With only ten days to go until the final, China's League of Legends Pro League summer season is deep into the playoff stage with only four sides remaining.
The first three rounds are done and dusted, leaving only Top Esports, Edward Gaming, JD Gaming and LNG Esports to compete for the title and top seed at the iconic League of Legends World Championship later this year.
The start of round four also marks the beginning of the double-elimination bracket in the LPL Summer Playoffs, meaning teams will not be automatically knocked out if they lose their next playoff encounter, but rather they will drop into the lower bracket for a second chance.
On Tuesday, the big match in the world of League of Legends pits JD Gaming against LNG Esports in the LPL Summer Playoffs for a spot in the semi-finals.
At the start of the LPL Summer, JD Gaming would have been expected to reach this stage but LNG Esports have been overachievers and could have their work cut out.
The winner of the best-of-five tie will face either Top Esports or Edward Gaming in the semi-finals while the loser will face the loser of the other contest in the lower bracket.
JD Gaming v LNG Esports
10.00, Tuesday August 23rd 2022
|How to watch:|
LPL Twitch / Youtube channel
JD Gaming -188, LNG Esports +137
Coming into the LPL Summer 2022, many would have expected to see Top Esports, Edward Gaming and JD Gaming in the last four but it is fair to say LNG Esports are the split's outlier.
LNG finished fourth in the LPL Spring regular season earlier this year before falling at round three in the playoffs against Top Esports.
And although they have only gone one better so far at the LPL Summer Playoffs, it is fair to say they look a much better side and they have reached this stage on merit.
They left it late to make the playoffs, qualifying thanks to a last-ditch victory over Weibo Gaming in the final fixture in week ten but they have since looked right at home.
First up in the playoffs for LNG Esports were Bilibili Gaming.
That was a tight contest with the overall gold differential having never gone past 2,000 and in the end LNG came out on top in a late teamfight to take the match 3-1.
In the next round of the playoffs, they took on Weibo Gaming once again and the energy of mid laner Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang, top laner Hu "Ale" Jia-Le and bot laner Wang "Light" Guang-Yu carried them to another 3-1 victory.
"Doinb" in particular stole the show in game two, recording a triple-kill against Weibo Gaming and picking up seven kills and five assists.
After ruthlessly bringing an end to Weibo Gaming's season, LNG then faced a strong Victory Five side who were given a bye to the third round due to their third-placed finish in the LPL Summer standings.
Victory Five had a 13-3 record, finishing the regular season on a three-match winning run, and it came as somewhat of a surprise when LNG came out on top, although they were made to work for it in the 3-2 win.
While LNG Esports have had to battle their way through the LPL Summer Playoffs to reach this stage, JD Gaming were automatically handed a fourth-round berth after placing second in the LPL Summer regular season.
They managed to match the 14-2 record of table-toppers Top Esports and actually won more individual games (30) than the regular-season winners (29) but had to settle for second spot due to their inferior games differential.
JD Gaming have therefore not played an LPL Summer fixture since Sunday 7th August, meaning they could be a little rusty, whereas LNG Esports have been flying.
As a result, LNG could be a fine bet at +110 to win the first map of this contest.
In terms of the overall match, JD Gaming are understandable favourites at -188 but it is hard to ignore what LNG Esports, who are +137 to win, are doing right now.
Avoid the match result market and anticipate this one to go the distance by backing over 4.5 maps at +163.