On the other side of the bracket Fnatic faced off Europe's most cohesive unit - H2k. After soundly pummeling Copenhagen Wolves to the ground, H2k had to face the regular season runner-up. The fanatics had a tough road ahead of them and beating their opponents was the only option. In addition, this best-of-five represented a test for the youngsters within the team and their ability to cope with hard tasks under pressure.
Without further ado, let's dive right in and see what the semi-finals offered.
Fnatic vs. H2k: Going the distance*
Going the distance originated as a boxing term and it's definition states: to last for all the rounds that have been scheduled.
The main story behind the match was simple - will the raw skill and aggression of Fnatic defeat the strategic and more conservative approach of H2k? With key players such as Febiven, Huni and Yellowstar the boys in orange and black were going against the resurgent Ryu, top lane star Odoamne and Kasing in the bot lane. What followed was an extremely entertaining match which went down to the wire with Fnatic barely edging their opponents.
Overview of the match:
Best games: 1,3,5 (Games Directory)
Despite a strategic misstep by Fnatic in game 1, the series was dictated by the early leads that the teams got. Once they had them, no great gambles were made and both simply snowballed what they had to finish the respective match. Although H2k were strategically the better team, their complete mental breakdown was evident in game 5 as multiple members made uncharacteristic mistakes all over the map.
Series MVP: Fabian 'Febiven' Diepstraten
The Dutch youngster proved once again why he's the best mid laner in Europe at the moment. Being a pillar in both Fnatic's offensive and defensive efforts, his 1 on 1 kill in game 4 brought the equalizer back to the crew in orange and black. In addition, Fabian kept his cool during the decider and perfectly followed up his team's efforts to bring Fnatic to a fifth consecutive EU LCS final.
SK Gaming vs. Unicorns of Love: The fairy tale continues
With UoL's victory over Gambit coming as a huge surprise, many expected SK to "expose" the team lead by PowerofEvil and comfortably qualify for the finals in Madrid. Obviously things did not go to plan. SK struggled and gave UoL just enough ground to make their stand and upset the winner of the regular season. Unfortunately for our boys, UoL were the better team that day and we will have to be satisfied with the 3rd/4th place battle with H2k.
Overview of the match:
Best games: 2, 3, 4, 5(Games Directory)
The Unicorns made sure FORG1VEN did not get any comfort champion in all games. The Lucian and Graves bans weakened SK enough for UoL to focus other lanes and apply pressure. Their efforts gave fruit as Hylissang and PowerofEvil spearheaded the Unicorns in games 1 and 3. On the other side of the Rift, Svenskeren did his absolute best to keep SK in title contention with his mind-blowing Lee Sin performance. However, it simply wasn't enough as SK did commit too many strategic mistakes and missed their chance to close the series in game 5.
Series MVP: Zdravets 'Hylissang' Galabov
The Bulgarian support single-handedly delivered UoL into the finals after a mind-blowing performance on his part. Proficient in skillshot-based supports, Hylissang made sure FORG1VEN and nRated never pushed their advantage or asserted dominance over the lane. Outside of his duo adventures, the support helped his jungler and mid numerous times with clutch bindings which brought UoL objectives, kills and subsequently, the victory.
The finals of the EU LCS Spring Split commence on 18th April in Madrid, Spain. SK Gaming will be playing in the 3rd/4th place match against H2k, while Fnatic and Unicorns of Love will decide who takes the European Crown.
Images courtesy of lolesports.com
Former lead editor and interviewer for SK Gaming
Follow me on twitter - @Adddler or LINK
iNNERFiRE - multi-game journalist and Editor-in-Chief: 2012
onGamers - League of Legends Feature Producer: 01.2014 - 02.2015
SK-Gaming - League of Legends Lead Editor: 11.2012 - 08.2015
My journey into eSports started in 2004 when I accidentally caught a small video on TV from the WarCraft 3 WCG 2004 final. I opened up the SK Gaming website from my father's laptop and never stopped reading to this day. In early 2010 I started writing at a Bulgarian news website simply because I disliked how the current editor was handling his job and with time, I got to be Editor-In-Chief. My main writing interests back then were StarCraft 2, QuakeLive and League of Legends.
Fast-forward to 2012, after a small hiatus and moving to England to attend university, I decided to start writing news posts again, inspired by a couple of industry figures who have taken their turns taking eSports writing to a new level. With the beginning of IPL5, I was given a trial with SK Gaming which was successful and I never looked back.
In early 2014, onGamers presented me with an incredible opportunity to join their ranks which I took. Although I believe my 2014 was rather poor (in terms of work ethic and results), I have made changes during the winter break to ensure that sufficient effort will be made to repair that. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of the team, the project was at a stand still which marked the end of my stint with the oG crew.
I continued producing 1 on 1 interviews with SK members until July 2015. After that, other commitments arose and I figured I could not provide the flow of content I promised my superiors and took a step back, leaving SK.
If you are an eSports fan who is looking to get into writing or simply want to chat about eSports across the years, you can always find me on my twitter - @Adddler . Below you can find some trivia about me.
BroodWar / StarCraft 2
BW pro: sAvi0r and Flash (for different reasons)
BW race: Terran
BW series: Hana Daetoo MSL
SC2 pro: Creator and Stephano (different reasons)
SC2 race: Terran
SC2 series: ThorZain vs Polt at DreamHack Open 2012 and any big final played by King MvP
StarCraft related article: God of the Battlefield
Pro: Alexey 'Cypher' Yanushevski
Map: Aerowalk, BloodRun (100% Eastern European choices)
Series: Cooller vs Cypher. Especially the brilliant defensive Cypher game on Aero (game 4).
Rivalry: Rapha vs Cypher
Quake related articled: The Quadra Interview and the one and only Cypher PoV
League of Legends
Pro(s): FORG1VEN, Faker, WeiXiao, NaMei and Mata.
Position: AD Carry
Series: All the World Elite games at IPL5, KT Bullets versus SK Telecom T1 K OGN Summer 2013 Final and LPL Summer Final between StarHorn Royal Club and EDG (The perfect Jinx game by Namei).
League related article: Most of TeamLiquid.net's takes on the 2012 and 2013 OGN tournaments.
Team: Fnatic (2008-2009)
Series: AGAiN vs Fnatic at WCG 2009. Literally broke a cup after the game. One of the most emotional series for me as a spectator.
Gfinity League of Legends - August 2013 (SK Gaming)
EU LCS Week 5 London - June 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
GamesCom 2014 Cologne - August 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
EU LCS 2015 Week 7 Spring Split - March 2015 (SK Gaming)
Intel Extreme Masters Season IX Katowice - March 2015 (SK-Gaming)
EU LCS Final and Third Place Recap
Week 8 and SK still reigns over Europe
SK secure #1 seed for the EU playoffs
SK recovers to beat Elements and stay atop of EU LCS
Week 4 and still undefeated in the EU LCS
THE NEW JERSEY