EU LCS Week 9 Preview- The final stretch
Last stretch, last shot, last hurdle
Despite it being the last week, there’s still a lot in the air. The only things that are certain is Fnatic, Origen and H2k in the playoffs and Copenhagen Wolves in a relegation spot. Past that point its anyone’s league with the risk of many classic EU tiebreakers. In fact, the right circumstance could lead to a two way tie breaker for second, a three way tie breaker for fifth and another two way tie breaker for eighth at the same time. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Games to watch:
Day 1- H2k Gaming (10-6) vs Origen (11-5)
The last time these two met I was hyped up for a high quality match between one of EU’s best teams and the newly promoted superstars. I was very disappointed. With added pressure of BetongJocke’s signing to H2k and their shocking loss to Copenhagen Wolves last week, hopefully Loulex will be inspired to not finish 1/8, like he did in week one against Origen, and the team might actually pull off a performance worthy of their standards.
For H2k now this is about trying to lock in the best position possible for them-selves. A win here could set them up for the two way tie breaker I mentioned earlier for second place and the semi-final bye it gives for playoffs. Landing in the third seed spot simply places them one step backwards with an extra best of series to play before getting to another showdown with Origen.
Worlds is on the cards for both of these teams as simply placing in the playoffs all but locks them into the end of season gauntlet. H2k however have the advantage of their spring championship points and could very well clinch the second worlds spot on having the most accumulative points outside of the split winner. Origen however need to win playoffs or win the gauntlet which places more pressure on every game to pick up as many points as possible. Whether or not that pressure is represented in their gameplay however, is a different story.
Copenhagen Wolves games
Day 1- Copenhagen Wolves (3-13) vs Roccat (7-9)
Day 2- Copenhagen Wolves (3-13) vs Giants Gaming (7-9)
With last week’s absolutely shocking victory over H2k, the Copenhagen Wolves have opened up a very small alleyway of hope for themselves. They are two wins away from the ninth placed team: SK Gaming. Meaning if they pick up two wins and SK lose twice, a tiebreaker for ninth place will be forced with SK 1-1 in the head to head with CW. While this seems like quite the small target to aim for, it’s not too hard to believe considering that Roccat and Giants haven’t exactly been the most consistent teams in the league. SK also has the misfortune of getting Fnatic and Elements as their last week, with one of those games being a lot scarier than the other.
All is not lost, the conditions have been set. For Dentist and his wolf pack it’s now a mixture of playing the best league of legends they’ve played all split and praying SK don’t take apart Elements or even halt Fnatic if we want to be really wild.
Day 1- Elements (6-10) vs Gambit Gaming (7-9)
Day 2- Elements (6-10) vs SK Gaming (5-11)
Now provided nothing happens at the absolute last minute, this Elements roster should first off be congratulated as the first in the team’s history to last longer than four playing weeks/eight games without a change. With this new found level of team stability, surely now the team will be able to live up its CLG-levels of wasted potential and book themselves a last minute playoff spot.
Elements have the good fortune of having Gambit as their first game, who have unfortunately been crippled at a crucial time by the loss of their AD carry: Forgiven due to overwhelmingly toxic behaviour. Their replacement ADC being Moopz, commonly remembered as the original Mid Laner for the Supa Hot Crew squad that took the LCS space of the Lemondogs last season.
Provided they can hold off a handicapped Gambit and an almost dead in the water SK, Elements could seriously upset the balance of the 7-9 trio in Gambit, Giants and Roccat. The LCS safety zone or even a playoff spot could be swept from under the feet of those teams just one win ahead of them.
Judging by the team’s meme-like history with roster swaps, I can’t honestly imagine the squad holding together much longer if they don’t escape the relegation zone here. There’s simply too much talent on the roster to be wasted away together.
Will Elements seal their fate as the European XDG? Disappointing worlds to unpopular name change to relegation.
Now’s their last chance to re-write the script.
Special upset mention: Day 2- Origen (11-5) vs Roccat (7-9)
Remember in the old generation one Pokemon games where you’d spend quite a while grinding through an area, you’ve just made it to the end but haven’t saved the game in a while. Turn that magical corner and suddenly Gary Oak is there to kick your semi-broken pokemon team’s ass? Yeah in this scenario Roccat is Gary.
Origen have power grinded through a hard split in order to try and get a worlds spot, despite entering in the summer. For Roccat to now come along and hand them a loss at a devastating time like this would be the ultimate Gary level kick in the shin. If they’re well prepared this should be ok for them, but if they’ve ignored Roccat in preparation for H2k they may be in for an unfortunate surprise.
Images courtesy of Riot Games’ flickr page