Week 1 of the League of Legends European Championship featured the top team, G2 Esports, face against MAD Lions (MAD), Origen (OG), and Team Vitality (VIT). Week 1, was a super week, since canceling week 9 of the LEC forced an extra game to be played in week 1. This will happen again in week 8, while week 5 will also be a break.
As the saying goes, big ships turn slowly, even G2 seemed to have a hard time adapting to the new meta. With buffed ADCs and new champions, as well as tweaks to established champs, it looks like the team was not ready. The teams that placed lower on the board before, were able to place higher after this week, the big teams did not. This is not an absolute though, as Schalke 04 still placed last and Fnatic tied for first. But OG and G2 are tied for sixth, while third is between SK Gaming, MAD Lions, and Team Vitality.
vs MAD Lions (2-1)
Starting off the split with MAD Lions, they have been a thorn in the claws of G2. They ultimately lost last split, and again in week 1, it does not mean they were bad at all. Both teams came out strong, G2 stronger. Much stronger. G2 scored 22 kills, 10 towers, 4 dragons, and an 11k gold lead in 27 and a half minutes. MAD were only able to kill 5 times throughout the game. This definitely is the G2 people expect, this level of performance and sheer brute force around the map, akin to the LEC 2020 semifinals match between the two.
vs Origen (1-2)
Then, against Origen, things changed. This game could’ve gone either way to be honest, with both teams being top tier in the LEC. So would anyone blame G2 for losing against OG? Not really. OG played their usual scaling composition style, where not only did they go for champs that play better in the late game, but the team also becomes more aggressive as the time goes up. The first thing to notice here is that G2 went for a traditional draft. A healing support, Zoe in the mid lane, Lee Sin jungle, and Ezreal. And it was all beat out with Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir on Sett jungle during the early game and Barney “Alphari” Morris straight up whacking G2 out of the game.
— LEC (@LEC) June 13, 2020
This shows how other teams, even the big ones, are starting to catch up to G2’s abrasive play style and incorporating them into their draft. Also, Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle needs to stop missing his Yuumi ultimate. If this Ezreal/Yuumi bot lane wants to work, Mikyx needs to land the ultimate and Luka “Perkz” Perkovic has to let it land instead of jumping away.
vs Team Vitality (2-1)
Matching with Team Vitality should be easy, they were in 9th place last split. They won against G2 once, but it can be explained by G2’s lack of performance rather than VIT’s greater performance. Which is unfortunate to VIT, but true. This time. VIT won by a large margin. This is definitely proof of improvement in between splits. A team like VIT, who lost often, has the biggest potential for change. And that is exactly what happened. G2 went into fights as if they had the advantage, still trying to play around the map furiously. But VIT was prepared.
They banned out champs that G2 showed great strength in, like LeBlanc, Varus, Syndra, and Zoe and went for a high damage engage style composition. G2 played more safe, with three tanks and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski on Lee Sin. They lost in draft, since VIT’s comp. allowed them to engage safer and exit a fight easily. Throughout the game, Aljosa “Milica” Kovandzic and Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos harassed G2 and gained many kills with no deaths. Like the G2 vs MAD game, this game ended under 30 minutes, but with VIT winning instead.
vs FC Schalke 04 (0-3)
Not to jump the gun, especially after seeing the performance against VIT, but G2 has this one in the bag. Why? Well from week 1, VIT’s performances against G2 and S04 showed how they really changed to become an active team on the rift. S04, did not show this. The drafts that S04 made were the same as the other teams, with Lee Sin, Ezreal/Aphelios, Yuumi, Ornn/Wukong. What’s different is that this team still fails to understand the macro game of map control. Yet, they are still very closely matched with VIT, and yet VIT was able to climb and S04 remains at the bottom. Bad luck? Not quite.
These players have been playing for a while. And using VIT vs S04 as a case study, they tried to prolong the game, taking even trades with no one losing either way until the very end (at 41 minutes). In the S04 vs SK and the S04 vs RGE games, we see the same. Perhaps it’s a lack of skill that prohibits them from making strategic plays. Or is it that they don’t have the right strategy and they end up appearing less skilled than their opponents? Either way, for the next weekend, this team needs to learn from its mistakes otherwise they will continue to be harassed in games, especially against G2.
vs Rogue Gaming (3-0)
On the other side of the leaderboard, Rogue Gaming has won every game in the superweek. Tied for first with Fnatic, makes them ultimately a force to be reckoned with. This differs greatly from last split, where they were perfectly in the middle of the group.
Since they played against S04, that was an automatic victory for them. But they also played against Misfits Gaming and XL Esports, both middle ground teams as well. Showing that the middle of the pack teams have changed up this split and have been able to adapt easily to new play styles needed in this meta. To differing degrees of success, of course, since XL is tied for last, and Misfits is tied for 6th with G2 and OG.
Judging from just week 1, it’s hard to say that RGE is a new contender for the top spot, or that they can maintain their lead. There is a clear difference between their strength and Fnatic’s strength, and it was only because of who they played against that let them get here. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the top spot, but it means that they have to keep it up. From the games in the superweek, it was clear that RGE had changed.
Main flaws to the team were Finn “Finn” Wiestal’s sometimes daring plays that did not work out. And Steven “Hans Sama” Liv’s incapability to deal damage in a team fight. These were toned down in the last three games, both players are able to do their job to win.
No one on RGE is a bad player, so it all comes down to their macro play and their concentration on strategy. G2 has the raw skill to make up for bad strategic plays sometimes, or they know how to recover from a bad gank. If RGE can do the same, or avoid it altogether, they have squeezed out another weekend of victories.
“From Our Haus to Yours”