MAD Lions snatch LEC playoffs ticket with swift win against Astralis

Top four: secured.
Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games

MAD Lions punched their ticket to the next stage of the LEC Winter Split 2023 after sweeping Astralis with a 2-0 win in an elimination match. The second-placed team of the regular season reached the playoff stage thanks to a dominating performance. 

The two games unfolded in a similar manner, with MAD Lions dominating the early game and thus gaining significant advantages that led to their victory. Astralis struggled for control during teamfights, leaving their opponents more than enough space to establish their rhythm in the game. Despite the various mistakes, Astralis didn’t concede clean wins, always stealing one or two lives from the opponents’ team during each fight. 

The first game ended right after the clock hit the 30-minute mark. After MAD Lions conquered both the Dragon’s Soul and the Baron buff, the team headed towards Astralis’ base and tore it down.

Then, as if the break didn’t happen, they collected two kills immediately after the second game started as the ten players found themselves face to face in a bush. 

After twenty minutes, MAD Lions were still in charge, although Astralis didn’t make it easy for their opponents to control the Rift. Their overconfidence let Astralis get close to their base after taking down all the top lane towers. But after having repelled the attack, they moved to conquer the Baron buff with which they then took down the enemy team once more. It turned out to be the last fight of the match. 

MAD Lions made Astralis’ base crumble as their opponents were all stuck with the gray screen. Despite their shaky mid-game, they locked in their spot in the top four of the 2023 Winter Split. 

With Vitality eliminated from the competition, MAD Lions are now the highest-performing team from the regular season still left in the race for the title. Their first matchup will see them paired against SK Gaming. 

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Author
Cecilia Ciocchetti
Freelance writer mainly focusing on the League of Legends and VALORANT esports scenes. Sometimes at events interviewing professionals of the scene, from players to the talented people working behind the curtains. You can reach out to me via Twitter.