The League of Legends Pro League has finally concluded its regular season. The 10 best teams have moved onto the playoffs and the first round features two series that are set to be bangers. Here is a preview of the LPL 2022 spring playoffs first round with predictions on who will come out on top.
Bilibili Gaming vs Rare Atom
This is a battle of two teams that came into the season with entirely different trajectories. Rare Atom entered the 2022 season with a depleted roster after their near Worlds 2021 run. Coming within one series of playing for the final spot from the LPL, RA lost two of their best players to free agency. One of those is their breakout star mid-laner Chu “FoFo” Chun-Lan. Bilibili Gaming was the team that picked him up. BLG came into 2022 with a roster built to win now. The only member of the current BLG starting roster that was there last year is their jungler, Wei “Weiwei” Bo-Han. Over the off-season, BLG went out and acquired big names including Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan , Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song and of course, Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao.
It took time for BLG to mesh with their new roster and the talented group definitely struggled in the regular season. The team did have some highs, though. After Week 6 they were tied for third in the standings with reigning Worlds 2021 champs, Edward Gaming. But, they immediately followed it up with a four-series lose streak that put them on the verge of missing playoffs entirely. With a rebound Week 9 that saw them go 2-0, they squeaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed.
As for Rare Atom, even with two of their best players leaving, the rest of their 2021 core stepped up. After starting with a 1-5 record and sitting in 15th place in the standings, the team turned it on in the back half by going an impressive 7-3 the rest of the way. The record is, however, dampened by the fact they went 0-2 in the final week of the regular season, but RA still clinched the 9th seed regardless.
In this battle of FoFo going up against his old team, eyes are of course on BLG’s star bot lane, but also on the top lane matchup. Dai “Cube” Yi has had a fantastic split for RA and leads all players on that team in player of the game honors. He will be going up against Chen “Breathe” Chen who was the LPL all-pro third-team top laner last split. BLG has the advantage in talent but in synergy, RA is dangerous. This series should be close and could go either way. Slight advantage to BLG.
Prediction: BLG 3 – 2 RA
Edward Gaming vs FunPlus Phoenix
No this is not the finals of the LPL 2022 spring playoffs. Instead, the rematch of last summer’s LPL finals is this year’s round one matchup. Both teams suffered severe setbacks, despite heading into 2022 with championship aspirations. EDG made zero changes to their Worlds 2021 championship roster, while FPX did make some big changes to theirs. After their historic collapse at Worlds 2021, FPX cleaned house and said goodbye to their entire starting roster minus Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang. They replaced those members with high upside like Kim “Clid” Tae-min, Kim “Gori” Tae-woo and Fu “Hang” Ming-Hang. They also promoted their phenom Academy top laner “Xiaolaohu” to the starting roster. After coming second in the 2021 Demacia Cup event, the team looked ready to contend once more. But the season saw them contend for the final playoff spot instead.
FPX struggled throughout the entire LPL 2022 spring split and didn’t have a winning record past Week 3. At one point, the team sat at a 4-7 record and were dangerously close to missing playoffs altogether. But with a 4-1 run in the final weeks, they squeaked in as the last in the 10 team field.
EDG, on the other hand, were never in danger of missing the playoffs. In fact, to start off the season EDG looked just as good as they left off. After Week 5 they were in first place in the LPL once again with a 7-1 record. But since then, they have been mediocre. In the final weeks, EDG went a terrible 3-5 with losses to a lot of playoff teams around them. The weakness of the team has come from a revolving door of suck for EDG. One week its Tian “Meiko” Ye, the other is Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun and then randomly Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie underperforms. Lee “Scout” Ye-chan has been the one consistent for EDG. He actually leads every player in the LPL in player of the game honors. But even he has underperformed at times.
Heading into this matchup, the x-factor is just EDG in general. The team have shown they can play like the best team in the world, but haven’t done it lately. If Worlds 2021 EDG shows up they can still pull off the gauntlet run and earn a trip to the Mid-Season Invitational. But they can also just get swept by FPX here. However, this is the first best-of-five for EDG since Worlds 2021. Until they show they can lose one, don’t bet against EDG in a best-of-five.
Prediction: EDG 3 – 0 FPX
About the Author
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.