MAD Lions vs. SK Gaming Betting Predictions | 2021 LEC Spring Split Match Analysis

The third week of the 2021 LEC Spring Split is right around the corner which means a couple of predictions are in order — this time around we’ll focus on MAD Lions vs. SK Gaming! Now, this clash might not seem all that enticing, but make no mistake: it is a spectacle waiting to happen! And, really, just writing such a sentence makes one feel… strange. How could SK Gaming — a team with four “rookies” who’ve only just started their LEC careers — rub shoulders with MAD Lions, one of the most promising young line-ups in recent history? Well, the answer is somewhat layered. If we were to simplify it, we’d argue that it’s a mix of two incredibly important components: a stacked coaching staff and intelligent scouting.

You can certainly have one of those but without the other success will always remain elusive. A well-rounded line-up without a good coaching staff to lead it won’t accomplish much (if anything at all). By the same token, a stellar coaching staff without the right players — “right” as in imbued with talent and potential — can only do so much. But when these two elements combine, awe-inspiring things tend to happen. We’ve already seen it transpire with MAD Lions last split and, to a certain extent, with Rogue as well. Although the latter of the two definitely had more time to grow and synergize.

SK Gaming is packed with the next breed of LEC talent, and watching them play has been nothing short of mesmerizing. These are some of the most capable young prospects the European Regional Leagues had to offer, and they’ve already proven their worth. Even better, they’re playing without any fear or reserve — much like MAD Lions before them. They couldn’t care less about who’s atop of the region; they’re going to put their best foot forward and compete like there’s no tomorrow. They’ve finally gotten to this point, and there’s no turning back. Right now, it’s all about trading blows with the best teams and players in Europe, and SK Gaming has been doing exceptionally well given their nascent nature.

So, simply put, if you’re into top-tier competitive League, this one is an absolute must watch!

MAD Lions vs. SK Gaming Predictions

First of all, let’s not create any unnecessary suspense: MAD Lions are favored in this one, and there’s a very good reason why. They have more experience, more synergy, they’ve already etched their names in the history books, and have nowhere to go but up. And sure, they’ve lost a bit of their edge after importing two entirely new players (building cohesion takes time, after all) but they’ve been improving at a steady pace and are no doubt a shoo-in for the playoffs.

They’re also coming in hot after taking down Fnatic in what was one of the most entertaining brawls of the split thus far.

And, frankly, they beat the former “Kings of Europe” fair and square. They didn’t start off all that well, but their mental fortitude and resilience allowed them to persevere and eventually weather the storm. It was an insanely close game, with both teams showcasing why they’re so universally revered. And sure, there were a couple of fiesta-like moments here and there, but that’s only natural seeing how both line-ups are still experimenting. In any case, it was a very impressive showing from a very potent roster — one that could, by all means, accomplish great things in 2021.

By the same token, SK Gaming looked downright incredible against Misfits Gaming as well. They looked like a well-oiled machine against a team that, on paper, was far superior. They were much faster on the map, with a clearer strategy in mind. Their draft was superior, too, and they didn’t have any trouble in converting their early leads into a commanding mid game. In fact, they made Misfits look like a bunch of scrubs, and that was surprising, to say the least.

Please Note:
To those who haven’t followed the ERLs, these players and their pseudonyms mean nothing — they’re far from household names, and yet they’re playing like absolute veterans. They deserve all the praise in the world, and it’s not just that they’d won but rather the fashion in which it all occurred. They beat a well-rounded mid-tier contender with staggering ease, which means their skill ceiling is much higher than anyone expected — they just need to harness their potential and steadily grow over time.

While it’s still too early to predict anything with confidence, it’s fair to say that SK Gaming has enough talent to contest for a spot in the playoffs. That, in and of itself, is quite an impressive feat, especially given how little time these players have had to synergize and get on the same page.

A Competitive Affair

As mentioned above, MAD Lions are favored, but it’s not as one-sided as some people would lead you to believe.

SK Gaming have a puncher’s chance. They might not be as consistent or capable as MAD Lions but what they lack in experience they more than make up for in sheer grit and determination. A special shoutout has to go to former TSM Academy support Erik “Treatz” Wessén who’s been killing it in the bottom lane. He’s the most experienced player on the roster and his leadership and shotcalling are empowering this SK line-up in all the right ways.

In the end, however, we simply have to side with MAD Lions — they’re entering the week with more hype and momentum, and much of it is warranted.

They’re not exactly consistent but neither is SK. Furthermore, Javier “Elyoya” Prades is proving to be quite a stellar pick-up. This talented Spaniard has been trading blows with some of the best junglers the LEC has to offer and is definitely one of MAD’s biggest early game catalysts.

If everyone on MAD Lions performs up to expectations, they shouldn’t have too much trouble in taking SK Gaming down.In any case, regardless of the final outcome, we should be in for one heck of a game!

Match Winner
MAD Lions
Elias Andrews / Author

Elias identifies as more of an esports geek rather than a sports geek. While he enjoys playing tennis and enjoying the outdoors once in a while, he’s most comfortable in the darkness of his self-proclaimed “man cave.” When Elias isn’t partaking in anything himself, he enjoys writing about the nuances of the esports betting world, including covering controversial takes, where esports might be headed, and why bettors should get in on the industry while it’s growing.