10 games played, just 10 more to go! This week we met the first two qualified teams, Fnatic (who are already confirmed first), and Splyce, who extended their positive sequence to surpass a disappointing G2 Esports in order to get hold of second place and get themselves in a good position to lock the second bye to the semi-finals.
The other teams meanwhile traded blows between each other, and as a result, everything is open, with all 8 sides arriving to the decisive week with realistic chances in reaching the playoffs.
Unicorns of Love v Team Vitality
That is the Vitality we were looking for! Starting out week 8, Team Vitality claimed a very convincing and solid win against the uprising Unicorns, and are almost mathematically guaranteed in the playoffs.
With a dominant performance since the start, it is true that they were sloppy at times, conceding easy kills for the Unicorns which dragged the game for longer than supposed. But after taking the second baron of the day, they managed to close out the game in a little more than 37 minutes to move to 9-6 in the standings.
Notable Performance: Minitroupax (4/1/6) on Jinx. It is always hard to effectively play Jinx due to her lack of escapes, but with a flawless positioning – and of course with Jactroll’s Tahm Kench ready for the rescue whenever needed – he bombarded the Unicorns from the backline to end the game having dealt almost the half of the damage of his team.
Giants Gaming v Schalke 04
And this is also the Schalke we were finally looking for throughout the entire split! With one of their best performances this year, they managed to break their losing streak, and keep their hopes in reaching the playoffs alive.
As many games throughout the last weeks, it was marked by a very equilibrated and indecisive early game, with Schalke managing the breakthrough after a suicidal engage by Djoko. Nukeduck cleared house, and the side from Gelsenkirchen walked away with the baron. Schalke build up momentum, and quickly opened up the path to Giants’ base, closing out the game after another massive display from their carries.
Notable Performance: Upset (10/2/5) on Caitlyn. Slowly but sure teams should start learning that leaving Caitlyn for Upset is a bad choice. Once again with a flawless performance as the Sheriff of Pitlover, Giants couldn’t find a way to him in most fights, leaving his path more than open to collect kills and deal tons of damage.
Misfits v Splyce
And the fight for 2nd is on! With another superior macro performance, Splyce defeated Misfits, and proved that they can indeed fight for the bye to the semis.
A game marked by Splyce’s superior macro instead of team fights, they used their superior vision control at the Baron pit to steal away the neutral objective in their favor, which they used on a mercilessly effective way: pushing the bot lane, Sencux tried an engage from behind, but didn’t manage to hit Kobbe, who completely unopposed, auto attacked his former teammate to death. With the numbers advantage, Splyce got a few more kills to close out the game after the first 5-on-5. League of Legends can be so simple sometimes.
Notable Performance: Xerxe (3/1/6) on Zac. In a game marked by a strong collective performance rather than individual moments of brilliance, Xerxe did his part well to secure Baron and keep Misfits’ carries busy enough to allow his own carries to deliver the DPS in the pivotal fight.
G2 Esports v H2K
Likely the biggest upset of this split so far, G2 Esports wasted a huge lead, and lost to last-placed H2K, who keep alive their playoffs hope, while G2 are at serious risk of losing the all-important 2nd place and the bye directly to the semi-finals.
26 minutes into the game, 11 to 0 kill score, and an 8k gold lead. Normally an indication that the team in control will close out the game soon. But that is not what happened. Shook’s Skarner went for PerkZ, managing to deliver the Syndra to the awaiting arms of his team. At the end of the fight, a 3 for 1 in favor of H2K, which meant Baron for the trailing side, who went on the offensive, shrinking down G2’s lead.
And then it was time for their late game composition to shine: after taking down the 2nd Baron of the game as well as the Elder Dragon, they went for G2’s Nexus, managing to take it into without much resistance offered.
Notable Performance: Selfie (4/2/4) on Azir. H2K didn’t have any particular stellar individual performance against G2, with their victory coming rather due to their collective merits – and G2’s mistakes. But nonetheless, Selfie delivered a safe performance, dealing the necessary damage to burn down enemy champions, neutral objectives and structures alike.
Fnatic v ROCCAT
Cleaner impossible. A textbook performance by Fnatic to defeat ROCCAT in just 34 minutes to secure their playoffs spot.
In complete control since the First Blood for Rekkles at the 10th minute, the leaders gradually built themselves a huge lead, and after taking down Baron after 28 minutes, went straight to ROCCAT’s base in order to easily close out the game with a 10 to 0 kill score, being only one turret away from a perfect game.
Notable Performance: Rekkles (5/0/5) on Caitlyn. In games that Fnatic dominate their opponent, the star ADC is usually the reason for it, and today was not different. After getting himself first blood, he quickly snowballed his lead, and the led the charge as his team easily took down ROCCAT.
Misfits v Giants Gaming
What a disastrous week for Misfits, who now somehow are at serious risk of staying out of the playoffs – something unimaginable at the start of the split. Giants meanwhile, recovered from the loss against Schalke 04, and moved to 7-9 alongside Misfits, but holding the favorable head-to-head – which can become so much important.
With Sencux surprisingly locking mid Sion, things started well for Misfits, who opened a good lead early. But that was all they offered today: with a more equilibrated and coordinated fighting composition, Giants decided the full on 5v5’s in their favor, and gradually opened a massive gold lead in order to end the game in convincing fashion in 32 minutes.
The final week of the split will definitely be a very intense one for both organizations, but the way they will enter the final games from a mental point of view can make all difference. Can Misfits show the fortitude to overcome this week and still make into the Top 6?
