Two teams undefeated in the previous three weeks met on the Summoner’s Rift today for one of the most highly anticipated League of Legends matches of the season.
Gambit Gaming and H2k Gaming entered their match with the two biggest win streaks in Europe, but few would have expected that at the start of the season. H2k Gaming entered the League Championship Series as rookies, and Gambit Gaming narrowly avoided relegation last split. But the last time the two teams met in week three of the season, Gambit beat H2k, starting a seven-game win streak that’s catapulted into the top of the standings. That was also H2k’s last loss.
Today, the tables turned. H2k Gaming scored their seventh win in a row, ending Gambit’s run with an impressive performance starting with the champion select.
Things looked dicey from the beginning as Gambit Gaming locked in jungle pick Evelynn, the first time the stealth jungler hit the LCS this season.
“I think Evelynn jungle is pretty trash,” commentator Martin “Deficio” Lynge said, prompting a “Whoa” from his co-commentator. “But if anyone can make it work, it’s Diamond.”
But despite a 2/0/8 KDA from Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov’s Evelynn, Gambit fell. H2k shut down Reshetnikov’s early game and mitigated his late performance with great warding, allowing them to play a smart game as they choked Gambit Gaming out of the map.
You could put forward an argument that H2K in their winning streak have been the smartest 2015 #lcs team. They really maintain control well.
— Trevor Henry (@RiotQuickshot) March 5, 2015
The Morgana pick for H2k Gaming support Raymond “kaSing” Tsang proved pivotal, as his Black Shields denied the playmaking impact of Edward Abgaryan’s Thresh and his on-point Dark Bindings slowed the reckless aggression of Kristoffer “P1noy” Albao Lund Pedersen.
That, combined with his warding and excellent tank play from top laner Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu on Maokai, allowed H2k Gaming to control the game and comfortably rack up a big lead by securing tower after tower.
Was a pretty good game from both sides team-fighting wise, @OdoamneLoL is a beast
— Marcel Feldkamp (@MarcelFeldkamp) March 5, 2015
The top lane matchup between Pascu and Gambit Gaming’s Lucas “cabochard” Simon-Meslet was hyped before the series, as the two top laners have emerged as perhaps Europe’s two best.
— Pascu Andrei (@OdoamneLoL) March 5, 2015
GGWP H2K, feels great to lose, they drafted and played better than us, as long as we learn from it and work even harder! #12-6The new Dream!
— Cabochard (@CabochardLoL) March 5, 2015
H2k now sits tied for second with a 9-4 record. No one expected them to be there, an LCS newcomer who lost their superstar mid laner Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten to Fnatic. But they have a new superstar emerging. Support player Tsang was critical in securing the win over Gambit Gaming, and he’s lead H2k to a 7-0 record since joining the team.
H2k is now two wins away from breaking Fnatic’s record for the longest win streak in LCS history. But as SK Gaming and Gambit Gaming have shown this season, winning that eighth game is tougher than it seems.
Tomorrow, H2k battles Copenhagen Wolves, a team nipping at their heels in the standings. Gambit will likely recover against cellar dweller Giants Gaming. Whether H2k breaks Fnatic’s record or not, they’ve emerged as one of the top teams in Europe thanks to their steady and smart play. And that’s something that’s bound to win them many more games.