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A tight encounter expected  between JD Gaming and T1
  1. Esports

Esports: League of Legends Worlds Play-in matches

It is nearly time for the pinnacle of the League of Legends season with the 2022 World Championship set to get underway on Friday and the line-up is almost complete.

The Worlds main event features the best 16 League of Legends teams from across the globe and the first three pools of teams have been confirmed with the likes of China's JD Gaming, South Korea's Gen.G Esports and North America's Cloud9 readying themselves for the tournament.

And since Thursday, the Worlds play-in stage has been ongoing, determining the final four teams to qualify for the high-profile event.

By finishing top of their respective groups in the first phase of the play-in, Fnatic and DRX secured qualification for Worlds and we are about to discover which two sides will be joining them and completing this year's line-up.

The last two places will be taken up by the winners of the play-in knockout stage with Evil Geniuses firstly locking horns with MAD Lions before Royal Never Give Up take on DetonatioN FocusMe.

The winners of each of those contests will progress to the Worlds 2022 main event and battle it out to be crowned the best League of Legends team of the year.

Humdinger expected between European and North American heavyweights

WhatEvil Geniuses vs MAD Lions, League of Legends Worlds Play-In
WhereMexico
When19.00, Tuesday October 4th 2022
How to watchRiot Games Twitch channel / League of Legends YouTube channel
OddsEvil Geniuses +138, MAD Lions -187

Evil Geniuses and MAD Lions are set to play one another for the first time in either organisation's history and there is plenty riding on the encounter.

The winners naturally secure a Worlds 2022 qualifying berth but there is also pride at stake with this being a classic match-up between North America and Europe - two of the biggest hitters on the League of Legends scene.

Evil Geniuses have already lost to an LEC side in this play-in stage and MAD Lions are fancied to come up trumps at -187.

But there was little separating the sides in the group phase of the play-in with both teams registering 3-2 win-loss records.

In terms of how the match could unfold tactically, MAD Lions will definitely be looking to Javier "Elyoya" Prades Batalla - the best jungler in Europe - for inspiration.

But Kacper "Inspired" Słoma of Evil Geniuses should be better at nullifying the threat of "Elyoya" than most and the North Americans arguably have the edge when it comes to depth and variation of play.

Both of these teams enjoyed decent summer campaigns - MAD Lions placed second in the LEC Summer standings, while Evil Geniuses topped the table in the LCS Summer.

But interestingly both also failed to reach the final of their respective summer playoffs and have been lacking that cutting edge when it matters most.

For that reason, it is hard to get too excited about either of the teams at the prices and punters should instead anticipate a high-scoring affair which could go down to the wire.

There will be no doubting the determination of either of these teams and a bet on over 4.5 maps - essentially the encounter to finish 3-2 to either side - could represent value at +163.

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Comfortable victory likely for Royal Never Give Up

WhatRoyal Never Give Up vs DetonatioN FocusMe, League of Legends Worlds Play-In
WhereMexico
When00:00, Wednesday October 5th 2022
How to watchRiot Games Twitch channel / League of Legends YouTube channel
OddsRoyal Never Give Up -100000, DetonatioN FocusMe +2500

While the clash between MAD Lions and Evil Geniuses is a close one to call, the other knockout match in the Worlds play-in stage is expected to be very one-sided.

Japanese outfit DetonatioN FocusMe have given a good account of themselves in the Worlds play-in stage so far, winning three of their five matches in Group A before battling past Brazilian side LOUD 3-1 in the elimination round.

But unfortunately for them, their opponents in the play-in knockout stage Royal Never Give Up, who are -100000 to get the win, are simply on another level.

The Chinese outfit are among the best teams in the world, having come out on top in the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year and making the quarter-finals of last year's Worlds.

They will be disappointed to have not progressed directly from the group stage in which their 4-1 record was bettered by DRX's five wins and anything other than a comprehensive victory would be a surprise.

It is much harder to find value in this one but it could be worth backing Royal Never Give Up at -12.5 on the map one kill handicap at -125 if a thrashing is expected.

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