Power Players: Perkz, Peke, PowerOfEvil
The 2016 EU LCS Spring Split Final boasts three of the top mid laners in the west: Perks, xPeke and PowerofEvil. European mid laner have been praised throughout the history of LoL as some of the best in the world, with young talent often being promoted into the LCS from challenger, and going on to have impressive performances on a world stage. Just one of the three mid laners in the matchup between G2 and Origen has never played on an international stage - Luka 'Perkz' Perkovic. While his competition is stiff, I believe he will be looking at the opportunity to do just that at the Mid Season Invitational in Shanghai by leading Gamers2 to victory over Origen.
Perkz - The Rookie
Regular Split: Lissandra (3-0); Ahri (2-1); Viktor (1-1); Azir, Corki, Lulu, LeBlanc (2-0); Gangplank (2-0); Zed (1-0)
Playoffs: Ryze (2-1); Lissandra (1-0)
Undoubtedly the break out mid laner of the Spring Split, Perkz led G2 to a first place finish in the tournament's round robin stage, as well as a 3-1 victory over Fnatic in the semifinals. Going into the playoffs, Perkz had been the best mid laner in Europe and far and away above the level of his two opponents in Spring. Not much changed for Perkz in his 4 game series against Fnatic where he brought out yet another addition to his already impressive champion pool, Ryze. Perkz went head to head with Febiven and was extremely impressive throughout the series creating pressure and drawing ganks to mid in all four games.
Perkz's first split in the LCS was up there with Huni's rookie split as being one of the most impressive LCS debuts. He boasted the second highest Creep Score Difference (CSD) at 10 minutes and Gold Difference (GD) at 10 minutes. He was also above PowerOfEvil in nearly every stat available. If he can continue his level of performance on a variety of champions, he will be a tough opponent for either of the Origen mid laners. Combining his breakout performance with that of, Spring Split MVP and G2 jungler, Trick's could be enough to topple Origen, whose, until recently, own jungle-mid synergy has been shaky. Perkz's proficency on a wide variety of champions and roles will be crucial in G2's Finals series against Origen.
PowerOfEvil - The Replacement
Regular Split: Ahri (2-2); Lulu, Varus (2-0); LeBlanc, Cassiopeia (1-0); Kassadin, Syndra, Corki (0-1); Orianna (0-2)
Playoffs: Orianna (2-0); Varus, LeBlanc, Karma (1-0); Lissandra, Kassadin (0-1)
When Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Shrage was announced as part of the Worlds semi finalists' roster, many thought he would fit in without a problem - only making an already fantastic team even stronger. Unfortunately for Origen, this wasn't the case. Origen went from beating the likes of, Korean third seed, kT at Worlds to a dissapointing 4th place in the Spring Split regular season, with a record of 11-7. This was four whole games behind their playoff finals opponents G2 esports.
Certainly, PowerOfEvil (PoE) had an inconsistent split. He performed best on Lulu as a utility support for, star ADC, Zven, but, was unimpactful on a number of pocket picks and even his signature Orianna. His stats mirrored this lukewarm performance, with a negative Creep Score Difference at 10 minutes, and on average 100 less damage per minute than Perkz. If he hopes to hold his own vs G2, he will have to continue his improved performance in playoffs. Both PowerOfEvil and Origen have looked far improved in their respective eight post-season games. While PoE has still favoured poke and control champions, he has been much more effective in his recent performances. In fact, so far, he boasts the highest Damage Per Minute of any mid laner in the playoffs, as well as a respectable 29.4% of his team's damage. Based off the whole season, it's hard not to give Perkz a slight edge over PowerOfEvil. But, as his stats indicate, PoE has been consistently good since the split has finished and may surprise.
xPeke - The Super Sub
Regular Split: LeBlanc (2-0); Corki (1-0)
Playoffs: Lulu (1-0)
There isn't nearly as much to say about xPeke as the other two mid laners in this matchup, considering he has only played four games all season. But it can't be ignored that every time he has ventured onto the rift, Origen have come out with a win. Peke has always had a diverse champion pool and although there isn't much to go off this Spring that seems to still be the case. I wouldn't expect him to play more than one game, if at all. But the option is always there for Origen to mix things up. The experience of playing under pressure could be important, and, regardless of personal performance, Origen have looked very organised when playing with him. Peke did an impressive 32.7% of his team's damage in his 3 regular split games with a huge 729 damage per minute. Although Zven is usually Origen's carry Peke provides an alternate option and could upset G2 should he decide to play.
All in all, I still believe that Perkz is the best of the three mid laners who will feature in the EU LCS Spring Split finals and I expect him to lead his team to a series win. With that being said, it doesn't look nearly as easy a task as it may have after G2's 2-0 over Origen in the regular split. I expect it to be a fiercely contested series; but Perkz's star power should shine through.