This is part 2 of a mini-series of articles that will take a look at some teams with a shot to represent their region at Worlds this year for the 4 major regions (NA, EU, China, Korea).
With the recent performance of Taiwanese representative Flash Wolves at MSI, the western regions of Europe and North America have dropped back down to the bottom. EU got the better part of that deal, still looking quite competitive in the long run. While a solid Worlds performance is still a given for the top teams, they still aren’t good enough to contend to win it all.
But who are the hopefuls that look to represent EU at Worlds? While the region looks somewhat competitive at the moment, some favorites have emerged, so here’s a quick look at these favorites.
Fnatic has been an interesting team to follow with their current roster. Due to the current meta lowering the effectiveness of ADCs, the team has opted to use substitute top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau in the bot lane as opposed to world-class ADC Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. It’s working; Fnatic is 2nd place ahead of main rivals G2 in the standings.
This isn’t entirely in thanks to their roster swap, though. All-star mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther has continued his great performance this season on a plethora of champions. Meanwhile, main top laner Paul “sOAZ” Boyer remains a solid and reliable player whether you need him to carry or be a solid frontline. Lastly, we have the jungler and support Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov, who have provided the support needed to allow the rest of the team to thrive through their solid early game decision-making.
While the team isn’t first at the moment, they’re still the favorites to win the Split and make a deep run at Worlds. They seem to be prepared for this meta and have shown that they’re clearly not afraid to make roster changes as needed. Thankfully if the meta were to fully favor the return of ADCs Rekkles will still be ready to be dropped back into the roster. As the Asian teams look stronger and stronger, Fnatic look like the best chance the West has at making a deep run at Worlds. But first, they’ll be looking at winning the Summer Split.
After a 2nd place finish last Split with a great performance at Rift Rivals, G2 is looking to build on their success and win the Summer Split. So far, G2 has proven to be one of the few western teams that have mastered funnel team compositions. Jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski is even jokingly called a Braum main. All this leads to a perfect record with funnel comps so far.
Even without funnel comps, G2 has proven to be a powerhouse this Split. While not on ADCs, mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković has proven to still be a great carry on the likes of Zoe and Yasuo. Meanwhile, the bot lane tandem of Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss and Kim “Wadid” Bae-in provide another win condition with Hjarnan being able to carry when needed by the team. Lastly there’s top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen, who has flown under the radar as one of the best top laners in not only Europe, but all of the west.
While this iteration of G2 has been mostly untested internationally, they have looked great against the rest of Europe. While they all have international experience on other teams, how they work together has yet to be fully tested against Asian teams. But if their results so far are any indication, we can expect to see G2 have some solid results at Worlds.
Despite a terrible Spring Split that saw the team end 7th, Misfits are now at the top of the standings in Europe. With current results, Misfits are now one of the favorites to take a spot at Worlds and represent the region.
This change of fortune can be attributed to a few things, but the biggest has to be the performance of mid laner Chres “Sencux” Laursen. While the Spring Split saw Sencux perform as one of the worst mid laners in Europe, the summer has seen him become one of the best in the mid lane.
Top laner Barney “Alphari” Morris and ADC Steven “Hans Sama” Liv have also had a return of form after a Spring Split that saw them slightly fall off. Once again, the two look like some of the best players in the region with great performances to back it thus far. Lastly, the meta now better favors jungler Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian and support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle. Thanks to all this, the team has managed to develop into one of the best teams in Europe just in time for the Summer Split.
While the team has a solid hold of 1st place, their road to Worlds still looks quite rough due to the results of the Spring Split. If they are unable to make the needed run for the Summoner’s Cup this Summer Split, a successful run through the gauntlet will be needed. As long as the team plays at their current level, this shouldn’t be an issue. But just as their fortunes have improved over time, their luck could easily run out at any time.
While Splyce ended the Spring Split with a great 3rd place finish, their summer has not been going as great. Tied for 6th, the team is considered a mid-tier EU team at best. As a result, the team can be considered the dark horse to make Worlds, despite a great performance in the Spring Split.
What went wrong for this team? For starters, Splyce has a tougher schedule early on, as they’ve already played matches against Misfits and G2, which handed them a 1-3 record. Moreover, the players have been underperforming.
Mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer has had some rough matches which can be attributed to what champions are being picked in the current meta and some rough matchups. Support Raymond “kaSing” Tsang and jungler Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir have been playing considerably worse than their Spring Split performance. However, a bright spot on their team is top laner Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu and ADC Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup who have proven to still be capable world-class players.
With a fairly easy schedule remaining, the team will still be able to make playoffs. Whether they’ll make a deep run depends on the players stepping up and returning to their Spring Split form. Whether it will be enough to help them make a run at Worlds is up in the air.
Like with NA, the season’s seedings have become somewhat clear at this point. Taking the first seed will still likely be Fnatic. While Misfits are currently in first place, Fnatic’s experience in Best-of-five scenarios will prove to be a huge advantage for them. As a result, Fnatic will have a good chance of beating Misfits, if they end up being their finals opponents.
Taking second seed will be G2. While Misfits may be a slightly better team at the moment, the points G2 received from the Spring Split will more or less guarantee the second seed for Worlds this year. Don’t be surprised if G2 make a run and steal the first seed from Fnatic. Apart from Misfits or Fnatic, G2 should have an easy run ahead of them in the playoffs.
Taking the last seed will likely be Misfits. While Splyce won the third place match in spring, they have been falling off. With a bye to the semis, Misfits have a decent amount of points waiting for them. While the gauntlet will provide a big challenge, Misfits are still the huge favorites to take the third seed this year.
Unlike NA, this may be the best trio of teams EU can send to Worlds. Right now, however, they focus on another goal: win the Split and take the first seed away from the others! As EU continues, these teams will be interesting to watch, especially with the diversity of champions picked!
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/.
Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.
Follow Rui on Twitter @ruixu38.
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