The quarter-finals of the 2019 Demacia Cup are set to kick off on Thursday, December 26. Here are our picks and predictions for the first two fixtures, with betting odds from ESB’s top-rated League of Legends betting sites.
ViCi Gaming vs Top Esports
Thursday, December 26 – 11:00 CST
ViCi Gaming (+346) earned their spot in the Demacia Cup playoffs with a dominant run in the group stage, where they clinched the top seed with a 3-1 record.
The only team that bested ViCi in the group were the reigning world champions, FunPlus Phoenix, while LinGan e-Sports, Suning and Team WE failed to see the same success against Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun and his men.
ViCi have gone through a lot of changes in December, with some of the most noteworthy arrivals being former SKT T1 coach kkOma, mid laner Deng “Forge” Jie, jungler Lee “Chieftain” Jae-yub and support Hu “Maestro” Jian-Xin.
With that, the Chinese team now boasts with a very young and talented roster. That being said, they have lost a lot of quality with the departure of their bottom lane tandem of Su “Southwind” Zhi-Lin and Ding “Puff” Wang, both of whom opted to leave for 2018 world champions Invictus Gaming.
Like ViCi, Top Esports (-666.67) finished the group stage with an impressive 3-1 record. While they lost to EDward Gaming, they made easy work of LGD Gaming, Victory Five and Gama Dream.
Top Esports made a handful of roster changes in the offseason. In December, they acquired Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan from RNG as their new jungler, which is a massive upgrade to Xiong “Xx” Yu-Long, who left the team shortly after. They also signed Ying “Photic” Qi-Shen from their academy team and welcomed back Zhang “QiuQiu” Ming as their support.
With the departure of Top Esports’ bottom lane, we believe they lost a lot of quality. ViCi might lack some quality, but they have one of the best coaching staffs in the scene. For that reason, we trust ViCi to give Top a run for their money and win two maps.
Prediction: ViCi Gaming +1.5 maps – +162 at BetOnline
EDward Gaming vs Team WE
Thursday, December 26 – 16:30 CST
EDward Gaming (-357.14) enter their Demacia Cup quarter-finals bout priced as heavy favourites to win, and we can’t argue with esports bookmakers here.
EDward Gaming went through some changes in the offseason, but to a lesser degree than some of their counterparts. Zhao “Aodi” Ao-Di joined as a top laner, whereas Wang “Hope” Jie returned to the team after his short stint in EDG Youth Team. ED also promoted Ming “Clearlove” Kai to head coach and lost Jeon “Ray” Ji-won and Hu “iBoy” Xian-Zhao to KT Rolster and ViCi Gaming respectively.
With those changes, it’s hard to say how strong EDward Gaming will be in 2020. That being said, promoting Clearlove to a head coach position is a massive move. While he failed to impress as a player last season, he is still an excellent team leader and has the tools to succeed as a coach.
If betting odds are anything to go by, Team WE (+223) will have a hard time stacking up with EDward Gaming here. Looking at their roster after all the transfers, it seems like the the bookies are spot on.
Team WE saw their ADC Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun and mid laner Su “xive Han-Wei leave for Adreeca Freecs and Dominus Esports respectively. Wan “Clever9” Zhi-Cong was demoted to the academy team, while their substitute top laner Ke “957” Chang-Yu departed. On the other side, they signed Bae “Plex” Ho-young, Chen “yimeng” Ming-Yong and a promising youngster in Park “Morgan” Gi-tae.
EDward Gaming should come out ahead here, yet we don’t believe they will manage to defeat their opponents with ease. It’s worth noting Team WE bested FunPlus Phoenix in the group stage, which leads us to believe they should win at least one map here.
Prediction: Over 3.5 maps – -227.27 at BetOnline