EU LCS bonus Sunday: Vitality lock in second place while Schalke grab third

Vitality are on fire right now and will get a bye straight to the playoff semifinals.

Photo via Riot Games

EU LCS fans got bonus League on Sunday as FC Schalke 04, G2, and Vitality faced off in a three-team tiebreaker round robin. Because the three teams ended the regular season with identical 12-6 records, more games were required to decide who would get second place—and a first-round playoff bye.

Of the three teams, Vitality were undoubtedly playing the best. Both Schalke and G2 stumbled down the stretch yesterday when they had opportunities to lock the second seed away. Playing around jungler Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek—who joined the team halfway through the split—Vitality’s early game has simply been unstoppable.

That was the case again on Sunday as Vitality surged ahead in the tiebreakers to gain a playoff bye.

Vitality beat FC Schalke 04

This was actually a relatively calm game as far as Vitality matches go. They patiently pressed their advantages in the lanes into objectives without fighting. Schalke did a good job of stalling, but once their mid turret went down, it unlocked Vitality’s signature splitpush. Even when Schalke pushed up mid lane, Vitality stubbornly and effectively stuck with their focus on side lanes.

The game eventually got to a point where nobody on Schalke could match Vitality mid laner Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro. Jiizuke’s Ryze gave the team pressure with which to take all of the neutral objectives.

And that’s been the biggest change for Vitality this split: Their execution around Baron and Elder Dragon have been phenomenal, and that proved true against Schalke. Schalke just didn’t have opportunities to steal objectives—or even fight around them. That gave Vitality the first win of the day.

Vitality beat G2

Vitality’s win over G2 followed a similar blueprint as their match against Schalke. The game was bloodier as G2’s Luka “Perkz” Perkovic did a great job holding off Jiizuke with Zoe.

But that just meant Vitality needed another position to focus on. In this game, it was ADC Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho. Atilla was very inconsistent earlier in the year, but he has morphed into one of the regions best bot laners. Vitality let him run rampant in the side lanes with Ezreal, which again set up the rest of the team to control neutral objectives. 

The game ended on a big bot lane fight. And when the dust settled, Atilla was one of the only survivors, and he had more than enough power to take down G2’s Nexus.

With the win, Vitality are through to the semifinals for the second time. They’ll also dodge a semifinal matchup with Fnatic, to whom they lost 1-3 last split. And after proving how good they are against G2 and Schalke, the rubber match vs. Fnatic just might happen in the final.

FC Schalke 04 beat G2

The last game of the day was a real nail-biter, one that came down to full-on late game teamfights. Nearly every champion reached full build as the teams went back and forth, unwilling to give an inch.

G2 held an early lead and looked like they could end the game before Schalke could reach those late game items. With jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski back on a carry in Taliyah, they looked more like themselves. But then one big top lane fight changed everything.

One of the few bot laners who’s playing better than Atilla is Schalke’s Elias “Upset” Lipp. The mechanical prodigy is just a terror in the late game, and anytime Schalke could set up for extended fights, his Ashe came through with huge damage.

But G2 are no slouches. They were able to find enough picks and teamfight victories to extend the game. They actually felled the game’s first inhibitor. But Schalke came back with a death brush play in the mid game that killed off G2’s Ornn—their main initiator. With that threat gone, Schalke were able to walk down mid lane uncontested to end the game.

Schalke sealed third place in the region with this win. That means they’ll face off against Splyce next Friday, Aug. 24 at 11am CT. G2 will meet Misfits the following Saturday at 10am CT.