprised everyone, but surpassed their own expectations, perhaps. Victory Five has gotten here the hard way. A. 3-2 loss at the hands of Top Esports in the fourth round sent them into the losers’ bracket fixture against JD Gaming. There, they flexed their muscles and silenced any voice of doubt there may have been to win it in four games to get to the semi-finals.
They’re an intimidating outfit, stacked with heavyweights. Three of the five members of the All-LPL first team, including Rookie, are part of the outfit. Karsa is coming off a magical series against JD Gaming. By effecting 17 kills, he set the record for most kills by a jungler in a single game. He has been equally proficient in team play. He leads the team in players of the game honors too.
If Top Esports wants to go two for two in a best-of-five, they will need to stop Karsa from going absolutely berserk in the jungle.
TES want to reclaim their pre-season rankings
Unlike Victory Five, Top Esports were favourites coming into the Spring Split. Winners of the 2021 Demacia Cup, they were expected to go spotless clean – a bit of a run like T1 in the LCK. Instead, they were jolted early, losing four of their first six games.
Then they won nine of their next 10 to finish the regular split with a 11-5 record that earned them the fifth of the six playoff spots. Top Esports then built on their momentum to beat BiliBili Gaming 3-1 in their first playoff game. The confidence of that showed in their takedown of LNG Esports 3-0.
Then they had to overcome a reversal against Royal Never Give Up to set up a date with Victory Five, a team that beat very recently, in the lower-bracket finals. Top Esports have been led by their mid laner Knight and Wayward, key members whose importance has only grown over the course of the season.
Victory Five vs Top Esports Match Predictions
In many ways, this is a re-run of last week’s fixture. They are playing on the same patch, and therefore the possibility of this going into game five, or four at minimum, is realistic. Victory Five had almost surged to 3-0 last week against the very side, but before they could soak in the feeling of dominating the fixture, they were brought back to earth.
The team that performs better in the top lane could dictate the flow of the contest. All said, Top Esports may not always be able to find a way back from being down 2-0. So they need to ensure they don’t appear to let the series slip early.
Overall, Victory Five are the favourites because of the kind of proficiency they possess across lanes. Add to it their proven track record and recent results, and everything points to them bossing their way through the contest even if they may be challenged in pockets. It’s for Top Esports to prove otherwise and in the process, rewrite record books.