EU LCS Week 2 - A quick analysis
H2K vs. MYM
Outcome: H2K win
With both teams coming from a 0-2 week, a win was necessary to stay relevant in the LCS. MYM had a weak pick/ban phase, first-picking Kassadin and Graves and then, with 3 jungle champions unavailable, picking Rengar in a team with no speed-ups. Overall the MYM team had a lack of hard cc’s and little synergy for what was probably meant to be a pick-comp. On the other side H2K looked like they had a very clear strategy in mind, coming out of the pick/ban phase with a very strong team comp.
MYM initiated lane switch, and H2K responded with a jungle buddy system. Odoamne and loulex cleared together the entire jungle and headed towards the bot lane where, thanks to a great flash/stun from Voidle, they managed to get the first two kills of the game, both fed to loulex’s Jarvan IV. The early game pressure on the bot lane allowed them to take the tower early and gain a small gold lead. For a time MYM was able to stay close both in kills and gold, but it was clear that H2K had better map control and rotations. The H2K pressure was relentless, and put MYM on the wrong foot throughout the entire game, and with a better minion wave control they managed to get tower after tower and secure all the dragons of the game. The MVP of the game was undoubtedly loulex, with 94% kill participation. We must also notice that Ryu and Hjarnan also stepped up their game, both having better performances then they did last week.
MYM continue with their bad performances, focusing too much on getting a comfort pick for Blizer300 and failing to have a good team composition in the process. Whether this is due to Blizer300 having a small champion pool or not, they should nonetheless try to find a way around it and play to the strengths of the other team members.
Unicorns of Love vs. Giants
Outcome: UOL win
The pick/ban phase went extremely badly for Giants, as they handed over to UOL two powerful champions, Gnar and Rek’Sai, while also being denied Jax for Werlyb, forcing him to play Maokai. They also first picked LeBlanc and Annie first, that went on to have little impact over the course of the game. On the other hand, UOL managed to get a very strong team composition, countering Giants first two picks by choosing Kassadin and Leona.
The early game was relatively balanced as both teams managed to get kills, but it started to change at the 10 minute mark, when a failed gank and teleport on the part of Giants allowed UOL to use the high map mobility of Rek’Sai to pick four kills. The remainder of the game was punctuated by great ultimates from Kikis and Hylissang that caught the Giants team on the wrong foot ever and over again. UOL methodically took every dragon of the game along with all the enemy towers and inhibitors.
Without Werlyb on a carry top laner Giants seemed to struggle, especially with the other carries of the team not managing to step-up and pick kills.
Fnatic vs. Roccat
Outcome: Fnatic win
Both teams had a very good pick/ban phase, with Fnatic prioritizing banning Jankos and first-picking Rengar and Roccat going for a late game Tristana. Jankos stayed true to his “first blood king” nickname and thanks to a max-range hook from Vander killed Steelback for the first blood. On the other side of the map Fnatic focused on Overpow and keeping the power of his Gnar in check. With a relatively low damage team composition for the early and mid-game, Roccat went on the defensive focusing on warding, getting dragons and trying to counter the aggressive plays from Fnatic.
With nukeduck having a better performance on his LeBlanc and Jankos managing to keep track of Reignover’s map movements, Roccat took the game past the 50 minutes mark. At that point Fnatic pushed for their second baron of the game forcing Roccat to react. After a great team fight in which Reignover managed to stick to Woolite and kill him while the rest of the team was peeling for Steelback and Febiven, Fnatic aced Roccat and pushed straight for the nexus, taking their third victory in a row.
Both teams played exceptionally well, capitalizing on their strengths and the enemy’s weaknesses. Despite another loss Roccat must be proud of the way they played against one of the most aggressive teams in the EU LCS.
SK Gaming vs. Gambit
Ourcome: SK Gaming win
The pick/ban phase went well for both teams, with SK grabbing Rek’Sai and Gambit getting the Gnar/Jarvan IV combo. The game started slow with no action until the 10 minute mark, when Gambit was able to secure the first two kills of the game after losing the first two towers to SK. Having a small gold lead SK waited for picks around the map and after getting a kill on Edward they also capitalized on an aggressive tp play from Cabochard and equalized the kills. We again got to see niQ on an assassin champion that had very little impact on the game, while on the other side Fox was doing a very good job on Zed.
The whole game was mostly down to SK managing to read the map better, despite a somewhat low ward coverage, always contesting objectives and individually outplaying the enemy. We again saw a struggling Gambit that is unable to find synergy and take early advantages. Despite having a strong team fighting combo with Ganr and Jarvan IV they did not find the right engages that could have translated in a win for them. SK on the other had look strong, decisive and calculated. Both Forgiven and Fox have had great performances so far, and as a whole are the team to beat if you want the first place in the EU LCS.
Elements vs. Copenhagen Wolves
Outcome: Elements win
The game seemed to start well for Elements when they dove Youngbuck and Unlimited in the top lane. What looked like an easy kill was nonetheless delayed enough due to a good Janna play that it allowed CW to reposition to the top lane and respond with two kills of their own. CW managed to get another two 1v1 kills with Freeze in the bottom lane and Soren in the mid lane. With CW ahead in kills, Elements managed to stay ahead in gold due to good farming and focusing on getting towers instead of dragons.
