MAD Lions stand one match away from LEC Winter playoff qualification after surviving tough test from Astralis

It was a case of solo lane dominance from MAD Lions today.

In a series that was far more competitive than anyone could have predicted, Astralis gave MAD Lions a scare in the opening match of Group B for the LEC Winter Split. In the end, though, it was MAD Lions who prevailed, living up to their billing as the favorite of the matchup. 

Game one was all MAD Lions, with Nisqys Azir putting on a show. His 7/0/9 scoreline in the opening game should have been a marker for the rest of the series, but Astralis quickly regained lost ground and knotted things up in game twothis time with their own mid laner, Dajor, running circles around MAD Lions on Sylas. Game two, for what its worth, was a closer contest, with MAD Lions and Astralis staying relatively even through the early- and mid-game. It wasnt until Astralis strung together several picks and skirmishes that went in their favor that they found their permanent advantage. 

In game three, Astralis busted out a solo queue special in the form of a Cassiopeia-Twitch bottom lane. Jeonghoons Twitch supportwhich marked the third time the champion was picked at that position this seasonled Astralis in overall damage with a full AP build, but the poisonous bottom lane duo didnt have enough in the tank to carry Astralis past Group Bs number one seed. 

All told, MAD Lions solo laners were the prime win condition for the team in both of their victories today. 

In games one and three, Chasy and Nisqy played Ksante and Azir, respectively, in both games. Their prowess on those two champions led MAD Lions to two easy wins, with the two of them trading carry responsibilities in the two games. In game one, it was Nisqy who allowed MAD Lions to win through the mid lane, while in the decider game, top laner Chasy was an overwhelming force on Ksante in the top lane, ending the contest with a scoreline of 9/1/7 in game three.

Related: First LEC pentakill of 2023 pushes MAD Lions to joint-first place

With this win, MAD Lions have advanced to the LEC playoff qualification match, where theyll face the winner of todays G2 Esports-BDS game tomorrow, Feb. 12.

Astralis now find themselves in Group Bs losers bracket, where a matchup with the loser of the G2-BDS game awaits them on Feb. 18. Astralis failed to beat either of those teams during the Winter Split round robin.

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