Splyce defeats ROCCAT, Schalke 04 takes down Vitality

Yasin "Nisqy" Dincer's Leblanc was an absolute menace during Splyce's game against Giants Gaming in Week 9 of the European League Championship Series. Provided by Riot Games

Splyce 1, ROCCAT 0

Splyce claimed a convincing comeback victory to eliminate Team ROCCAT from playoff contention during the final week of the European League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split in Berlin.

ROCCAT and Splyce opted to go for drastically different compositions. On the side of Splyce (8-7), the team placed a large emphasis on its early game, picking Leblanc for mid laner Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer. With the pick, the team needed to get an early advantage in order to stop the strengths of the enemy composition. On the side of ROCCAT (6-9), the team chose a much more well-rounded composition, going for a scaling composition that saw its strengths shine during the mid game as well as later stages of the game. As such, the only chance for Splyce would be to shut things out early.

Though the only way to win for Splyce was to win early, the enemy team would not give any opening. With the game breaking the record for the latest First Blood in the split, Splyce continuously struggled to find an early game opening. Not only was the team unable to get anything done, but it simultaneously gave up macro advantages to ROCCAT who was also outfarming during the lane phase. After picking up first blood, ROCCAT quickly secured two kills and secured a Tier 2 tower in the mid lane.

Thankfully for Splyce, the team was not disheartened by the disadvantage with an early game composition. Continuing to buy time, the team looked for opportunities to isolate ROCCAT, and finally caught the enemy team off guard at the 23-minute mark. Playing calm and controlled the team was able to pick up four kills and a resulting Baron shortly after. From here on out, Splyce found its stride and continued to look for openings, pressing the enemy at every opportunity.

After taking over for the next 10 minutes, Splyce began to make moves to close out the game. Playing conservatively despite a 10,000 gold lead, the squad moved methodically around the map, taking another Baron and an Elder Dragon to begin breaking into the enemy base. After small moments of hesitation, Splyce grouped as five and aced the enemy team at Elder Dragon, allowing the team to push uncontested into the enemy base and close things out.

With the victory, Splyce eliminated ROCCAT from playoff contention and brought itself one step closer. The team will take Fnatic this Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET. ROCCAT will take on Unicorns of Love earlier in the day at 12:00 p.m. ET.

--Rotowire

Misfits 1, H2k 0

From the start of draft, H2k (1-14) was at a disadvantage, a perennial fact given its tumultuous Summer Split. While the team regained starting mid laner Marcin "Selfie" Wolski, who had been out of action thanks to medical issues, H2k still was without its full starting five as it was forced to use substitute Ilyas "Shook" Hartsema to fill in at AD Carry while Patrik "Sheriff" Jírů attended to a personal matter. Due to the team's inability to play with a frequent roster, the switch-up meant H2k did not have the same level of synergy.

The level of coordination from the players in off-roles was surprising given the roster changes, and Misfits (11-4) was unsure how to respond. From the very start, H2k was able to make moves around the map, quickly finding a pair of kills and the first tower of the game to build a decent lead. It was a stunning opening to the game for a team that had just won its first game only weeks prior, especially against a team of Misfits caliber.

Those early kills opened the door for H2k to subsequently control the objective game, pushing the pace of the contest from there. Misfits seemed completely unprepared for the team's aggression, causing it to fall behind and reevaluate its own play. Despite being behind early, Misfits proved during the later stages of the game that it was simply the better team.

Misfits mounted a miracle comeback, stealing Baron with a Hail Mary play at the 31-minute mark. This became the turning point of the contest as Misfits quickly negated its disadvantage and turned on the pressure. Charging into the enemy base without taking time to recall, Misfits forced a teamfight at the 34-minute mark that caught H2k off guard. As a result, the team was able to secure a drawn-out clean ace and the game.

Misfits will continue trying to secure a playoffs bye as it takes on G2 Esports this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET. H2k will aim to claim its second victory of the split as it battles Vitality earlier in the day at 11 a.m. ET.

