For most of the 2018 EU LCS Summer Split, we had order. The top ranked teams consistently beat those below them and there was an established pecking order. And then week seven rolled around and chaos came back with a vengeance.
The upsets started on Friday with league-leading Misfits losing to GIANTS. Then Fnatic lost to Vitality and Splyce were upset by a winless H2k squad. All of a sudden, the favorites were looking really shaky. And then, to cap off the week, Misfits lost again, this time to FC Schalke 04.
Things really got weird for Misfits when they drafted Vladimir for ADC Steven “Hans Sama” Liv. Hans Sama had thus far resisted playing non-marksmen in the bot lane, and his unusual style led to some of Misfits biggest results. But in this match, it was Schalke ADC Elias “Upset” Lipp who played the marksman, taking Lucian into the matchup.
For most of the game, Misfits kind of ignored Hans Sama. They focused on diving the bot lane around Barney “Alphari” Morris’ Camille. And while the Camille did get fed, taking turrets with Misfits’ superior tempo, it always seemed like Schalke had an advantage whenever full-on teamfights started.
The decision to not snowball the Vladimir came back to haunt Misfits. They didn’t have enough peel for Hans Sama. And he didn’t have the fluent reactions that a practiced Vladimir would have. Schalke caught him multiple times before he was able to disappear into his pool.
On the other side, Upset had himself a day, farming the side lanes with impunity and playing carefree League. Supported by good jungling from Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider and solid contributions from the rest of the lineup, Upset followed his teammates’ engages and put out huge amounts of damage. When it came time to close the game, he didn’t mess around.
Misfits now really need to figure out what’s wrong. After winning 11 straight games to start the split, they’re only 1-4 in their last five. In this game, they got back to aggressive early-game plays to snowball the side lanes. But they weren’t able to keep momentum and prevent Upset from pushing. It’s good that these issues are being resolved now, before playoffs—but if they want to make a deep run, they’ll have to fix them quickly.