EU LCS Friday: Troll builds and playoff fights

Some teams are taking it easy this weekend while others are fighting for playoff seeding.

Photo via Riot Games

The last week of the LCS season is always a fun one. With four EU teams still in the running for the top playoff seed and a first-round bye, we should see some exciting games.

On the other end of the spectrum are the teams that have already been eliminated. This is a chance for them to let loose: troll picks, role swaps, and funky strategies should all be on the menu. The fact that all of those have actually been a regular part of the professional meta this split just makes it even more interesting.

Here’s a recap of all the action in the EU LCS on Friday Aug.17. This article will be updated as each game finishes.

Unicorns of Love beat H2k

Consider this game firmly on the “taking it easy” side of the spectrum. Unicorns of Love picked Malphite top lane, which isn’t totally troll. He’s been picked over 30 times this split, mostly in the LPL and LCK, the strongest regions in the world.

But then UOL top laner Matti “WhiteKnight” Sormunen built a Dark Seal. After that, he added on a Hextech Protobelt. Yup, that’s an one-shot, AP Malphite build. The troll was on. 

Malphite got absolutely wrecked in lane by Gnar, but UOL’s mid and bot lanes were so far ahead that they could just fight with abandon. That’s what UOL have always done best.

That’s an AP Malphite’s dream: the team carries and you can just ult in and blow people up whenever you want. After a pretty tough split, it was a nice, fun game for WhiteKnight and the rest of UOL.

FC Schalke 04 beat Splyce

In contrast to the first game, this one was totally serious. Schalke are one of the hottest teams in the league and still have a shot at the number one seed. They came out with a disgusting teamfight composition featuring Cho’Gath, Sejuani, and Alistar as the front lines with Vladimir and Ezreal putting out damage.

Splyce countered with a few tanks of their own and a better split push mid laner in Yasuo. Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer’s Yasuo eventually pushed to the inhibitor turrets, but that’s where Schalke held the line. They took control of mid lane with some great teamfights: imagine a Ezreal piling damage on top of a Vlad ult while the enemy team is CC’d by the tank line. That gave Schalke Baron control.

Schalke were unable to end with Baron but they still had the better teamfight comp. Even down a member, they were able to win the game around Elder Dragon. With the win, Schalke remain in the running for a playoff bye.

G2 beat GIANTS Gaming

This was a dangerous game for G2 because GIANTS seem to have their number in recent years. And GIANTS’ jungler Charly “Djoko” Guillard got off to a tremendous start in the Friday match, taking Olaf and picking up a slew of early kills. 

But rather than panic, G2 stayed together. When GIANTS tried to split them apart, G2 grouped up and took a free Baron, which reset the game. GIANTS could not hold off the Baron-empowered push and G2 surged to the finish.

Fnatic beat ROCCAT

The story of this year for Fnatic has been the rise of mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther. He’s always had raw mechanical skill, but for years this was ADC Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s team. Rekkles has taken a lot of time off during the Summer Split and the team has looked to Caps to carry.

Caps certainly carried Friday’s victory over ROCCAT. Even with Rekkles back in the lineup, all eyes were on Caps’ LeBlanc, and it was absolutely filthy.

The problem was, when Caps wasn’t one-shotting his opponents, ROCCAT actually had chances. They stayed in the game by teamfighting around engages by Lissandra and Leona, two pocket picks that haven’t been popular in competitive play.

But when Fnatic decided to finally buckle down and fight together, ROCCAT could not stop them. 

With the victory, Fnatic have sealed a playoff bye while Schalke’s chances at the number one seed are over. 

Vitality beat Misfits

Misfits have fallen hard in the second half of the split. Their strong start still had them in position for first place, but over the last several weeks, their only wins have come against H2k and Unicorns of Love. Vitality made sure that their losing streak would continue on Friday.

Things started off poorly as Misfits ADC Steven “Hans Sama” Liv was forced to blow flash at level one. Misfits should have had priority in the bot lane, especially on blue side which favors bot, but instead it was Vitality who put resources on that side of the map. Draven is one of Hans Sama’s signature champions, but it was Vitality ADC Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho’s Draven that took over the game.

Misfits were able to capitalize on some Vitality mistakes in the mid game but when Vitality took Baron, the game was over. They were just too far ahead.

With the loss, Misfits fell into a massive tie for second place with Schalke and G2. And judging by the way they’re playing, it will be extremely tough for them to keep pace and earn a playoff bye.