Esports League of Legends

EU LCS: Semifinals Preview

After two exciting series in the quarterfinals, the teams heading to Madrid are set. But one more question remains: who will be heading to the finals and who will be playing for third? With automatic qualification for Worlds on the line, the best of Europe will be playing at their highest level.

What will these Semifinals bring? Will we get more surprise results? Will a favorite emerge from these games? All of these questions will be answered starting this Friday. But first, let’s take a look at the matchups.

Fnatic (1st) vs Misfits Gaming (5th)

Courtesy of: LoL Esports Flickr

With the game gradually returning to an ADC favored meta, the kings of Europe, Fnatic has brought back Martin “Rekkles” Larsson into their starting lineup. With the return of the world-class ADC, the team has become an even bigger threat. However, facing them will be a Misfits team that seems to have solved all their issues during their 3-0 destruction of G2 in the quarterfinals. The team put mid laner Chres “Sencux” Laursen on safe mid laners like Malzahar, which freed up jungler Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian to focus on other lanes. On top of that, the bot lane tandem of Steven “Hans Sama” Liv and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle absolutely dominated their lane and the game, allowing Hans Sama to pick up player of the series honors.

As a result, the key matchup for this series will be the bot lane. While top laner Barney “Alphari” Morris is a key playmaker for Misfits, the quarterfinals reminded everyone that Hans Sama is still the star of the show. But if there’s going to be one bot lane with the ability to contain them, it’ll be Fnatic. While the bot lane tandem of Rekkles and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov, haven’t had a chance to play together much this season, we know that the pairing is still quite dominant. In the end, the bot lane that takes control will likely bring their team the victory and a trip to the finals.

Prediction:

After Misfit’s performance against G2, this matchup has become harder to call. What should’ve been an easy 3-0 for Fnatic has suddenly become a close matchup. Aside from the bot lane matchup, there’s still a few questions left to be answered. Will Sencux be able to survive against  Rasmus “Caps” Winther, a much stronger player than G2’s Luka “Perkz” Perković? Will Fnatic be able to contain Alphari in the top lane? Overall though, I still give the edge to Fnatic. While Misfits have showed that they’re still a very dangerous team, Fnatic is simply the better team on paper. Top lane will be fairly even, but they’ll have a huge advantage in jungle and mid and a slight advantage in bot lane as well.

While I see Misfits being able to take a few games, I’ll be giving the series to Fnatic 3-1.

Team Vitality (2nd) vs FC Schalke 04 (3rd)

Courtesy of: LoL Esports Flickr

Thanks to how the semifinals will take place, we’ll luckily be able to see a new team in the EU LCS Finals. However, will it be Team Vitality or FC Schalke 04? If we’re going off their recent matchup in the tiebreakers, Vitality has the advantage. But their showdown in the semifinals should prove to be a lot more exciting than that.

Schalke has shown their ability to adapt and play out a long 5 game series thanks to their close 3-2 victory against Splyce in the quarterfinals. Along with that, both teams have similar playstyles, which will lead to great games that will show off every player’s mechanics and skills.

The key matchup in this semifinals series will be in the jungle. The games will heavily depend on which jungler will be able to get their lanes rolling, especially mid lane. So, Schalke’s Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider and Vitality’s Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek will be heavily relied on by their teams to control the early game. On top of that, Amazing’s ability to contain Kikis is a huge question mark going into this matchup, as Kikis has looked unstoppable recently. If Amazing can handle Kikis, this series will likely go to Schalke.

Prediction:

While Vitality has looked very dominant in their recent games, it’s likely that this matchup will be a lot closer than most people expect. With similar playstyles and fairly even matchups across the map, Schalke has a pretty good chance of taking games off of Vitality. Ultimately this will come down to the mid laners. Will this continue to be the year of the Nukeduck? Or will Vitality’s Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro be able to beat Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm and take over the game instead?

In the long run though, I believe Amazing will be able to contain Kikis for at least three games, and give Schalke the advantage it needs to win, pull off the upset, and take the series. I give the series to Schalke in a very close 3-2.

 

We’re one step closer to crowning the next kings of Europe. Will Fnatic be able to defend their throne? Or will one of the three teams still remaining be able to take the throne for themselves? With the amount of talent left within these four teams, one thing is for certain: the EU LCS playoffs will only get more exciting to watch.

To watch the EU LCS, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the split, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.

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Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Twitter.

Follow Rui on Twitter @ruixu38.

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