This week in the European League Championship Series, we saw an interesting pick and ban phase, with picks such as Zilean mid, Kha’Zix and Vladimir coming through as a result of recent champion adjustments made in patch 6.11.
(1-2-0) H2k-Gaming 2-0 GIANTS (0-0-3)
Although GIANTS kicked off game one with a promising start, claiming an early team fight victory, the game continued with a series of back and forth team fights. As we entered the latter stages of the game, GIANTS superior team fighting composition put pressure on H2k to close out the game. An opportunity presented itself through some team fight mismanagement from GIANTS which H2k capitalised on to take game one.
GIANTS opened up the second game of the series with some interesting pick and ban choices and they again found it difficult to deal with H2k’s Ashe and Zyra combination. Again, we saw another strategic, grinding game which H2k closed out conservatively shortly after taking baron.
On first glance, H2k shut GIANTS out, but both games felt very close which was perhaps surprising, considering GIANTS current record. Oskar “Vander” Bogdan put this down to sloppy play coupled with aggressive team compositions which punished even the smallest mistake.
(2-1-0) FNATIC 2-0 Unicorns of Love (1-0-2)
Unicorns of Love looked strong in game one against table leaders Fnatic, but unfortunately new addition Fabian “Exileh” Schubert found himself getting caught out multiple times, which resulted in a number of team fights ending in their opponent’s favour. Fnatic took this lead and eventually penetrated the defence of Unicorns Of Love to take the game.
In game two, the analysts felt that the lack of complementary picks which would benefit Illaoi, made it difficult for Unicorns of Love to execute their game plan. The player of the game was Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, who had a strong laning phase and Fnatic carried this through to victory.
Afterwards, Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten felt that his team out-drafted Unicorns of Love in both games and this, coupled with Exileh’s inexperience, enabled Fnatic to sweep the series.
(0-2-0) ROCCAT 1-1 G2 Esports (2-0-0)
ROCCAT opened game one with a slight lead over second placed G2, however, G2 managed to delay the game and subsequently gained momentum by punishing ROCCAT for even the smallest misplay. Even though G2 were behind at some points in the game, the team stayed cool and focused on their strengths to take game one.
A surprising victory for ROCCAT, after a 5K deficit in the early game, the Polish squad crawled their way back into the game through a number of consecutive team fights to clinch a victory.
After the series, Pierre “Steelback” Medjaldi noted that during a decisive team fight at dragon, the team knew they had to protect their Caitlyn and this was a crucial philosophy that carried the team through to victory.
(0-2-0) Splyce 2-0 FC Schalke 04 (1-1-0)
Here, we observed a slow and reserved game where Splyce slowly gained an advantage until a critical pick of Berk “Gilius” Demir (Gragas) developed into a baron, which allowed Splyce to gain enough momentum to complete the game with a victory.
Game two was all about Splyce as they slowly tightened their grip on this series from the ten minute mark. FC Schalke held on valiantly, but they were no match for the ever growing strength of the Splyce team, who closed out the game in clinical fashion.
(0-3-0) Team Vitality 1-1 Origen (0-1-2)
Vitality entered this series with a new energy as they were well prepared and ready to provide answers to Origen during the pick and ban phase. Moving into the game, we saw a conservative start until Origen picked out Vayne at top lane and decided to rush down baron, but a lack of coordination allowed Vitality to finish off the weakened Origen players, shifting the balance to Vitality. The final nail in the coffin came during a second teamfight in which Enrique Cedeño “xPeke” Martínez and Tristan “PowerofEvil” Schrage played overly aggressive. This was punished by Vitality, providing them with the initiative to take the opening game.
The final game of the night saw another slow game with some moments of excitement, specifically a fantastic hemoplague, followed up by a Nami wave onto an unsuspecting Vitality team, enabling Origen to pick up the baron with ease. The game ended abruptly when Erlend “Nuckduck” Holm and Victor “Reje” Eriksen were collapsed on in mid-map, after which Origen steamrolled their way to the nexus.
The analyst desk noted that this series was characterised by numerous mistakes, and a lack of decisiveness by Vitality, so they suggested that a lot of work needs to be done for both teams.