League of Legends European Championship: down to final four
“We went from six to four over the past weekend, and down to three after the next few days.”
Last week in the LEC, we witnessed the downfall of teams SK Gaming and Vitality in the most uncommon way. Best-of-five’s are indeed a very different ballgame than the regular split: we had Splyce that proved it in their matchup versus SK Gaming. Splyce showed us once again why they are 30+ minute “Splyce default win” team, as they managed to claw their way to victory in 3 out of the 4 games. We did call out SK Jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek as the main driver to put SK Gaming ahead, and we do call him out as the reason the team eventually flopped. Some questionable calls in games 2 and 4 costed SK Gaming the series in which they were arguably the more proactive and aggressive team.
In the second bo5 of the week we had Fnatic best Vitality in three consecutive games to advance in the playoffs. It was all on the back of Jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen monster performance that brought FNC over the edge. Last week, I assumed that Vitality’s Jungler Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha would punish Broxah for picking Karthus and that it would be wiser to move away from the pick. It was instead the Karthus in jungle that won Games 1 and 2 for Fnatic with the clutch “Press R to Win Game” plays. Game 3 was domination nation for FNC as Broxah popped off entirely on Reksai, enabling each of Fnatic’s lanes to edge away early and then close the game in a dominating fashion.
All in all, FNC is back and they are three best of fives away from their 2019 title.
Fnatic vs Splyce
With the knowledge of last week’s performance in a bo5 scenario we move into Friday’s match between Fnatic and Splyce. The form of the two teams looks completely different coming into this week’s matchup. Splyce managed to edge barely away with their wins and looked like the worse team in their previous matchup. On the other hand, Fnatic looks to be only picking up steam as the playoffs progress, so at this stage, it looks like a fairly uneven matchup.
Some of the key takeaways for Splyce to contest FNC on Friday have to be on removing Karthus from the equation and putting a hamper on a scaling hyper carry for Rekkles in the bot lane. If they achieve both, they might be able to scale late enough in the games for a winning team fight that would once again secure them a series
Right now it looks like a 3-0 for Fnatic.
G2 vs Origen
The second match of the week is the decider for the first finalists of the LEC, between G2 Esports and Origen. I am not even sure how to approach analyzing this two teams as they are the polar opposites in style but both have managed to make their niche work for them in this split. Where Origen does not have the absolute best talent when compared to G2, they have the full capacity of the RFRSH/Astralis culture and preparation work to deliver clean games in an almost mathematical fashion. G2, on the other hand, has the dominating performers across all three lanes and rely on pure talent to dominate their opponents. We do know that if a team comes with a solid enough game plan they can catch the talented G2 squad off guard and take a game away in a bo1 scenario. However, when it comes to pre-planning a bo5 those tricks are much harder to execute. Yet, if there is one organization that can do it, that would be Origen. When it comes to calling the winner of this series, I remain neutral and call it a “too hard to call”.
And yeah, Origen plays on Sunday April 6th at 17:00.
Read you next week, for the Rotterdam finals.