EU LCS Saturday: Only 2 spots remain for playoffs

Misfits, Fnatic, G2, and FC Schalke 04 all qualified. Who will join them?

Photo via Riot Games

Week eight was a huge one in the EU LCS. On Friday, four teams qualified for playoffs, leaving just two spots open. With four teams alive—Vitality, Splyce, ROCCAT, and GIANTS could all qualify—Saturday would be a desperate fight for those remaining slots.

Heading into the day, Vitality had the easiest shot, going against one-win H2k in the first game. ROCCAT should have had an easy one against Unicorns of Love, who were already eliminated. But GIANTS and Splyce had tough tests against Schalke and Fnatic, respectively.

Here’s everything that went down on EU LCS Saturday.

Vitality beat H2k

This one was a mismatch on paper and wasn’t much prettier in real life. Early kills in the bot lane gave much-maligned Vitality ADC Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho immense pressure. Playing a lane bully in Miss Fortune—she had only been picked 12 times so far this summer—Attila snowballed the lane and didn’t look back.

By the time H2k’s Draven came online, they were too far behind in towers and neutral objectives. They did put up a fight in the later stages, but then this happened:

With the backdoor victory, Vitality are back in the playoffs for the second time in two splits in the LCS. That’s a pretty good record for such a young team.

Unicorns of Love upset ROCCAT

This one had to hurt for ROCCAT fans. With every victory an important one coming down the stretch, they simply couldn’t afford to stumble against one of the league’s worst teams.

But stumble they did. ROCCAT picked up a sick first blood on an early roam into the mid lane.

But the next mid lane play didn’t go their way. They handed a kill to UOL mid laner Fabian “Exileh” Schubert. Exileh became a monster, almost single-handedly keeping his team in the game through the early stages. ROCCAT continued to find picks, but UOL found the one that mattered—a kill vs. ROCCAT mid Jin “Blanc” Seong-min, which led to Baron. With the buff, they broke ROCCAT’s base and ended shortly after.

FC Schalke 04 beat GIANTS Gaming

This was an interesting game. Nothing really happened until nearly 18 minutes into the game as both teams farmed up slowly. Everything was pretty even except for one position: The top lane. Schalke’s Tamás “Vizicsacsi” Kiss absolutely obliterated his counterpart in the Poppy vs. Gnar matchup. When teleports came in, one of them was much stronger than the other.

Schalke turned that fight into two kills and a mid turret. Even though staying for the turret gave GIANTS an Infernal Drake, the objective Schalke got was much more important. Mid control turned vision into the GIANTS’ red side jungle and priority over Baron. With Vizicsacsi holding down the fort in the bottom lane, there simply was nothing GIANTS could do. Schalke won without ceding a single kill, the exact performance we’d expect from a playoff squad.

With the loss, GIANTS are officially eliminated from the playoffs, while Schalke remain alive for a first-round bye. They’re only a game behind Misfits and Fnatic in the loss column.

G2 Esports beat Misfits

G2 have gone through a lot of growing pains this year. First they lost the Spring Split championship to Fnatic, marking the first time in two years that they didn’t lift the trophy.

This split, they started off hot with funnel comps but then tailed off as teams figured out how to play against it. When jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski was put back on traditional jungle champions like Sejuani and Trundle, he struggled.

Jankos used to be the best jungler in the region, and it seemed like a matter of time before he’d turn things around. That time seems to have come as Jankos dominated Misfits with Gragas. He used creative pathing to gank early for his solo lanes and had 100-percent kill participation well past 20 minutes.

With leads in the side lanes, Misfits could only hope to teamfight together. But with their top lane Kennen building for the splitpush, they just didn’t have enough damage. G2 won the game to tie Misfits and Schalke at 11 wins, though Fnatic still have a chance to surge ahead of the pack.

Fnatic beat Splyce

This game was huge for the favored Fnatic side. Splyce already locked in a playoff spot with losses by ROCCAT and GIANTS, but Fnatic had a chance to take sole possession of first place with Misfits’ earlier loss. And they did just that.

At first, Splyce were able to make up for their deficiencies in the lane phase by getting kills. But they couldn’t crack Fnatic’s outer ring of turrets, which gave map control. That allowed Fnatic to patiently set up an uncontested Baron.

Fnatic mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther pulled out his pocket Wukong again and achieved a Flame horizon before 40 minutes. Splyce simply couldn’t stand up to his pressure. And when it came to teamfights, the rest of the team came through.

With the win, Fnatic have taken sole possession of first place in the standings for the first time all split. The have one more week to prove that they’re the best team heading into the playoffs.