--Rotowire

G2 Esports 1, Unicorns of Love 0

To nobody's surprise, G2 Esports (10-5) was able to find itself a victory over one of the most lackluster teams in the league. What was surprising however, was the method by which the team won. Despite strong performances from carries Luka "Perkz" Perković and Petter "Hjarnan" Freyschuss, the rest of the team struggled during the mid game against Unicorns of Love (4-11). With several pauses during the game, G2 Esports seemingly lost focus as the game progressed. This allowed the enemy to thrive in the chaos, pushing its opposition to constantly fight, preventing G2 Esports from regaining its footing. Although it took some time to ramp up, G2 Esports showed superior macro play, edging out small advantages to gain control of the game.

Unicorns of Love fought tooth and nail to come back into the game, and even found a lead that it held strong for several minutes, but the team's inability to make split-second decisions allowed the enemy team to take over. Some poor teamfight focus and multiple positional errors from AD Carry Samuel "Samux" Fernández's Jhin proved to be particularly fatal.

G2 Esports still has much to work on in preparation for playoffs, as it took a number of questionable engagements throughout the contest. These calls were saved by the dominant performance of Hjarnan's Varus as G2 Esports held off Unicorns of Love with a decisive teamfight 38-minutes into the game, closing out the game shortly thereafter.

G2 Esports takes to the Rift against Misfits at 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, with Unicorns of Love battling ROCCAT at 12:00 p.m.

--Rotowire

Fnatic 1, Giants 0

Unsurprisingly, Fnatic (11-4) quickly took control against Giants (5-10) and looked to pick up an easy victory. The early game could not have gone much worse for Giants as mid laner Felix "Betsy" Edling's Ryze was focused time and again, quickly racking up four deaths. Coupled with Fnatic having huge performances from its carries, this spelt disaster for Giants' last playoff hopes.

Fnatic and the return of star AD Carry Martin "Rekkles" Larsson simply be proved to be too much for the team who has struggled immensely throughout the split. As things quickly got out of control, only a single member on Giants was able to get things done. Kim "Ruin" Hyeong-min used Gragas to great success, hitting a three-man ultimate and body slam combo that nearly turned the tides of the game. Unfortunately, his carries couldn't follow up, allowing Fnatic to continue its onslaught.

Fnatic played with no fear, diving towers at every opportunity. Although the plays did not consistently result in advantages, the team's aggression more than paid off. For every three overaggressive plays made, two worked out, giving the team every opportunity it needed to push into the enemy base. As Giants could not keep up with the pressure, Fnatic found one last teamfight and closed out the game after just 30 minutes.

With the defeat, Giants was nearly eliminated from playoff contention while Fnatic continued to make a case to earn a bye in the first round. Giants will aim to play spoiler as it takes on Schalke 04 on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and will be immediately followed by Fnatic taking on Splyce at 2 p.m ET.

--Rotowire

Schalke 04 1, Vitality 0

Both Vitality (9-6) and Schalke 04 (10-5) seemed to have similar ideas based on each composition moving into the game. With both Nocturne and Poppy, Schalke 04 had a heavy focus on diving and skirmishing. Vitality opted for a more reactive skirmish composition, made up of Gragas and a Xayah/Rakan duo lane. Before the game had started, it was clear that there would be plenty of action.

The action started early, with both teams' mid laners quickly roaming in an effort to find openings for their teams. Both Vitality and Schalke 04 similarly matched each other at every step of the game. The turning point came from a devastating mistake by Vitality's jungler Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek who mistimed his Smite, allowing the enemy top laner to steal Baron.

After being behind several thousand gold and having full control of the objective, this effectively threw away Vitality's last hope in the game, granting Schalke 04 a free objective and further map pressure. It was only a short while before Schalke was able to find a final teamfight and close out the game with ease, clinching a playoff berth in the process.

Despite the heartbreaking mistake, Vitality is still among those teams still fighting for a playoff spot -- and only needs to make minor improvements in order to continue the team's recent trend of impressive performances. The team takes on H2k at 11 a.m. ET Saturday in an effort to clinch a playoff spot. On the other hand, Schalke 04 will look for a higher seed when it takes on Giants at 1 p.m. ET later that day.

--Rotowire