Saturday, July 2, 2022

Lessons learned from week 1 of the LPL

The League of Legends Pro League officially kicked off its 2022 season last week. The 17-team Chinese Premier League features many of the best players and teams in the world, including reigning League of Legends Worlds 2021 champion Edward Gaming. After a busy off-season, many squads were overhauled and with some already sharp picks and results, Week 1 proved as exciting as expected. Here are the lessons we learned from Week 1 of the LPL 2022 Spring Split.

Edward Gaming is still the best in the world

Edward Gaming returned the Summoners Cup to China after his upset win in the Worlds 2021 Finals against DWG KIA. But after a busy offseason that saw nearly every team in the LPL experience a power-up, EDG stayed quiet. They haven’t made any changes to their main list. After being crowned world champion just a few months ago, why should they? Heading into their first games of the LPL 2022 Spring Split, the target was immediately thrown at EDG’s back and so far everyone has missed.

EDG’s first match of the year was against JD Gaming. The match was more for EDG to show off than for them to show up. Top laner Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun secured two off-meta picks with Annie and Vladimir, controlling both games on EDG’s 2-0 route against JDG. In their second game of the week, Flandre was out with a cold, so their backup top laner Huang “Xiaoxiang” Xiang stepped in, and even with him, EDG made short work of TT Gaming with another 2-0 win.

So far so good for EDG as they are undefeated at the top of the standings.

Cream is a monster

By far the biggest surprise for Week 1 of the LPL 2022 Spring Split so far has been the release of Oh My God. The old-school LPL organization barely made the playoffs last summer when they finished in 10th place. However, they still felt like winners due to their prodigy Lin “Creme” Jian in the mid lane. Creme was named Rookie of the Year last season. As the new face of OMG, Creme entered the 2022 season looking to become one of the top mid laners in the region. So far OMG is also undefeated not only in games but also in games as they are 3-0 in games and 6-0 in games. Much of this is thanks to creams performance.

According to Oracle’s Elixir, Creme has set up a Wild 10.0 KDA about the first six games of the LPL 2022 Spring Split. He already has 42 kills in the season, which is more than double the next mid laner. This player happens to be LPL 2021 Summer MVP Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang. However, Creme has one more game to play, but he still has a 20+ kill advantage.

OMG has not yet played an elite top tier team in the LPL. Their wins came against Everyone’s Legend, TT Gaming and Invictus Gaming. But viewers will get a chance to see if Creme and OMG are the real deal in Week 2 as they take on the defending champions.

Top Esports looks upside down

Top Esports has had a busy off-season. After not making it to Worlds 2021, TES decided to make drastic changes. Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan and Bai “369” Jia-Hao are out, along with legendary FunPlus Phoenix jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang and JD Gaming top laner Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran. With a returning core of Zhuo “Knight” Ding and Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo, TES was ranked highly, especially after their win at the 2021 Demacia Cup. But when the real games started last week, TES revealed they weren’t the real deal were, at least not yet.

TES had a pretty easy schedule during opening week in the LPL. They went up against a burned-out Rare Atom team that lost their 2021 mid laner and off-season support. But the new RA squad made quick work against TES as they won in a shocking 2-0 excitement. TES got a chance to lick its wounds in another supposed layup against Ultra Prime. UP as an organization went 5-11 in the 2021 LPL summer split, but even that team managed to lead TES to a Game 3. TES eventually ended the tight streak 2-1.

TES enters Week 2 as a mid-tier team after hyping it up in Week 1.

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