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The IEM Rio Legends stage starts on Saturday
  1. Esports

Esports: League of Legends LEC & LCS Summer Playoffs

All focus in the world of Esports is on League of Legends right now as the summer playoffs intensify across the regions.

First up on Sunday is a crucial clash in Europe's LEC Summer Playoffs between high-profile outfit Fnatic and Excel Esports.

The loser of the match will kiss goodbye to any hope of making the League of Legends World Championship at the end of the year - a potential disaster for an organization as big as Fnatic.

There is also action later in the day in North America's LCS Summer with regular season table-toppers Evil Geniuses in action against plucky Cloud9 in the second round of the upper bracket.

Plenty is at stake as the biggest teams from North America, Europe and Asia scramble to reach the iconic Worlds, which begin with the play-in stage next month.

Fnatic could be pushed close after disastrous regular season

What

Fnatic vs. Excel Esports, LEC Summer Playoffs 2022

Where

Europe

When11:00 ET, Sunday August 28th 2022
How to watch

LEC Twitch & YouTube, bet365 Sports Live Streaming

OddsFnatic -163, Excel +120

Fnatic are considered one of the greatest sides to ever grace Europe's LEC, but this year's Summer Split has been little short of a disaster for the organization.

Heading into the final week of the regular season, it seemed a genuine possibility that Fnatic would not reach the playoffs of an LEC event for the first time ever.

However, they managed to pull off three wins at the death to sneak into the top five with a 10-8 win-loss record.

But they still look anything but convincing, having lost their subsequent fourth-placed tiebreaker against Misfits Gaming, and they are far from guaranteed winners against playoff opponents Excel Esports.

The winner of this tie will progress to the second round of the LEC Summer Playoffs lower bracket, while the loser will be eliminated and have no chance of qualifying for this year's Worlds.

Fnatic last failed to qualify for the League of Legends World Championship back in 2016 so there is plenty riding on this match but incentive alone is unlikely to be enough to carry them to victory.

They will be feeling an immense weight of expectation whereas Excel can somewhat approach this match as a free hit, given they finished sixth in the regular standings.

Excel can also draw confidence from the fact they beat Fnatic twice during the regular season and it is hard to pick a match winner.

Both of these sides will be particularly reliant on their bot laners for this one, so that is an area to focus on, but ultimately this could be a match that goes the distance with over 4.5 maps appealing at +162.

Evil Geniuses face some resistance from Cloud9

What

Evil Geniuses vs. Cloud9, LCS Summer Playoffs 2022

Where

North America

When16:00 ET, Sunday August 28th 2022
How to watch

LCS Twitch & YouTube, bet365 Sports Live Streaming

OddsEvil Genuises -250, Cloud9 +175

Cloud9 battled bravely to overcome Counter Logic Gaming 3-2 in their first match of North America's LCS Summer Playoffs but their reward is a second-round encounter with juggernauts Evil Geniuses.

Odds-on to win this contest, Evil Geniuses are the standout side on the North American circuit, having beaten 100 Thieves 3-0 in the final of the LCS Spring 2022 earlier this year, before topping the standings in the LCS Summer regular season.

They won 15 of their 18 regular-season matches, having beaten Cloud9 in weeks one and eight and it is hard to see past another win for the LCS big guns.

But Cloud9 have some resilience about them, having beaten FlyQuest to fifth spot with victory in the tiebreaker before seeing off a CLG side who had an 11-7 record in the regular season.

In terms of where this match could be won, jungler Kacper "Inspired" Sloma is worth keeping an eye on for Evil Geniuses, having picked up five Player of the Game awards in the Summer Split, whereas Cloud9's strength is in the mid-laner position with Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen.

Victory over Evil Geniuses may be a bridge too far, but Cloud9 are more than capable of causing a stir in this best-of-five tussle, with over 3.5 maps a decent selection at -275, while Evil Geniuses to win 3-1 at +250 could be an even better alternative.

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