The 2022 League of Legends Pro League Summer season is just past the halfway point. With matches being played seven days a week, it’s hard to keep up with what the most important storylines in China’s premier league are. Thankfully, Upcomer has you covered. Here are the lessons we learned so far in this 2022 LPL Summer mid-week recap for Week 8.
Year-over-year parity in the LPL is great
In the 2021 LPL summer split, three of the bottom four teams in the league consisted of Victory Five, ThunderTalk Gaming and Rogue Warriors. And just a year later, the script has been flipped.
Through meaningful roster moves, those three teams have not only improved year over year, but all three of those teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended Wednesday. V5 are of course one of the top teams in the league this year in the LPL. As for Rogue Warriors, who have rebranded to Anyone’s Legend, they have quietly been making noise over the past couple of weeks as they find themselves right in the middle of the playoff hunt despite their Week 8 loss to OMG. But the most interesting development this week comes from ThunderTalk Gaming. After their win against FunPlus Phoenix, they actually now sit in 10th place with a 5-6 record in the standings, which would grant them a playoff seed. Their five wins actually match TT’s win total from the previous two splits combined.
As for some of last year’s top teams, FPX are out of the playoff picture for now as well as are Rare Atom, Bilibili Gaming and Team WE.
Meiko is finally waking up
The weakest link so far in 2022 for the defending Worlds 2021 champions Edward Gaming has been their support player and captain Tian “Meiko” Ye. Saying that Meiko is having a down year is an understatement. The former all-LPL support did not pick up a player of the game award at all in the 2022 LPL spring split, and through their first 11 series in summer, he didn’t have one this split either.
But in EDG’s brutal three-game loss to Royal Never Give Up in Week 7, Meiko finally picked one up in Game 2. Against one of the best teams in the league, EDG looked good as they finally had all five members show up. But the question was whether or not Meiko could have similar performances going forward.
In their Week 8 match against LNG Esports, Meiko showed up big time on Blitzcrank in Game 1 and picked up just his second player of the game award of the year while also helping his bot lane partner Park “Viper” Do-hyeon pick up his eighth. The team is 8-5, but if Meiko keeps this up, EDG can still make a run at the LPL title.
V5 might not be as good as expected
With nearly every other top team having ups and downs through the 2022 LPL summer split so far, V5 looked like the safest bet in the league as they came into Week 8 with a 10-1 record with an incredible 21-4 game score. But with JD Gaming on their schedule, it was time to really hammer in their No. 1 status.
Just like in the spring split, though, when faced with high-pressure series, V5 looked lost. Top laner Lee “Rich” Jae-won didn’t seem to show up when it matters most.
In what was supposed to be the best series of the season with a clash between the two top teams, JDG won both games in just 30 minutes with both games being won and lost in the top lane. JDG top laner Bai “369” Jia-Hao didn’t have the cleanest scoreline, but he made the most of what he had. Through clutch teamfighting and the ability to split the team, 369 ended up being the main reason why JDG won as he picked up both player of the game honors as JDG moved into sole possession of first place.
V5 still have a 10-2 record, but with Rich not being able to carry games, especially when he is on champions like Gangplank, unless something improves, V5 are set to be another top seed destined to bow out of the playoffs early.