In the second EU LCS quarterfinals match, G2 were expected to be big favorites over Misfits. Sure, G2 haven’t had the cleanest year as they’ve integrated four new players around mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perkovic.
But this is still playoff G2. They still deserve respect for four straight EU LCS championships and a finalist finish last split.
It didn’t help Misfits’ case that they’ve been absolutely garbage throughout the second half of this split. They’ve been unable to find anyone to step up as a carry in the lane phase. So it surprised everyone when Misfits came out hot in game one, won the lane phase, and took the game. Here’s how the match went down in its entirety.
Misfits shock G2 in game one
Misfits had problems all over the map as they struggled to finish the split. Other bot lanes started catching on with marksmen counter picks, which made Misfits’ lane phase more predictable. And they were unable to push either solo lanes to relieve pressure on the bot side.
The biggest weakness was mid laner Chres “Sencux” Laursen. The team stubbornly tried carry picks like Akali on Sencux to counter the control mages that were creeping back into the meta. But Sencux had no lane control or synergy with jungler Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian.
So against G2, Misfits debuted a surprise mid lane Twisted Fate. TF isn’t the strongest pick at any point in the game, but he can clear waves and influence the side lanes. But still, Misfits needed a side lane to play around.
Turns out, both side lanes won comfortably. Top laner Barney “Alphari” Morris, who in the past has looked strongest on splitpushers, managed to find a solo kill on Cho’Gath, one of the game’s preeminent tanks. And bot laner Steven “Hans Sama” Liv snowballed to a huge advantage on Kalista, another pocket pick that totally neutered G2’s own marksman, Kog’Maw. With Misfits winning everywhere, they were able to take everything off the map:
G2 never got to the point where Kog’Maw was relevant and Misfits easily steamrolled the map. It was the cleanest game we’ve seen from them in months. But now they have to do it two more times to complete the upset.
Misfits come back to win game two
G2 fought back in game two by drafting Ryze for Perkz and banning Kalista. On red side, Misfits waited until the last pick to reveal their mid lane counter: Malzahar.
To say it didn’t work would be a massive understatement. Perkz doubled Sencux’s CS just four minutes into the game and absolutely dominated the matchup. For most of the game, it looked like we’d get a flashback to yesterday, where Schalke’s Ryze basically won the game by himself.
But the rest of Misfits didn’t let that happen. They took dogged control of Baron vision and caught out G2 again and again before finally taking that objective. G2 found a big fight in the bot lane to stabilize, but Misfits just ran it back for a second Baron, and with it, the game.
G2, all of a sudden, are facing match point, a place nobody expected them to be before the series. More importantly, they’re getting too cute with things like the Kalista ban: They know they can’t win a full teamfight against Hans Sama regardless of what he plays.
They need to get top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen in the game and focus on the solo lanes that have been their strength all split. Banning Alphari’s Cho’Gath, which has turned Misfits from a tepid Baron team to one that’s bold around that objective, could be a good start.
Hans Sama giveth and Hans Sama taketh away
The pocket picks kept coming for Misfits in the third and final game. Hans Sama got his trademark Draven and Maxlore picked up Poppy in the jungle.
With the diminutive Yordle, Maxlore had his best game of the series, getting first blood for Draven on a level two gank in the bot lane. G2 jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski continued to ignore his solo lanes in favor of trying to prop up the bot lane, and it didn’t work.
Misfits turned their tremendous kill lead into an inhibitor, but then two straight fights went G2’s way when they were able to catch the Draven out of position. For a brief moment, it look like Hans Sama had thrown the game.
But all those fights did was buy time. G2 were unable to take major objectives afterwards, and once again, the fight was to be had near their base. The third time, Hans Sama didn’t flinch—in fact, he flashed forward to end G2’s hopes.
With the win, Misfits are through to the semifinals in Madrid and a date with top-seed Fnatic. Moreover, they’ve proven that they can win vs. a superior mid lane talent and pull out late-game fights. This is the Misfits team we were used to seeing to start the split, and it’s great to see them back again.