LEC: Playoffs madness sweeps EU

“We are primed and ready.” – Everyone in the LEC

After nine gruelling weeks of competition, we are finally near the finish line with the final six in the LEC. It has been a long and tumultuous journey for the six final teams with most struggling up or struggling down during the past nine weeks of competition.

How many things changed in a month, six weeks ago we praised G2 and critiqued Fnatic, now the FNC hype train is back and G2 looks more vulnerable than at any previous point this split. And with the hype train well underway for the Worlds finalists it’s down to team Vitality to stop the train dead in its tracks.

jiizuke-vitality-team-lec-spring-2019-week-9

© LoL Esports

Vitality, under the leadership of Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi, has grown from a group of hopefuls to a full-fledged European powerhouse this split. Even though they struggled in the last few weeks with a substitute mid laner while the Italian Stallion Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro took some respite, the team is a far cry from the inconsistencies of last split and is a serious contender to take on FNC in the Round 1 of the Playoffs.

So, how do the lanes stack up in the first BO5?

Fnatic’s win conditions are more clear-cut than their opponents.  Win through Rekkles late game if the need arises, meanwhile make sure Nemesis doesn’t flop hard at mid with the help of Broxah. In fact, most of the heavy lifting in this series has to be done by jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen. He has to repeat the early dominance in the jungle matchup to carry thru the win. So, the Karthus pick has to go, in my opinion.

On the other side of the coin, Vitality’s win condition is through their superiority in mid and top. Although Bwipo has proven a pillar for FNC in some games, he and Nemesis in the midlane are out scaled against Cabochard and Jiizuke respectively.

Cabochard sports a very high activity in the top lane in regards to kill participation and overall number of kills, which is a good pointer when taking into account how lax Bwipo gets in top lane with his overextensions. The reverse is happening at mid, with Jiizuke being trigger happy way too many times, while Nemesis has kept his lane stable in the second part of the split and held even or better in most matchups. These two-lane matchups will determine who gets to be the first 2nd Rounder in the LEC.

Finally, a threat to get the hype going courtesy of lolesports.

What about Saturday’s Match?

Tomorrow, we get to witness the upstarts of SK Gaming take on the 30+ minute default winners of Splyce. If you asked me at any point during this split about Splyce or SK making it to playoffs, my answer would be a definitive no. We perceived both teams as too one dimensional with Splyce relying too much on late game prowess to win games and SK depending solely on jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek to get them to their wins.

Through their “one dimensional” strengths both teams made it to playoffs, and now it is down to Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir to outplay his jungler opponent and get Splyce to the coveted late game win scenario. Both of the junglers sport a solid 71%+ kill participation and are quite active on the Rift. The difference is that Selfmade is the clutch carry/decision driver for SK Gaming while Xerxe is more in a role of an enabler for his team then the decision driver.

The main target  for both of the junglers lies in mid lane between Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik and Marek “Humanoid” Brázda. Both of the laners for each team have similar stats and like “dying a lot” while still being effective in their lanes. Having such similar stats and habits usually is a pointer that the one that gets left behind will eventually cost his team the game.

So, best of luck to both of them in not being the player that ruins the playoffs dreams of their team.

With both Splyce and SK Gaming being the LEC dark horses in the LEC. We keep hoping that one of these two European powerhouses changes the status quo of title trading between G2/FNC and manages to upset the LEC ecosystem.

Tune in for all the playoffs action on the 29th and 30th of March at lolesports.com or via Twitch and Youtube for:

  • FNC vs VIT (Friday 2019-03-29 @ 18:00)
  • SPY vs SK (Saturday 2019-03-30 @ 17:00)