Week One of the European LCS delivered on the potential it had: Tight games, successive choking and the emergence of what looks a like a quality set of competitive teams. Provided you’re not a fan of Origen, Splyce or Giants you’ll probably be satisfied with how it all went down.
And out of the three, only Giants have a reasonably easier week with Elements following their first game against the hot G2.
There’s no time to rest, every moments counts.
Games to watch:
Origen’s games (0-2)
Day 1- vs Unicorns of Love (2-0)
Day 2- vs Vitality (1-1)
I knew that a week one against Fnatic and H2k would be rough for Origen, but I never thought it would be that rough.
Origen looked messy and unprepared for the level of competition they were presented with. Their presentation within week one showed a lack of respect for both the change in gameflow and the ability of their opponents. The game is now a lot more proactive and quickly catches out teams that are lazy or unprepared. Origen were both.
The Unicorns of Love are no H2K, but they at least showed an understanding of how to capture and control the game, while Vitality redeemed their game one with a good win over Fnatic by capitalising on all their misplays and snowballing Cabochard. If Origen allow themselves to be eased out of the gameflow like they did in both games last week, the results will be the same.
It’s much harder to wait out your opponents, hope for a mistake and capitalise, it’s now on the members of Origen to find a way of taking command from the start. Adapt or get left behind.
UOL’s week was against Splyce and Giants so it’s no surprise to me that they’re 2-0 but they still deserve respect as one of the better teams in the league. Their specific shining point in their two games were Vizicsacsi and Diamond where as I felt Origen were let down by Soaz and Amazing in particular. Similarly Cabochard was the standout performer in Vitality’s win over Fnatic and Shook was a big part in helping him reach that point. See the potential issue here?
I was called crazy last week by a few for saying UOL would 2-0 their week, and they did. Now I’m here to say if OG haven’t learnt to take control of their games and if their top half of the map haven’t significantly improved, we’ll likely see that 2-0 turn to three. We’ve also seen before what happens when big teams go on spontaneous loss streaks, the strain on particularly passionate players becomes a real hindrance. It’s crucial that Origen pull it together here. The question is can they?
Prediction: 2-0 or 0-2
Sink or swim, I see a tilt if they drop to UOL or a resurgence if they come out on top.
H2k’s games (2-0)
Day 1- vs Fnatic (1-1)
Day 2- vs G2 (2-0)
Stay still for a moment, take a deep breath and say it slowly:
Where Origen fell, another rose from the shadows of third place to take its position at the top. Yes H2k looked great in their first week and came out looking like a top of the table team.
Many were concerned at how the team would do after failing to secure Svenskeren and those worries weren’t helped much by the team’s inability to do away with Ever at IEM but, as a top team should, H2k look like they’ve knuckled down and worked on their initial issues and the results look amazing.
Of course initial success is nothing compared to maintenance.
If H2k want to prove that this is their season to be number one, that Forgiven has finally found the squad he can ascend to glory with, that each of their players are in fact some of the best in their roles, they’ll need to accelerate their momentum by taking out two of their toughest threats.
Fnatic are tough to call because their good game was against Origen who failed to make an impact on the week, Gamsu had a very Huni-esque week of hard carrying one game and then personifying the team’s inability to make an impact the next. Their night and day performance shows that there’s still a few issues that need to be worked out with the squad but they’ve at least established the ability to play their potential when given the opportunity. Their loss to Vitality casts doubt in my ability to call them as a potential winner for the game against H2k, if any team looks like it can re-expose their weaknesses its certainly H2k. Then again I have a nasty habit of saying “Fnatic won’t win” and watching them do so all is not lost yet, Fnatic fans.
As for G2, their performance was good to watch along with the pleasant surprise that is Roccat. They did away with Elements without too much trouble and continued to look really good against Roccat though the latter put up much more of an initial fight. This served as confirmation that Ocelote’s squad had made the correct changes and had indeed significantly increased the potential of their roster. The newly assimilated Koreans performed amazingly alongside the remaining core of the team, it was great to see Emperor in particular have a great few games after the travesty that was Team Dragon Knights.
I’m personally looking forward to the G2/H2K matchup more than that of H2K/FNC as I’m excited to see just how far this new G2 squad can aspire to go, a win or even a good game against H2K right now would certainly look to accelerate them as a potential top three team which in turn creates a much more exciting league experience. After all a highly competitive league is a healthy league, the more that can fight for the top, the better.
Prediction: H2K 2-0
Special upset mention: Day 2- Fnatic (1-1) vs Unicorns of Love (2-0)
As I previously mentioned, UOL’s 2-0 standing is after an easy opening week. I still see Fnatic as the favourites in this matchup, but what I haven’t seen yet is how this UOL faces up to a top-end of the table team. They brushed by Splyce and Giants but nowhere near as cleanly as a top tier team should. Because they’re not yet a top tier team. But taking games off Fnatic could help them become one.
This game will likely come down to how the solo lanes perform, Febiven won’t be too hard pressed against Fox in lane so the interesting matchup will be Vizicsacsi and Gamsu. Whatever way that matchup shifts could also shift the momentum of the map.
Last week I correctly predicted a good week for G2 and UOL owners as well as a potential hard time for some or all of OG/FNC owners.
This week, the struggle maintains for owners of Origen players who could resurface at any moment or keep underperforming.
Potential big winners this week will likely be any Roccat owners as the team faces Splyce and Elements. They’re the safest bet for this week, shortly followed by owning H2k players.
Vitality owners also have a chance to hit big with the Origen game and even if not, a game against Splyce should hopefully cover up for any missed points. The same level of caution should be applied to G2 owners, as the game against Giants should score you well but the game against H2k could be make or break.
I talked the big stuff with UOL last week but I’d proceed with a lot of caution this week, however if they make it through this week in good condition, I’d say hold onto as many as possible.
If you enjoyed this and or have any feedback, shoot them my way on twitter: @Sabrewoif
All feedback is worth hearing.
Images courtesy of Riot Games’ flickr page