The League of Legends Pro League playoffs are down to the final three. The LPL 2022 spring season has featured many new faces who stepped up and a lot of old faces making their triumphant returns. The lower bracket finals matchup between Victory Five and Top Esports features a mix of both. Here is a breakdown of how each team got here and a prediction on who will come out on top and make it to the LPL 2022 Spring finals.
Victory Five’s Road this far
The best team in the LPL 2022 spring regular season has found themselves in the lower bracket, but are still alive in the hunt for their first-ever LPL title. The team has already smashed every single expectation put on them heading into the season. After their winless 2021 summer campaign, literally a single win would have been an improvement. Instead, V5 decided to win 14 matches. With their number one seed, they have only played two opponents in the playoffs so far. They lost in a reverse sweep against Top Esports in the upper bracket semifinals and then silenced any doubt of pretender status as they dismantled JD Gaming in the lower bracket in four games.
The team is stacked from top to bottom, as they have three of the five members on the All-LPL first team, including the reigning MVP Song “Rookie” Eui-jin. One of the two members not on the All-LPL first team was their jungler Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan, who had a monster series against JDG. He even set the LPL record for most kills from a jungler in a single game with 17. He also leads the team in player of the game honors so far in the playoffs.
Top Esports’ path to playoffs
Top Esports came into the LPL 2022 spring split with opposite expectations as their opponent in the lower bracket finals. As winners of the Demacia Cup 2021, the team was one of the pre-season favorites to win it all in 2022. Instead, they started off with a poor 2-4 start, but roared back into expected form by finishing the season on a 9-1 run to end 11-5 – which was good enough for the fifth seed entering playoffs. TES stayed hot well into the playoffs, starting with their first match against Bilibili Gaming which ended in a quick 3-1 victory.
They looked even better in their second round when they beat LNG Esports 3-0 to set up a match in the top four against the first seeded Victory Five. After falling down 2-0, TES reverse swept V5 to make it to the upper bracket finals against Royal Never Give Up. After a rough defeat at the hands of the reigning MSI champions, TES find themselves in the lower bracket finals.
TES is led by their rock in the mid-lane, Zhuo “knight” Ding, but they also have a fantastic supporting cast (even though only one member on their starting roster managed to grab a spot on an all-LPL team). Ironically the member of their stacked roster that grabbed a spot was their rookie top laner Huang “Wayward” Ren-Xing who has impressed in the playoffs so far. He even managed to grab the lone player of the game honor in TES’ 3-1 loss to RNG.
Who will come out on top
This matchup is a literal rematch of a series that just took place last week. Playing on the same exact patch, it’s not out of the realm that this series could also go five games. However, V5 was on the verge of a 3-0 sweep before everything came crashing down. The catalyst of the series was V5’s All-LPL top laner Lee “Rich” Jae-won who had two spectacular games in the first half of the series before having three of the worst games of his career in the last half.
The matchup to watch is definitely the top lane. The team that has the better top lane performance in this series will likely come out on top. Signs point to Rich not playing as bad as he did in the TES series. But in Rich’s last series against JDG he had two really good games and two mediocre ones. Rich is going to have to play consistently in order for V5 to win the series. At the same time though, TES cannot afford to wake up in Game 3 if they want to double-eliminate V5 from their cinderella run.
V5 is favored in the series due to advantages in every lane but TES has already proven that it doesn’t matter what’s on paper if V5 can put pen to it. But with a week to look back, V5 has had time to make sure they come correct this time.
Prediction: V5 3 – 0 TES
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.