Nobody, not even the most loyal of fans expected Misfits to be at the top of the standings so soon into the regular season.
After a statement victory against G2, opinions surrounding the organization as a whole have changed drastically. Misfits are now being heralded by analysts and experts as one of the strongest contenders in the region. Some very exited fans are even hoping for Misfits to be the representative of Europe in this year’s MSI.
However, the standings in the LEC are among the closest in any of the major regions. With just one loss potentially sending them into third place and two losses placing them even lower, can Misfits truly continue their sudden streak of success?
Even if it’s quite likely that the team could manage to get into playoffs, how deep into the bracket could they really aspire to go? How would they perform in a best of 5 format?
A strong foundation, built with bendable material
The most notable quality of Misfits during the Spring Split is how quickly they’ve been able to adapt and improve from one week to the next. During the first two days of competition, Misfits looked shaky and sloppy in nearly all aspects. Individual performances were poor and the macro and shotcalling were deemed mediocre by many. Yet, starting from week two, big improvements could already be seen. These hints of progress would culminate in Misfits’ matches against Origen and G2, where the org looked like a world class team.
However, in the following match against Vitality, their level of play noticeably decreased once again. What makes Misfits unique and a definitive outlier among the rest of the LEC is the attributes of their roster. Four out of the five players have never even participated in a full Split on a major region. The condition of rookies comes with both great advantages as well as some big setbacks.
On the one hand, the lack of preconceptions makes the players highly adaptable. If put under the guiding voice of capable people like Jandro and Amazing, they can (and have) quickly learn and evolve. Rookies also tend to be hungrier and more humble with less clashing egos, so they create an optimal team environment. On the other hand, however, the lack of experience also translates into a lack of consistency. It is commendable that Misfits has looked so solid for 6 games in a row. Their players are still capable of making basic mistakes and misjudgments due to their lack of knowledge.
In this regard, Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten especially plays a crucial role in keeping the lineup together.
A clash of fates
Luckily for both the team and its fans, the ultimate test of consistency will quickly come in the form of two week 5 matches. Mad Lions and Rogue are both the perfect opponents for this lineup to cut their teeth with. The Lions, much like Misfits themselves, are a fast-rising group of rookie players with a proven Mid Laner as a leader. They also have an aggressive style and were able to bring G2 to the brink very early on in the season. MAD is a very suitable opponent for Misfits as they look to secure their place at the top.
But when it comes to Rogue, players of the team have a personal stake in the match. Rogue is one of the teams who exposed Misfit’s dire weaknesses in the first weeks of competition. By quickly obtaining a lead botlane, with former star player for Misfits Hans Sama, Rogue played the map right and completely asphyxiated their opponents out of the match.
If Misfits want to prove how far they have come and how much they have improved then a victory against Rogue would be a real statement.
But times have truly changed. Misfits are now at the top of the ladder and Teams will be sure to scout them closely to try and counter their strategies and players. An easy example comes with Iván Martín “Razork” Díaz, who is known to have very powerful comfort picks such as Gragas and Ekko. Teams are now sure to ban one or more of these out, so victory will come a bit harder.
A very promising future
Though many things are uncertain, the undeniable fact is that Misfits have managed to prove themselves. Even if not the best or even top 3, the team is a sure contender for playoffs. Once inside the bracket, the dream run to win it all is never quite impossible, especially with such an unpredictable and explosive roster.
From this point onward Misfits as a team ought to be respected; each individual player ought to be respected. The path toward the top is open for the organization and the ceiling for the lineup seems to reach as high as the sky.
However, with so many established and powerful teams right behind them and hungry for their spot, Misfits will surely fight and struggle. It is likely further problems may arise with their talent. Perhaps someone will find a weak points in their strategies.
But if there is one thing that Misfits has proven without a shadow of a doubt these past weeks is that they are some of the best in the world at improving and adapting. No matter how hard things get, with playful and defiant demeanor, this bunny is sure to hop right over all expectations.
Featured photo from @MisfitsGG
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