LPL 2022 Summer Playoffs is coming to an end with the grand final between Top Esports and JD Gaming this Thursday. The winner will represent China as the first seed at Worlds 2022, while the loser will take the second seed and most likely face a stronger team in the group stage.
Two teams have faced in what was one of the best series in 2022 earlier at upper bracket final, and the grand final will be the rematch. Top Esports and JD Gaming were definitely the best two teams in the LPL this season, proved by their record in the regular season, and it will be a treat to watch them in a best-of-five once again.
The Grand Final is coming
The grand final of the LPL 2022 Summer Season will offer a final showdown for Top Esports and JD Gaming. TES and JDG finished the regular season in the top two places and didn't lose their first series in the playoffs, facing each other in the upper bracket final. TES lost the series 3-2, but it could have gone either way.
The series between Top Esports and JD Gaming offered a great amount of entertainment, but it also points out a lot for the grand final. After falling behind 2-0, JD Gaming stopped the sweep and proceeded to reverse sweep TES, making it to the grand finals and forcing TES to play against EDward Gaming.
While this shows how mentally strong JD Gaming's highly-skilled roster is, it also shows the gap between these two teams and the rest of the LPL teams. TES and JDG lost games but never looked close to EDG or LNG. This is truly the clash of the best teams in China.
There are some points that both teams needed to work on before the grand final. In the first TES vs JDG series, we saw Kanavi dominating Tian for most of the series. Tian deserved the MVP award in the regular season, but he should work hard before facing Kanavi again. While Tian looked good in game four, this time, Hope and Missing outperformed JackeyLove and Mark by baiting them into Lucian - Nami.
Lucian - Nami duo was played in the first four games of the series and lost every single one of them. Both TES and JDG managed not to give this strong duo any advantage in the early game thanks to their own strong picks like Draven, Kalista and Zeri. Following that, they also managed to dodge Lucian - Nami's second power spike, mid-game. Which resulted in a 6-9-9 JackeyLove in the fourth game.
Although knight wasn't perfect in the fifth game with Taliyah, mid lane will not be decisive in this grand final match. Both knight and Yagao perform amazingly and they are on top of their form. Top laners Wayward and 369 play on an island, and Tian and Kanavi are only relevant when they are able to put their bot lane ahead or steal some objectives.
So, we can clearly say that the winner will be decided in the bot lane. If you see a poor draft with a weak bot lane for one side, you can even consider betting against that, JL and Hope look amazing this year and they will make a difference whenever the chance appears.
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When is the grand final?
The grand final will be played tomorrow:
Thursday, September 1
Top Esports (1.85) vs JD Gaming (1.85) - 11:00 CEST
Both teams include superstars, JD Gaming has Kanavi, Yagao and Hope while Top Esports have Tian, knight and JackeyLove. It's very hard to determine a winner here, but we definitely expect another "banger" series that will be resolved in the fifth game. Even the betting odds indicate equal quality in the teams.
Top Esports didn't struggle against EDward Gaming. They have proved that their only match is JDG in the LPL. Considering the first best-of-five these teams had, they are definitely a strong candidate for winning the LPL and taking the first-class Worlds 2022 ticket.
However, my favourite for the series is JD Gaming. Looking at their performances from the regular season and the way they reversed the series against Top Esports earlier, I think they play slightly better League of Legends and they definitely deserve the trophy. Either way, I expect a five-game-long marathon from these beasts.