Another Sunday brings with it more matches in the League of Legends LCS and LEC playoffs as teams across the globe continue to battle it out for a spot at this year's Worlds.
In the LEC Summer Playoffs, MAD Lions take on a resurgent Fnatic side for a spot in the semi-finals against Rogue, while in North America's LCS, there is a crunch match between Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid on the cards.
The winner will be rewarded with a clash against 100 Thieves in the lower-bracket final.
|What:||MAD Lions v Fnatic, LEC Summer Playoffs|
|When:||11:00 EST, Sunday September 4th 2022|
|How to watch:||LEC Youtube & Twitch channels/bet365 Sports Live Streaming|
MAD Lions -138, Fnatic 100
It is fair to say things have not gone entirely to plan for Fnatic at the LEC Summer this year.
Considered one of the biggest names in the LEC region, Fnatic are always expected to be in contention for the playoffs and they reached the winners' final stage of the LEC Spring 2022.
And so expectations were high as always coming into the LEC Summer but it quickly became apparent that Fnatic's aura of dominance was wearing off.
At one stage the team faced the shocking prospect of missing out on the LEC Summer Playoffs altogether but turned on the style in week eight to win all three of their matches and qualify in the nick of time.
After losing a tiebreaker against Misfits Gaming, they had to settle for fifth spot in the standings, meaning they would need to battle their way through the lower bracket to avoid missing out on a place at the League of Legends World Championship for the first time since 2016.
Fortunately for Fnatic fans, they have managed to win both of their playoff contests against Excel Esports and Misfits to reach round three and are now guaranteed a place at this year's Worlds.
From Europe, they will be joined by G2 Esports, Rogue and MAD Lions, who are their next opponents in the LEC playoffs.
MAD Lions finished with a 12-6 record in the regular season and are well-fancied to win this one at -138 but Fnatic are on a roll and their qualities have shone through recently, especially in the 3-0 dismantling of Misfits last time out.
They should be able to push MAD Lions to their limits now that pressure has eased and a Worlds berth is secured, so back this match to feature over 4.5 maps at 163.
|What:||Evil Geniuses v Team Liquid, LCS Summer Playoffs|
|When:||16:00 EST, Sunday September 4th 2022|
|How to watch:||LCS Youtube/Twitch channels|
|Odds:||Evil Geniuses -120, Team Liquid -120|
Evil Geniuses were on the wrong end of the biggest shock in the LCS Summer Playoffs last month, losing 3-1 to Cloud9 in round two of the upper bracket.
Few saw that result coming given Cloud9 had only just edged past Counter Logic Gaming in the previous round and Evil Geniuses, who were also Europe's representatives at the Mid-Season Invitational, topped the regular-season standings with 15 wins from 18 matches.
But form went out of the window in that game as Cloud9 took the initiative.
One of the key battlegrounds was in the mid-laner position with Cloud9's Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen responding to an underwhelming campaign to dominate Joseph "jojopyun" joon-pyun.
That result sent shockwaves throughout the LCS and surely rattled Evil Geniuses, who looked a touch shaky in a 3-2 win over Team SoloMid in their first match down in the lower bracket.
Next up they face one of the LCS big guns - Team Liquid - for a place in the lower-bracket final against 100 Thieves and fans of Evil Geniuses could well be disappointed.
Something is not quite right about the team at the moment and they will be well aware of the talent in Liquid's ranks given the head-to-head between these sides stood at 1-1 in the LCS Summer regular season.
Liquid, meanwhile, only dropped down to the lower bracket after a 3-2 loss to 100 Thieves before edging Counter Logic Gaming by the same scoreline.
Their recent matches have been high-scoring affairs and, although Liquid make appeal at -120, the better bet could be over 4.5 maps in this high-octane affair at 163.