Notable Performance: Steeelback (8/0/3) on Caitlyn. Once again an ADC with an outstanding performance, and once more on Caitlyn, who seems to be definitely back in the meta. Well-protected by his team, the Frenchmen used the chance to deal tons of behind from behind, helping his team winning important fights throughout the game.
Week 9 Matches: Misfits vs ROCCAT and Unicorns of Love; Giants Gaming vs Fnatic and Splyce
Splyce v H2K
With their fifth win in a row, Splyce secured their spot in the playoffs with a very convincing win over H2K, and have excellent chances to even secure a semi-finals bye next time. Meanwhile for H2K, despite the loss, they still have a shot at reaching the Top 6 next week, but the competition will be hard, with 6 teams fighting for the remaining two spots.
It was a text-book performance by Splyce: despite losing Baron, they nearly aced H2K, and used the numbers advantage to open up the map, building a considerable gold lead. After getting themselves the second Baron of the game, they went for H2K’s base, Xerxe engaged on Smittyj, Kobbe cleared house with a Triple Kill, and simple as that, took down the Nexus – without conceding a simple kill the whole game. A victory with statement for Splyce, who will arrive in the playoffs with real chances in reaching their first ever EU LCS final.
Notable Performance: Kasing (0/0/8) on Lulu. This time on a more passive support, he did his job extremely well, protecting the carries from any harm that could be possibly done. And as a bonus, he and Odoamne delivered once more a very special interview after the victory.
Week 9 Matches: Splyce vs Team Vitality and ROCCAT; H2K vs Schalke 04 and ROCCAT
Team Vitality v ROCCAT
Is there any better way impossible to recover from a tough loss than inflicting someone else an even harder loss the day after? ROCCAT did exactly that with Team Vitality today.
Showing proactive plays across the map in the early game, ROCCAT quickly opened a respectable lead, which in turn, became a massive one after taking out Baron. With the powerful buff in hands, they went for Vitality’s base, almost managing to take out the Nexus before being forced back. Vitality then went for the famous “desperation play”, which however didn’t work: despite taking the 2nd baron of the game, ROCCAT easily won the fight, and came back to their base to finish up the job.
Notable Performance: Blanc (4/0/6) on Azir. The Korean indeed put his hard carry boots against Vitality. With over 23k damage done, he dealt more than the twice of the damage anyone else did during the game.
Week 9 Matches: Team Vitality vs Splyce and G2 Esports; ROCCAT vs Misfits and H2K
Unicorns of Love v Fnatic
With Bwipo starting for sOAZ today, the rest of the team made the rookie as comfortable as possible to secure an easy win and subsequently, first place and the all-important bye to the semi-finals. Meanwhile, for the Unicorns of Love, the week was a big setback in their “miracle run”, but they have next week a final shot at the playoffs.
Once again in control for the entirely of the game, the Unicorns didn’t stand a chance against a very effective Fnatic side, who used their advantages well to earn an easy victory in just over half an hour.
Notable Performance: Bwipo (1/0/8) on Sion. The first game on the LCS stage is naturally a big accomplishment in a pro player’s career, so it is natural that some feel nervous or pressured, which obviously can have an impact on the player’s performance. But no one of that could be noticed from Bwipo, who played like a true veteran, doing his job efficiently during Fnatic’s smashing victory over the Unicorns.
Week 9 Matches: Unicorns of Love vs G2 Esports and Misfits; Fnatic vs Giants Gaming and Schalke 04
Schalke 04 vs G2 Esports
A revitalized Schalke 04, a big mistake by PerkZ and a completely lost G2 Esports side. Likely the simplest way to describe the game who ended Week 8 in Europe, Schalke put a strong show against the defending Champions, but had their own job cut short by individual mistakes and many doubtful team play decisions from G2, which included a very questionable engage by PerkZ, simply astonishing Deficio.
At the end, an important win for Schalke to claim their first 2-0 week of the split, remaining thus alive in the fighting for the playoffs, whereas for G2, the warning signal is officially on: without showing big improvements in the next weeks, it will be very unlikely for this line-up to win a fifth European title in a row for the Spanish organization.
Notable Performance: Upset (6/1/5) on Caitlyn. In a week marked by great ADC showings, nothing more fit that mention Upset’s performances against G2. Once again showing flawless positioning skills, which keep him safe while outputting the highest DPS as possible, the young German is definitely making a strong case to become to receive the Rookie of the Split award. If he is able to repeat this week’s performances, Schalke have a more than reasonable chance at completely their unlikely run, and reach playoffs.
Week 9 Matches: Schalke 04 vs H2K and Fnatic; G2 Esports vs Unicorns of Love and Team Vitality
And once again, that was all here in Europe. Now the attention turns towards the final and decisive week, the one we were all waiting for since the start of the regular season: which 6 teams will continue fighting for the European crown?
With all sides sitting incredibly close to each other in the standings, it is very much possible that the last spots will only be decided through tie-breaks… well, after all, what is the EU LCS without some ties? So make sure you have the popcorn ready, because we are for a long, exciting and unpredictable final showdown in the regular season of the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split.
2018 EU LCS Spring Split Standings after Week 8:
1- Fnatic 12W 4L
2- Splyce 10W 6L
3- G2 Esports 9W 7L
3- Team Vitality 9W 7L
5- Misfits 7W 9L
5- Giants 7W 9L
5- Schalke 04 7W 9L
8 Team ROCCAT 6W 8L
8- Unicorns of Love 6W 8L
8- H2K 6W 8L
(Pictures courtesy of Riot Games)
Disclaimer: The following article was written freely based on the author's opinion, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance.
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