Even if CW tried to keep Froggen in check he managed to stay ahead of Soren in farm and once he got hold of his core items he started decimating the CW lineup whenever ho got a chance. With a 79% kill participation, the highest of his team, Froggen was able to almost single handedly win the game for Elements, finding the right picks at the right times.
CW is a team that doesn’t seem to have a very clear strategy, and often lack in-game decision making and coordination. They often walk alone into areas with no wards and also are unable to play to the strengths of their comp. Despite having one win it must be noted that it was mostly a throw on the part of H2K, a thing that it’s not likely to happen again.
Gambit vs. Fnatic
Outcome: Fnatic win
It’s hard to envision a better game start for Gambit and a worst one for Fnatic: Reignover died to the golem camp and Gambit had three kills at seven minutes into the game. Fnatic was nevertheless undaunted by the early advantage taken by Gambit and responded with the already specific aggression. Reignover quickly recovered and was even ahead of Diamond in farm and experience. Yellowstar’s roaming again managed to make the difference, turning fights in Fnatic’s favor.
The game was close for a very long time, with Fnatic having a small edge on dragons. Everything started to go in Fnatic’s favor once they managed to get the first baron and started to push all the lanes. Febiven’s Zed became a real split-push threat, even for Cabochard on his Jax. Ever so slowly they gained more and more advantages, chipping away at Gambit’s defenses, until the gold lead was too high for Gambit to handle. It was nevertheless a very close game for the most part, and Gambit showed they improved a lot since the first game of LCS. Even if they have now four losses in arrow, next week will see them face teams from the lower echelon and two wins would help them get back on track.
Giants vs. H2K
Outcome: H2K win
H2K was the second team to ban Werlyb denying him his Jax, and Giants responded in picking for him Cassiopeia, looking forward towards the late game. The game started with a very intense level 1 fight that gave Ryu first blood and a kill to Fr3deric. H2K tried to keep Werlyb from having an impact in the game by punishing his questionable teleport plays and diving him in lane. The game was really one sided, with the entire H2K team having remarkable map presence. Giants only managed to get one tower while all the other objectives were taken by H2K.
Odoamne and loulex continued their excellent form and both Ryu and Hjarnan showed great improvements in terms of positioning and showing up at team fights, and if they manage to improve H2K will surely be one of the best teams in the LCS. On the other hand Giants do not seem to perform good once they are out of their comfort zone and will have to adapt or face being relegated to the bottom of the standings.
Elements vs. Roccat
Outcome: Elements win
This was the longest game of the LCS up to this moment, with a bit over an hour of gameplay. Elements started well, getting first blood and slowly building a gold advantage. With nukeduck playing better with each game, Roccat managed to crawl back, winning team fights, taking dragons and even two barons. At almost an hour into the game and three exposed inhibitors, Roccat pushed back the Element’s offensive and after a successful chase they managed to pick one kill and take the fifth dragon of the game. They seemed to turn around what looked in the beginning as a very strong and calculated game on the part of Elements.
The linchpin of the game came after Jankos got caught and killed while Roccat was trying to take the bottom base tower. With only four members alive, Roccat retreated in the jungle of Elements looking to take the bottom tower while Elements were heading for the baron pit. While they were able to take the bottom tower and inhibitor, this move gave elements the upper hand while attacking the Roccat base. A mistimed engage on the part of Roccat allowed Froggen and the crew to win the last team fight of the game, killing four enemy players and managing to secure the win.
SK Gaming vs. Unicorns of Love
Outcome: SK Gaming win
In the pick/ban phase SK surprised everyone by picking Kennen for fredy122 and Blitzcrank for nRated, while UOL got the Gnar/Jarvan IV combo and the Sybdra comfort pick for PowerOfEvil. SK got the first blood and the early gold lead. With some great plays on the part of fredy122 and Svenskeren SK secured dragons and towers and opened the map for their pushes. At 24 minutes into the game started what looked like a base race, with UOL in the top lane and SK in the mid. After taking the other team’s inhibitor both teams backed off and the game was wide open.
UOL tried to even the game, by taking towers and some kills and even going for the baron. However SK responded perfectly to the baron attempt, Svenskeren managing the steal it, and winning the team fight that ensued. With all the advantages on their side SK kept pushing, and in the end their level of coordination and map control was too much for UOL to handle. SK solidified the first place along Fnatic and the game between these two will surely be a delight to watch.
MYM vs. Copenhagen Wolves
Outcome: MYM win
Coming from a three loss streak the situation did not look bright for MYM, as they were looking to take their first win of the season. MYM got the first two kills of the game but were falling behind in the mid lane were Soren on Zed was dominating Blizer300’s LeBlanc. The CW strategy seemed to rely on split pushing with Zed while the rest of the team pressured the map. For a time it seemed to work very well, Soren managing to get solo kills on Blizer300 and Mimer. With a lot of physical damage on the part of CW, MYM itemized very well and eventually Irelia was able to keep Zed at bay.
The game was very close for a long time, until at the 40 minute mark MYM were able to force a fight near the dragon in which a misplay from Soren, that focused the support instead of the ad carry, handed them four kills and the first solid gold lead they had this split. While pushing the top base tower MYM noticed that Soren was in the bot lane and engaged a 5v4 fight. Despite Soren finally joining the fight MYM was able to take a decisive victory and with only MrRallez alive they were able to take the win.