Manny Gomez
Manny Gomez
Manny ‘Manstr’ graduated with a degree in game design and development but fell in love with the thrill of esports. Manny has always enjoyed talking about professional League of Legends and FIFA. He has been a published video game journalist in Colombia for two different publications. Twitter: @Manster415

League of Legends Games to Watch: Week of 1/27-2/3

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With the LCS starting at the tail end of last week, we have finally seen all major regions play. With one week to go before Lunar New Year, we take a look at some of the best matchups. Don't forget you can watch all these games through ESTNN TV, watch.lolesports.com or any of the respective Twitch channels. (All times are approximate and are displayed in the Eastern Time zone if need help converting for your time feel free to use this time converter).

Wednesday, January 30th

6 AM ET Suning (4-0) vs. FunPlus Phoenix (3-0):

Suning and FunPlus Phoenix are the two remaining undefeated LPL teams of the split. Suning has been putting some major work with stars Huan “Maple” Yi-Tang and Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh leading the charge. Suning looks to be one of the best teams in the LPL and has proven they can take care of the lower-end teams. Suning does face their biggest challenge so far and look to gain a bigger lead on the top of the standings.

Thursday, January 31st

3 AM ET Griffin (4-0) vs. SK Telecom (3-1):

Griffin still looks to be the best team of the LCK. While they are a step above from the rest, it feels like Griffin still needs to prove they can go undefeated. SKT, on the other hand, have only dropped their series against SANDBOX gaming and have proven to be one of the better teams in the LCK. SKT is hoping to be the LCK representatives for MSI, and it seems that Griffin will be the final boss on their path to accomplish this goal. If SKT can take down Griffin, it will be interesting to see how Griffin responds after their first loss. From what we have experienced it seems highly unlikely that Griffin will be dropping too many games. Griffin will want to prove that they really are a cut above the rest and hope to continue their undefeated run.

6 AM ET Gen G. (1-3) vs. KT Rolster (1-3):

In the past being one of Korea’s representatives meant that you were one of the best teams in the world. Last year that changed when Gen G. became the first Korean team to not make it out of the group stage at the Worlds’ stage. KT was part of the derailment as they failed to make it past the quarterfinal. Due to the disappointing results by both teams, they decided to make changes to their line-up in hopes of regaining the recognition as the best in the world. Sadly, for both of these teams that is far from the reality. Thanks to the rise of the “new blood” teams, who have been dominating the season so far, Gen G. and KT are looking to stay above the relegation line and fight for a chance to playoffs. This game has a lot on the line as teams hope to end on a good note before the Lunar New Year break.

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Friday, February 1st

1 PM ET Splyce (3-1) vs. Schalke 04 (3-1):

Splyce had an impressive week 2 even going so far as defeating their 1-1 curse. They will be facing one of the better performing teams in the league so far in Schalke 04. The mental edge might be on S04’s side as they did defeat Vitality (3-1), the only team to have defeated Splyce at this stage. Some might argue that Splyce has yet to face a true challenge, this could be their first chance to show how strong they are, but with the fashion in which they have won their games, you could argue that they have a chance against Schalke. During the offseason, Schalke decided to build a team around bot laner Elias “Upset” Lipp, and it has proven to be a success. This will be a tough match that can give a better idea of where to rank these two teams.

2 PM ET Fnatic (0-4) vs. Rogue (0-4):

Fnatic shows up again on our Games to Watch because they face the only other winless team of the league. With an extremely woeful start, Fnatic and Rogue are both hoping to be able to get their first win on the board. Fnatic has a lot riding on this game, as they are the defending European champions and Worlds Finalists, another loss could mean an improbable playoff appearance for the first time since 2016. A lot of eyes are on the bot lane due of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov as they have shown an inability to be on par with the rest of the LEC competition. Rogue does seem to have some excuses as they are undergoing their first split as a League of Legends organization, but they are still looking for their first win and seem to have a chance against a sluggish Fnatic.

Saturday, February 2nd

3 AM ET Griffin (4-0) vs. SANDBOX gaming (4-0):

Being undefeated in the LCK is never an easy task and should never be an understatement at how good a team can be. Griffin is making this feat seem like a walk in the park. SANDBOX has been a pleasant surprise so far this split, even taking out a strong SKT matchup in a close 2-1 series victory (still the only game that they have dropped). Even though this will be the second game of the week for these teams (against tough opposition as well), this could be an important match to set up the rest of the split. Griffin will be facing the two best remaining teams this week and if they are able to pull off another impressive 2-0, then it will be clear that Griffin will only have themselves to blame if they can’t become the Spring Split champions.

11 AM ET G2 Esports (4-0) vs. Splyce (3-1):

G2 Esports are the only undefeated team remaining in the LEC after Team Vitality defeated Misfits in the last game of week 2. G2 Esports had a difficult game against Excel Gaming but still showed a dominant game and strong performance by Rasmus “Caps” Winther. Splyce have a tough week having to face two of the best teams in the LEC, but with such a strong start they look to prove to everyone that they are also one of those top teams. Marek “Humanoid” Brázda is going to have a tough matchup against Caps but can try to be one of the first mid laners to really challenge the Worlds’ finalists. G2 are still the team to beat and it has started to feel like there is no team that can take them on. If G2 do drop a game, that should give plenty of confidence to the other teams in the league that they too could take on G2.

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7 PM ET 100 Thieves (0-2) vs. Team Liquid (2-0):

Last year during the Spring split 100 Thieves was considered one of the best teams in North America. Yet, during the Spring Split Finals, they were quickly dispossessed by a strong Team Liquid lineup. After the offseason, both these teams seemed to have made acquisitions that made them two of the best teams of the region on paper. After the first week, we see that 100 Thieves still has work to do on the synergy of their new roster. On the flip side, TL has shown that they are still one of the best teams in the league, the main difference to last year is that they don’t seem to be as dominant. This gives us an interesting match to watch and see how much these teams have changed in one year. 100 Thieves will probably be hoping for better results as they hope to still be in consideration as one of the better teams in the league.

Sunday, February 3rd

6 PM ET Team SoloMid (1-1) vs. FlyQuest (2-0):

FlyQuest might have flown under the radar for a lot of people during the offseason but after an impressive set of matches, they are looking to be one of the teams to make a mark during 2019. Having yet to have faced a tough challenge they look to take on a revitalized TSM. TSM showcased some impressive moments during their 1-1 week. During their game against Clutch Gaming, they showed some great individual skill with their new top laner Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik being the star of the show until CG pulled off some amazing team fighting to pick up the win. This will be a big test for both teams as they want to gain momentum at the start of the season and pick up much-needed wins. It will also be crucial for Eugene “Pobelter” Park to keep showing that he is one of North America’s greatest talents.

What have been your biggest surprises so far? Any games we are missing? Let us know through our Twitter. Also be on the lookout for both the LEC and LCS predictions coming out later this week.

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