Schalke pull off an incredible backdoor to steal the first game in the EU LCS playoffs

Schalke mid laner Erlend "Nukeduck" Holm basically beat Splyce by himself.

Photo via Riot Games

FC Schakle 04 were supposed to be the favorites in the EU LCS quarterfinals vs. Splyce. Splyce are a solid team who can win games in the mid game if they survive the lane phase. But Schalke have gone on a tear in the second half of the Summer Split and were picked by most analysts on the EU LCS desk to win 3-1.

The game got off to an unexpected start when Splyce took some of Schalke’s signature champions and got out to a lead. They eventually snowballed that lead into three straight Infernal Drakes. Schalke’s late-game scaling team composition, based around mid laner Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm’s Ryze and bot laner Elias Lipp’s Kai’sa meant they couldn’t contest those objectives.

Pretty soon, Splyce had map control and started pushing towers. The problem is, every time they got an objective, Nukeduck answered back. Twice, when Splyce sieged Schalke’s inhibitors as a group, Nukeduck simply traded for inhibitors of his own. Splyce simply had no solution for the Ryze, even when they had Baron buff on their side. 

Nukeduck’s ability to push on his own proved crucial once Elder Dragon spawned. Remember, Splyce had three Infernals. There was absolutely no way Schalke could win if they got Elder Dragon, right?

Wrong. Instead of teleporting into the fight to contest the objective, Nukeduck and Upset teleported to a minion wave in the top lane. It was the same lane where Nukeduck had taken down an inhibitor just minutes earlier. 

But that still should have given some time for Splyce to react. It should take roughly 30 seconds for the minions to walk from that location to the Splyce base. Oh right, Schalke had Ryze ult.

By the time Splyce realized what was going on, it was over. Their own teleports—one mistakenly placed on a Nexus turret—came in far too late. Nukeduck and Upset finished Splyce off in one of the craziest backdoors we’ve seen all year. With the win, Schalke have struck first and hold a one game advantage in the best-of-three quarterfinal series.