Photo by: Riot Games
Week 7 of the LPL brought major ranking shifts to the league. Leaders were usurped, super teams went on a free fall and former majesties are coming back to form.
Here’s our pick for the three stories that defined week 7 in the most competitive league in LoL.
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1. Suning can’t stop the leakage
For their first four matches, Suning could convince almost everybody that they really were a “super team”. With Maple and SwordArT coming from Flash Wolves and talents like H4cker in the jungle and XiaoAL up top, fans had a lot of faith in Suning.
They no longer do.
Suning have been on absolute free fall since before the Chinese New Year break. After a 4-0 start to the season, Suning have now lost six of the last seven games. They only beat LGD Gaming, the worst team in the LPL and even that series almost ended in a disaster.
At the time, Suning are not a playoffs-worthy team. They’ve only won against one of the top 8 team and that was RNG without Uzi in the very first week. Even low ranked teams like LGD and OMG are taking maps — or straight up beating — Suning. And now, in week 8, they are to face Topsports and JDG, the respective #1 and #6 team in the league.
Despite individual prowess, Suning still have macro issues to fix and their objective trades have been the death of them for the most part. The way they play at the moment, even if they clinch a top 8 spot three weeks from now, they are not looking at any respectable finish.
2. RNG end FPX win streak
Royal Never Give Up are back. Maybe not “back-back” as in “2018 back”, but they are sprinting towards the form that made them arguably the best team of last year, despite Worlds flop.
RNG spent the opening weeks of LPL lacking star ADC Uzi, but the immortal carry has returned after the Lunar New Year and with each series, RNG looks more like the team of old. The twist: they no longer exclusively rely on Uzi popping off.
Mid laner Xiaohu stood out in RNG’s series against FPX, perhaps their toughest opponent to date, given Phoenix’s undefeated streak up to that point. The Xiaohu/Karsa duet stole the show broke FPX’s back in a way the LPL leaders probably didn’t expect.
How dominant Xiaohu was, you ask? Let’s just say he shined brighter than an Uzi who died once in the two games RNG won while putting a combined KDA of 11/1/12.
The series that ended FPX’s run was also the one that most resembled RNG of old. Uzi and Xiaho were forces of nature. RNG were ruthless. They were the team so many feared to face on the Rift, and with good reason. iG might be reigning champions and Topsports might be playing pitch-perfect League of Legends, but RNG sow terror.
3. LPL has a new king — Topsports
On VPEsports’ LPL talk show Middle Kingdom Minds, Raz said that he’ll only be convinced FPX are a top-tier team once they survive the hellish four-in-a-row marathon of series in the coming days. Starting with iG on week 6, FPX would have to go through not just them, but also RNG, Topsports and EDG: high-ranked teams all.
Three series in this marathon, FPX are 1-2. Their win against iG proved naysayers wrong for a bit, but RNG and Topsports both wrestled down FPX to tarnish their perfect record. And while FPX opened strong both series, they had trouble closing and were reverse-swept.
Both RNG and TOP seem to have figured out the key to beating FPX: shut down Doinb, Phoenix’s primary shotcaller, and Lwx. As the meme goes, it’s a simple spell, but quite unbreakable.
TOP now also top the LPL, having gone on full-on massacre since their first lost in the league. TOP have now won eight of the last nine series. Their three-game win streak will likely extend to 5-0 as they play a struggling Suning and underperforming Rogue Warriors next.