The last round of the League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) 2024 Winter Playoffs produced two exciting fixtures, with Team BDS beating VItality and G2 Esports edging past Fnatic in a three-map spectacle.
The two losers of the series now await their next opponents in the second round of the lower bracket, who will be decided on Saturday, February 10, when Team Heretics take on SK Gaming and GIANTX clash with MAD Lions.
LEC Winter 2024 Playoffs Round 1 – Day 4 Picks
Team Heretics vs SK Gaming
When: Saturday, February 10, 17:00 CET
Team Heretics lost their opening series of the LEC 2024 Winter playoffs against Team BDS in what was a very one-sided game. We can’t blame Heretics too much for that loss since Team BDS has proven to be a very good team, but it’s not like that was Heretics‘ only poor showing of the split.
I expected Heretics to prepare themselves for BDS, and while it looked like they put in some work to match BDS’ playstyle, Heretics simply proved to be the second-best team on the day. This continues a worrying trend of Heretics not performing up to par, having lost their last four games – twice against BDS and once against Fnatic and Vitality.
SK Gaming slipped against Team Vitality in the first round of the LEC 2024 Winter playoffs in what was one of the more surprising results of the split. We saw some shenanigans in the series, with Vitality opting to play Lee Sin and SK Lucian in the mid lane for the second map, and overall, the series was very weird.
SK Gaming looked unusually bad in the series, which begs the question of whether we’ll see further regression this weekend. Still, one bad loss doesn’t prove much.
Both teams enter this match with poor performance metrics, boasting the lowest Gold Difference per Minute out of all LEC 2024 Winter Playoffs teams at -456 and-574 for SK and Heretics, respectively. The teams didn’t produce particularly impressive numbers in the regular season, with similar figures.
SK have limped through the final week of LEC 2024 Winter, and they’ve not looked great in the first round of the playoffs. The same applies to Heretics, who have looked very average, to say the least, with a couple of bad losses.
Looking at the LoL esports betting odds, the wrong team seems to be favoured. SK Gaming have looked much better than Heretics throughout the regular season, and it’s fair to say that Heretics haven’t shown much more in the playoffs.
- Prediction: SK Gaming to win – 2.22 at Pinnacle, 1 unit
- Prediction: SK Gaming -1.5 Maps – 4.47 at Pinnacle, 0.5 units
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GIANTX vs MAD Lions
When: Monday, February 10, 20:00 CET
GIANTX lost their opening match of the LEC 2024 Winter Playoffs against G2 Esports. They looked relatively good on the first map, but got stomped in the second, overall producing a very underwhelming performance.
GIANTX are one of the more consistent teams in the LEC, but they’re consistently mediocre, having shown very little upside so far this split. They’ll probably improve as the season goes on and the younger players get more acclimated to the LEC, but there’s not much to be excited about as of now.
They are very good at closing out games when ahead, but GIANTX are also against a team that can cause them problems.
The MAD Lions lost against Fnatic on Sunday in a very entertaining series. The first map was one-sided, whereas the second was quite the opposite. Fnatic should’ve won the series without much hassle but made a few blunders, which MAD Lions used to level the playing field. MAD ended up losing – as they should – but showed a lot of resistance.
The MAD Lions are an entertaining team to watch since they approach all their games without any fear. They are still prone to making mistakes and are one of the more high-variance LEC teams. This might have to do with their lack of experience, but they are still efficient in playing as a unit.
I am leaning MAD Lions for this match, but they are a bit too volatile for a favoured team.
- Prediction: None