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Esports: LEC Spring Playoffs Friday preview

While it seems some time ago that China's LPL Spring and South Korea's LCK Spring finished, Europe's LEC equivalent is starting to heat up this week.

As part of a calendar restructure, the European LEC League of Legends season is now divided into the LEC Winter, the LEC Spring and the LEC Summer.

The LEC Winter has, of course, already concluded and the teams involved swiftly turned their attention to the LEC Spring, which began with a regular season in Germany last month.

It then progressed to the LEC Spring Groups and we are now into the LEC Spring Playoffs with only four teams remaining.

In the first LEC Spring Playoff match, Team BDS eased to a 3-0 win over Team Vitality to put themselves into the Grand Final.

Team Vitality, however, still have one more shot of making that Grand Final as they progress to round two in which they will face either MAD Lions or G2 Esports, with those two teams facing off on Friday.

Here is a look at how that match could unfold as the remaining teams battle it out for the LEC Spring title and automatic qualification to the upcoming Mid-Season Invitational 2023 - an international event featuring the best League of Legends teams from across the globe.

MAD Lions a difficult side to pin down

WhatMAD Lions vs G2 Esports
When12PM ET, Friday April 21
How to watchTwitch & Youtube
OddsMAD Lions +350, G2 Esports -600

It has been a bizarre year already for MAD Lions.

They started the campaign with a run to the Grand Final of the LEC Winter back in February, ultimately succumbing to a 3-0 defeat against G2 Esports but nonetheless coming close to a big regional title.

One would think that would have acted as the platform for bigger and better things, but the team completely capitulated in the LEC Spring regular season, only just making the top eight with an unconvincing 3-6 record which was matched by eliminated outfit Team Heretics.

They nonetheless moved onto the LEC Spring Groups and things still did not seem quite right for the LEC Winter runners-up, who lost their opener 2-0 against Team Vitality in Group A.

That knocked them down to the losers' bracket, but they responded with a big win over Fnatic and then defied all expectations in the Group A qualification match with a well-fancied Astralis side who they took down 2-0.

So in a topsy-turvy campaign they now find themselves in the LEC Spring Playoffs against the odds with the title only two wins away.

The bad news for fans of MAD Lions is that next up are the same team who defeated them in the final of the LEC Winter - G2 Esports.

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G2 Esports expected to progress

In South Korea's LCK, it is T1 who dominate the action, while JD Gaming are the big guns in China's LPL.

In Europe's LEC, meanwhile, it is G2 Esports who are the team to look out for.

G2 Esports were the dominant force in the regular season of the LEC Summer last year and they were strong in the playoffs until they ran into Rogue in the final and lost 3-0.

That put them on the back foot with a less favourable seeding heading into the League of Legends World Championship and a 1-5 record in the group stage suggested they still have work to do when up against the very best on the planet.

But in Europe, G2 Esports have demonstrated this year that they are the team to beat, laying down a marker with the LEC Winter title at the start of the year.

They won six of their nine matches during the regular season and lost to KOI on their way to qualifying from the LEC Spring Groups.

So there is a vulnerable side to them, but their -600 price to win this match still shows they are the team to beat in Europe.

Routine win on the cards

MAD Lions may have been poor during the regular season, but recent results should have inspired some confidence and they are a seriously unpredictable outfit.

On their day, they can beat G2 Esports but it is hard to ignore the 3-0 drubbing they endured when these teams met back in the LEC Winter when MAD Lions arguably looked a more stable opponent.

With that in mind, a win for G2 Esports is definitely the way to go and punters should consider a pretty comfortable 3-0 win for the favourites at +162.

Additionally, G2 Esports head into this match having averaged 19.9 kills per game in the LEC Spring this season - the highest in the competition - and they could be worth backing at -10.5 on the kill handicap on map one at -120.

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