The play that saved SK Gaming's Super Week
It was a disaster.
SK Gaming marksman Adrian "Candy Panda" Wübbelmann sat at his computer with his head in his hands, a distressed look plastered across his face, dreading the result of his mistake.
Wübbelman had been caught out in front of his base, handing Supa Hot Crew a free kill on their highest priority target—the late game hyper carry Kog’Maw.
It was an invitation for SHC to push into SK’s base and end the game.
It was hopeless. With Wübbelmann down, SK’s only source of late-game damage was sidelined. They selected Nidalee for their mid laner Jesse “Jesiz” Le, whose poke and siege ability is strong thanks to her long-range spears. But her ability to fight in close quarters is severely limited.
SK’s support, Christoph “nRated” Seitz, called the situation a “90 percent loss” in his post-game interview. They needed a miracle to turn the game around, to end the first week of the EU LCS with a 3-1 record, tied for first place, where they finished last season.
And they got one.
Le landed two ridiculous long-range spears on SHC’s mid-lane carry, Marcin “SELFIE” Wolski on Kayle, shutting down the mid-laner and evening the odds in the fight, even before Wolski could use Kayle’s invulnerability shield ultimate. That allowed his team the time to stay in the fight long enough to neutralize SHC’s other source of damage, marksman Rasmus “MrRalleZ” Skinneholm.
With those two out of the way, SK Gaming surged from their base and charged for Baron, taking its empowering buff. But SHC had super minions pushing into SK’s base. They entangled SK at the baron pit, trading two players to waste SK’s time as minions moved ever closer to winning the game for SHC.
SK then made the risky call that won them the game by a razor thin margin.
They pushed down the top lane, straight through towers and inhibitors to Supa Hot Crew's nexus, as super minions blasted their own nexus. Only top laner Simon “Fredy122” Payne backed to stop SHC’s super minions from ending the game, and it was the perfect call. He saved SK’s nexus with a quarter health remaining, and SK Gaming closed out the win before SHC’s team could respawn.
The victory moved SK Gaming into a three-way tie for first place, their 3-1 record the same as Alliance and Millenium. Behind them sit Supa Hot Crew and Fnatic at 2-2, with Gambit Gaming, Copenhagen Wolves, and Roccat in the rear, all with 1-3 records.
The biggest story of the week is the play of Millenium and Supa Hot Crew. Last split, the two teams were relegated after finishing with the two worst records in the league.
But this season, they look determined to seize a different fate.
Millenium played like the best team in the league, with star performances from throughout their lineup. The team added young jungler Markus “Kottenx” Tingvall in the offseason, and his aggressive play has changed the entire dynamic of the team.
Tingvall has opened things up for top laner Kevin “Kev1n” Rubiszewski and mid laner Adrian “Kerp” Wetekam, who had a big day to star Super Week. Rubiszewski posted the highest Gold Per Minute of any top laner during super week, an impressive 385.63 GPM, nearly 30 higher over the next ranker. He’s a player with superstar potential who has never been in the right team situation to let it shine through, and perhaps this is the year.
Millenium have always had talented players, but last season they just couldn’t seem to put it together. The addition of Tingvall has been a revelation, allowing their star talent to shine.
Supa Hot Crew, though, is a complete surprise. While they finished the week 2-2, they bested Alliance, the most dominant-looking team thus far, on day two. They were close to that 3-1 record, but SK Gaming and Le snatched victory away from them.
Few would have expected SHC to make such an impact. The team had no standout talents last season, and their roster additions to start the season raised a collective “eh” from the community. The team picked up Marcin “SELFIE” Wolski to replace former mid laner Amaury “Moopz” Minguerche, and added Bram “wewilfailer” de Winter to take over for retiring support Maxime “Migxa” Poinssot.
And they’ve looked impressive so far. While the new additions haven’t made a huge impact on the stat sheet, the team seems improved as a whole. Top laner Mimer Ahlström in particular looks good in the new lineup. A solo queue star, he had trouble replicating his success in the LCS last season. Through the Super Week, he leads all top laners in KDA with 6.0, just ahead of Millenium’s Rubiszewski at 5.57.
Whether SHC and Millenium can keep it up remains anyone’s guess. Millenium simply looks like a top team in the server, with the way they rotate and play out their lanes. Each of their solo laners and carry players have shown off big plays capable of winning games.
SHC didn’t look nearly as dominant, but they’ve shown they have what it takes to be at least a middle of the pack team, if they can keep things together.