Astralis upset Schalke 04 today to secure their second victory of the 2021 LEC Spring Split.
Mid-split roster swaps are a controversial part of competitive League of Legends. Although they’re often used as a fix for poor performance, they can lead to poor synergy and more issues than they were intended to fix.
When Astralis announced the mid-season signing of mid laner MagiFelix earlier this week, many pundits were concerned that the change would simply exacerbate the in-game problems that had left the team with only a single win in their first three weeks of play. But those fears turned out to be unfounded today after Astralis picked up one of the fastest victories of the 2021 LEC Spring Split so far.
The game began with Atralis securing a healthy advantage in the draft. Jungler Zanzarah gained a reputation for his Skarner gameplay during his time on AGO Rogue and Schalke gave him the opportunity to show off his pocket pick by allowing it to slip through the pick and ban phase. He proceeded to put on a jungle masterclass on the Crystal Vanguard, permanently ganking his lanes while Gilius’ Gragas was left in the dust.
This game was a breath of fresh air for Astralis fans and gave glimpses of what this team can look like at their full potential. Zanzarah’s ability to set up for his lanes pairs perfectly with Promisq’s aggression and MagiFelix’s roaming style. All that remains is for the team to find successful jungle picks outside of Skarner and things may be on the up and up.
Schalke’s inconsistency is beginning to be a worrying trend for them in the LEC. Despite securing wins against the two strongest teams in the league, they’ve also looked incredibly shaky in matches against squads that are, on paper, far weaker opponents.
Their games against G2 and Rogue showcased the upper limits of the team’s potential, applying early pressure and allowing Gilius to path where he pleased in the enemy jungle. But their losses have looked scrappy and uncoordinated, leaving many wondering what the peak performance of this team really looks like.
This loss to Astralis will be a heavy blow to the roster that dealt Rogue their only loss so far this split. They’ll need to work on their resilience to gank-focused junglers if they want to break into the top of the LEC standings.
Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more esports news and analysis.