G2 are now favourites
Maintaining a high level of performance, G2 is one of the top contenders when it comes to the playoffs. Former CJ Entus Blaze ADC Kim "Emperor" Jin-hyun has really improved in the last couple of weeks, taking the Week 7 MVP title and aiding his team to a joint #1 seeding. A willingness to skirmish makes for some exciting games, but as shown in the Fnatic loss, lack of warding and late game coordination could be a glaring weakness for G2 entering series play.
Very few people could have foreseen this team being as strong as they are, and while I have my doubts about their potency in an international setting, taking an EU LCS title in their first split would be a huge achievement. Adapting to a Bo5 series may prove tricky, as teams may look to work around G2's slightly one dimensional play-style, but if they can diversify I predict a top 2 finish and a semi final seed.
H2k struck by more roster troubles
With the return of Yoo "Ryu" Sang-ook after visa problems, H2k fans breathed a sigh of relief that the main roster was back together. This was short lived however, after the shocking announcement from ADC Konstantinos "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou that he was to be conscripted into the Greek army. Losing a player of such quality will be very hard to overcome, and H2k will certainly be weaker for it.
Forgiven's replacement remains unknown, and his successor's performances may carry upon it the weight of a top 2 finish for H2k. With 2 other strong teams to challenge them, I could foresee a slide down to #3 seed and them missing out on the semi final berth. However, the remainder of the team is very strong, so there is hope yet for H2k and their fans.
Vitality have come of age
Recovering from a sloppy opening to the split, Vitality look to have found their groove. Top lane carry Lucas "Cabochard " Simon-Meslet has shown a proficiency for ADCs and with the rest of the roster playing supporting roles, Vitality have thrived and are now on a 6-game winning streak.
I predict Vitality will overtake H2k and finish in the top 2, they look to have discovered their personal style, and with strong players at every position they could be a contender to win the entire split. I believe they possess stronger macro play than G2, and if they can avoid entering the early skirmishes I think they would win a Bo5 against them.
UoL remain erratic but dangerous
After cycling through a series of different junglers, the Unicorns of Love have finally settled on former H2k player Jean-Victor "loulex" Burgevin. Much maligned last split, Burgevin can now establish a new legacy playing for the fan favourites. Continuing their usual crazy play style, UoL can always be a serious threat, or roll over and die.
With strong showings from their carries, UoL look comfortable in 4th and could potentially cause an upset at play-offs. I don't think this will happen but other teams need to respect what they have going on here, and the team has proved many wrong who called this roster to be one of the weakest coming into the split.
Fnatic are still a work in progress
The team everybody is watching, Fnatic, are still trying to come together. New support Johan "Klaj" Olsson could be the key to success, but it looks like everything is going to take time. Strong games have been counteracted with terrible showings like against Splyce in Week 6 and fans are unsure where their team stands as play-offs approach.
A mid table seed seems strange but I hope Fnatic can pull it together in time for play-offs and make a solid run. The dreams of a team as strong as last year's looks to have gone, and in its place is a quiet optimism that the team can become a potential challenger in the future.
- Last article's prediction that Origen would gain some speed appears to not quite have happened. The team remains stuck with 1-1 weekly records and while ADC Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen may still be playing well, the team struggles to find any sense of a macro game, mainly picking up wins against the weaker mechanical teams. Former TSM Jungler Maurice "Amazing" Stückenschneider has fallen off a cliff in his level of play, at times being a real liability, and while there is little danger of them not getting a play-off spot, their chances of progressing look very slim.
- Elements fans should have finally realised the truth of the situation, their team is poor. A 2-0 record in Week 2 created a lot of hype and wild claims that the team could challenge for a play-off spot. In reality though, the roster remains weak and while they may possess great synergy off the rift, on it the players continue the proud Elements tradition of being thoroughly mediocre.
- Despite a poor record, I feel Splyce have somewhat of a win-win situation at the moment. Any win is counted as a huge success and led by strong mid laner Chres "Sencux" Laursen, they have shown a willingness to try new things. Meanwhile losses can be chalked off as 'learning experiences' as this young team attempts to find their niche. I am strangely fond of Splyce, and hope the team can eventually grow or some of the players can find a good home to further develop their potential.
- ROCCAT have somewhat cleaned up some of their earlier failings. Recruiting ex Fnatic support Lewis "NoXiAK" Simon Felix and veteran ADC Erik "Tabzz" van Helvert has improved the team immensely. ROCCAT have shown to be dangerous at times, taking an upset win over UoL in Week 7 and there is real hope of them clinching that safe 7th spot.
- Don't get me wrong, Giants are still bad. But they at least managed to pick up a couple of wins, and star mid laner Isaac "xPePii" Flores looks to be approaching his best. Giants are no longer a certain win, and a strong end to the season could ensure the organisation remains within the LCS for another split.
EU LCS Week 7 Standings
1. H2k-Gaming: 11-3
1. Team Vitality: 11-3
4. Unicorns of Love: 9-5
5. Fnatic: 8-6
6. Origen: 7-7
7. Elements: 4-10
7. Splyce: 4-10
9. Team ROCCAT: 3-11
10. Giants Gaming: 2-12
Images courtesy of lolesports
League of Legends Editor at SK Gaming from 10/2014 -
Nerd since 1996 and committed to helping the growth of e-Sports in anyway possible!
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Currently Reading BA English and Sports Science at Loughborough University
My twitter: @SK_Krahft
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