It took six tries, but Astralis finally found their first win of the 2023 LEC Winter Split today. Astralis defeated a slumping Excel Esports team that came into the day desperately looking for an opportunity to turn things around. In just over 31 minutes, though, Astralis crushed any hope Excel had of turning around their Winter Split.
Today’s contest featured Astralis in rare form. Despite being winless coming into today’s game, Astralis pummeled Excel, looking like a completely different and much more dominant team. By the time they took down Excel’s Nexus, Astralis held a kill advantage of 22 to six and a tower advantage of eight to one.
The final scorelines in today’s game are demonstrative of a complete wire-to-wire victory from Astralis. They never trailed Excel in gold after earning first blood at the three-minute mark.
In light of this result, both Astralis and Excel Esports sit with records of 1-5, and the two teams are currently tied for last place in the LEC. Heading into the final weekend of the regular season before the newly minted “group stage,” the two teams would mathematically be out of the playoff hunt and would be eliminated from contention for the split’s next stage if the split ended today.
Only the top eight teams in the league advance to the group stage of a split under the LEC’s new formatting changes and things are looking grim for Astralis and Excel since they currently occupy the ninth and tenth slots in the standings.
Next week, Astralis will have an easier schedule than Excel on paper since they’ll avoid all three of the teams currently tied for first in the LEC, while two of their matchups will come against teams below the 0.500 mark. Excel will look to snap their now-three-game losing streak against Team Heretics when they return to the LEC stage on Saturday, Feb. 4. Both Excel and Astralis will likely need perfect 3-0 weeks to close out the single round-robin split in the league’s top eight.