Another week into the LEC came to a conclusion with some teams stepping up their game and others falling further down in the standings.
Fnatic’s first win for the 2019 spring split was definitely the highlight of the week. There are, however, a lot of notes from this week’s games to go over, so let’s not waste any more time and jump right in.
FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS
In week three, the initial hype around SK Gaming seemed to fall short. Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek is still the man to watch whenever SK plays; however, with this week’s 0-2, the team showed some very deep issues that cannot be overcome with Selfmade’s individual talent alone. In their first match of the week against G2 esports, it was not a big surprise that they didn’t manage to pull through. It was in the second match, against Origen, that the team’s issues around mid-game decision making became apparent. Despite having some early game leads, SK failed to pull the trigger and take control of mid-game, allowing their opponent to come back in the game and scale to win.
Rogue close out another week with an 0-2 and at this point, it is definitely hard to silence the critiques. The team still shows immense issues with communication, especially during team fights. When putting the team under the microscope, it becomes evident that while Kim “Profit” Jun-Hyung and Chres “Sencux” Laursen are doing quite well, Rogue’s bot lane looks like a serious liability. More particularly, Martin ” HeaQ ” Kordmaa, the team’s ADC. He fails to show up for his team, with statistics way below average and CS disadvantages uncharacteristic for a professional player on the LEC level.
That being said, Rogue came back as an almost different team during the second game of the week against Team Vitality. After being heavily pressured in the early game with Vitality robbing them from any possible opportunity, Rogue managed to capitalize on Vitality’s mistakes and almost take a well-deserved win. At the end of the day, however, Rogue lost in a heartbreaking manner to a clutch backdoor from Vitality. It is also worth noting that during this game HeaQ stepped up, capitalized on a winning match-up in the bot lane and enabled his team to take control of the game, making a statement for himself and silencing some of his critics.
THE BEST STUDENTS
In week three, some teams came back having done their homework.
One of those teams was Splyce. Despite their 0-2 week and their very disappointing defeat against Schalke 04, they came back in the second game against G2 to put up an amazing show! They did their homework on G2’s gameplay, shut down Rasmus “Caps” Winther successfully in the early game and came in strong with a fast early game overall. Splyce is known for their slow methodical early game with little action. But this time around, they were well-prepared to match G2’s dominating early game, and they were the ones to take control this time. They did end up losing the game, however they should be praised as the team that has come the closest so far to taking down the dominating force that is G2.
Moving on to Excel, who this week proved that they are not a team to be ignored after taking down Misfits. In week two, they almost took down G2 and this week they were among the best students, did their homework on Misfits’ gameplay and took them down. Recognizing Misfits’ shortcomings when it comes to playing outside the bot lane, Excel shut down the Steven “Hans Sama” Liv and Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon duo and took control of the game.
Unfortunately, they did not manage to translate this much-hyped win into a 2-0 week three, since they were facing the unstoppable Schalke 04 for the second game of the week. During this game, it became obvious that some issues are still there for Excel, who seems to have the individual pieces. They struggle to make them work together though, most notably their bot lane duo which seems like the team’s biggest weakness at the moment.
One of the biggest hype trains coming into the LEC, Origen, keeps the hype alive with a 1-1 week. Despite losing the first game of the week against Vitality, the team managed to bounce back, picking up a win against SK.
Origen is a team that can be criticized for dying a lot, especially in the early game. However, this week around they definitely died much less showing that they have been working on their identified issues.
Last but not least, among this week’s best students is the, initially unstoppable, team of Misfits. After suffering their second defeat so far in the first game of the week against Excel, Misfits came back strong in the second match and took down Fnatic. After their first loss during week two against Vitality, it became evident that Misfits have serious issues with playing around a losing bot lane and relying on their other lanes to carry the game. Excel abused this weakness, taking down Misfits. Nonetheless, Misfits proved that they are good students, working on their issues and coming back in the game against Fnatic well-prepared. It allowed Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten and Paul “sOAZ” Boyer to step up and hard carry their team to victory.
BACK FROM THE DEAD
Fnatic did what at this point seemed impossible and brought themselves back from the dead in the first game of the week against Rogue. Granted, the match was against a team also at the bottom of the standings, but Fnatic definitely looked like they were about to bring their old selves back out.
Rogue did manage to pick up the first two kills of the game; however, as lost as Fnatic might have looked on the rest of the map, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev put things back together and they stepped up for the team taking control of the bot lane and pulling Fnatic out from a very dark place. After Rekkles, Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau showed glimpses of his old self as well with an amazing play in a mid-game team fight. Fnatic closed out this game with Rekkles picking up a pentakill on Kai’Sa, making a huge statement for himself and his team.
Nonetheless, the excitement didn’t last long since Fnatic lost the second game of the week against Misfits in what was a very one-sided game in favor of Misfits. Fnatic definitely came into the game with a very different and confident vibe. However, their draft showed signs of overconfidence and their plan backfired. By drafting a heavily scaling late-game composition, Fnatic lost themselves the game with three losing lane match-ups that disrespected Misfits’ ability to punish their draft and run away with the game.
However, one thing is for certain. With Fnatic defeating Rogue in such a convincing manner, they separated themselves from the rock-hard bottom of the standings. Whether the team finds a way to overcome evident issues, use this week’s first win as a starting point and come back stronger and more prepared next week, remains to be seen.
There is not much left to say about G2 other than nothing falls through the cracks with this team. G2 is the best snowball team seen so far with an amazing capability to capitalize on mistakes, closing another week with an 2-0.
Even when they are with their backs against the wall, like in the game against Splyce, they know how to punish even the smallest enemy mistakes and win. Despite the fact that their biggest winning condition, their mid-laner Caps, fell behind in the game against Splyce, G2 came back strong with Martin “Wunder” Hansen and Luka “Perkz” Perković stepping up and taking control. Unfortunately for their opponents, G2 is a team with no apparent weaknesses so far.
Speaking of teams with no obvious weaknesses, Schalke 04 is another rising powerhouse in LEC. After two very decisive wins against Splyce and Excel, Schalke close out another 2-0 week and they solidify themselves at the top of the standing. Elias “Upset” Lipp is making a strong case for best ADC in Europe.
The last team to pick up the 2-0 in week three was Vitality who also stepped up and sealed the deal as one of LEC’s finest. Despite almost losing the second game of the week against Rogue, Vitality demonstrated the pedigree of their players, with Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro, once again popping up as one of the best mid laners in Europe. What’s more, Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha showed some amazing individual talent and ability to coordinate with his team, setting Vitality up for success and becoming one of the most valuable imports.
You can also follow Eirini-Eleni @Esk_Dhg.
Featured image via LoL Esports.