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Esports: LPL Spring 2023 Sunday matches preview

China's League of Legends Pro League is back and in the first split of the season, the action is coming thick and fast.

Saturday marked the beginning of the LPL Spring 2023 with a triple-header of matches and there are three more games to enjoy on Sunday.

The event begins with 17 teams in a single round-robin format with the top 10 set to advance to the playoffs, which features a king-of-the-hill phase and a double-elimination phase.

At the end of the playoffs, the winners and the runners-up of the LPL Spring 2023 will secure their places in the high-profile Mid-Season Invitational - one of the biggest events on the League of Legends calendar.

On Sunday, LGD Gaming take on Rare Atom in the day's first game before last year's LPL Spring champions Royal Never Give Up lock horns with Oh My God.

And in the final game of the day, Ninjas in Pyjamas take on Ultra Prime.

LGD Gaming set for another underwhelming split

WhatLGD Gaming v Rare Atom, LPL Spring
When07:00, Sunday 15th January
How to watchTwitch
OddsLGD Gaming 2/1, Rare Atom 4/11

LGD Gaming were seriously unconvincing on the LPL circuit last season, failing to make the playoffs in both the LPL Spring and the LPL Summer.

Indeed, in the LPL Spring 2022 regular season, only ThunderTalk Gaming placed below LGD Gaming, who finished with a 3-13 win-loss record.

Things did not get much better in the summer as LGD Gaming posted a 4-12 record and they responded to a poor campaign by recruiting a new top laner, jungler, mid laner and bot laner in December.

These changes are unlikely to have an instant impact, though, and they are worth opposing in their LPL Spring 2023 opener against Rare Atom, who made the playoffs in the spring last year and look a decent bet to win 2-0 at 1/1.

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Esports: LPL Spring 2023 preview

Royal Never Give Up should be a cut above Oh My God

WhatOh My God v Royal Never Give Up, LPL Spring
When09:00, Sunday 15th January
How to watchTwitch
OddsOh My God 2/1, Royal Never Give Up 4/11

Royal Never Give Up were a force in the LPL Spring 2022, winning 13 of their 16 regular-season matches in the split before taking it to the next level in the playoffs and beating Top Esports in the final.

They followed that by winning the Mid-Season Invitational but arguably peaked too early as they failed to cause much of a stir in the LPL Summer or consequent League of Legends World Championship at the end of the year.

The focus this season will be on maintaining that elite level of performance throughout the entire year and they should be helped by the signings of two new support players - Liu "Bunny" Wen-Kang and Wei "ziyou" Zhen-Jie, who both joined in January along with mid laner Xiang "Angel" Tao.

First up for them are Oh My God, who finished either side of the playoffs in the two splits last season and are not at the level of their opponents. Take Royal Never Give Up to win this 2-0 at 6/5.

Rebranded Ninjas in Pyjamas can start strongly

WhatNinjas in Pyjamas v Ultra Prime
When11:00, Sunday 15th January
How to watchTwitch
OddsNinjas in Pyjamas 8/15, Ultra Prime 11/8

They may have a new name but Ninjas in Pyjamas, formerly known as Victory Five, have the same talented roster as last campaign and can again be expected to be a force in the LPL Spring this year.

Victory Five rebranded to Ninjas in Pyjamas following a merger and will be hoping to build on a strong 2022 season in which they topped the LPL Spring standings and finished third in the LPL Summer.

Across the two splits, they racked up 27 wins and lost only five times. They flopped in the playoffs of both splits, crashing out in round three in the summer and the semi-finals in the spring but their regular-season prowess is undeniable and they are well-fancied to overcome Ultra Prime in their season opener.

Ultra Prime missed out on the playoffs in both splits last season and are unlikely to cause the Ninjas in Pyjamas roster too many problems, so back the favourites to win this one 2-0 at 13/8.

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