To absolutely no one’s surprise, when the EU LCS awards for the 2018 Summer Split came out, Fnatic mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther was front and center. Caps isn’t just the best mid in the region, he’s pretty likely to win MVP, which would make it the second straight split a Fnatic player has taken the honor.
It was a bit more surprising that two of Caps’ teammates also made first team: jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen and support Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov made the list, along with G2 top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen and FC Schalke 04 bot laner Elias “Upset” Lipp.
Caps’ synergy with Broxah has led to Fnatic’s success this split, especially in the absence of longtime bot lane star Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. Fnatic’s substitute top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau took over that bot lane role and was placed on the second team for his results.
The fact that the Fnatic stars won so much recognition would have you believe that Fnatic had a banner split. That they did well is unquestioned, but at 13-5 with losses to playoff teams G2, Misfits, and Vitality, they were just barely ahead of the competition.
Meanwhile jungler Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek only started half a split for Vitality, but his ability to impact the team’s early game turned their season around. And while Bwipo has been decent as the meta has shifted back to ADCs in the bot lane, Vitality bot laner Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho took a big step forward this split and wasn’t recognized at all.
The fact that no Vitality member got on the first team despite their second-place finish may indicate that voters still aren’t respecting the French side. The closest they got was top laner Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet getting within eight points of Wunder. The rank ordering of those two is especially odd considering that, per League stats site Oracle’s Elixir, Cabochard leads Wunder in nearly every statistical category. Wunder also typically gets a ton of help from the rest of his team to turn into the terrifying split pusher he is, like when he dominated Rift Rivals.
Even Vitality’s coach, Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi—whom they just re-signed for two more years—could only place second, behind Schalke’s Andre Guilhoto. Guilhoto certainly deserved that award for Schalke’s turnaround, but it remains to be seen when voters as a bloc will finally start recognizing Vitality’s success. Maybe some minds will be changed when Vitality take on Schalke in the semifinals at 11am CT today.