Splyce 1, Giants 0
Splyce closed out its regular season with a win over Giants Gaming on Saturday to kick off Day 2, Week 9 of the European League Championship Series Summer Split.
For Giants (5-13), it all began to fall apart from the first round of picks in champion select, when a bold first-pick Akali unwittingly doomed mid laner Felix "Betsy" Edling to a failed laning phase. Up against the Leblanc of Splyce mid Yasin "Nisqy" Dincer, Betsy was unable to overcome the range disadvantage, taking heavy poke and quickly losing control of the lane. His attempt to retake the reins at seven minutes only resulted in an embarrassing solo death, setting a downward spiral into motion.
From that point forward, Giants just couldn't find its footing. After a 2-vs-2 in the mid lane went the way of Splyce (9-9), Nisqy had no trouble at all finding additional solo kills, both within his lane and elsewhere on the map. Meanwhile, Splyce top laner Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu also found a solo kill as Gnar. Taking advantage of the immense pressure disparity, Splyce jungler Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir monopolized objectives for his team, picking up both dragons and Rift Herald as well as helping to secure a quick 3-0 turret advantage.
There was little hope of a comeback in this one, and while Giants tried its best to take fights, it only ever ended up giving more kills back to Splyce. Nisqy's Leblanc was by far the flashiest Splyce member, ending with a 7/1/7 KDA (kills/deaths/assists). Splyce ended the match at 27 minutes without even bothering to take Baron.
Splyce will enter into playoffs as the sixth and final seed. Giants will have to watch from the sidelines as playoffs kick off on Aug. 24 at noon ET.
H2k 1, Schalke 04 0
Coming into this game with only a single win, and long since eliminated from playoffs, no one would have blamed H2k (2-16) for failing to take its final game seriously. The last-place team had something else in mind, however, and was determined to end its season on a high note.
The hero of the early game was H2k jungler Marc "Caedrel" Robert Lamont on a first-pick Trundle. The priority was well deserved, as Caedrel kept H2k in the game despite its losing solo lanes. H2k top laner Lennart "Smittyj" Warkus on Fiora and mid laner Marcin "Selfie" Wolski on Akali had huge trouble early on against the Ryze and Aatrox of Schalke 04 (12-6) respectively, each taking a huge CS deficit, and even dying in Smittyj's case. However, Caedrel not only got a kill back for his top laner but managed to nab Rift Herald all by himself despite the lack of lane pressure, using it to secure first turret and a gold lead for H2k.
Unlocked from their early lanes, H2k's solo laners came into their own. Having each found an early skirmish kill, Smittyj and Selfie set about taking down enemy structures in the side lanes. While only one more kill came through for H2k in the first half hour of gameplay, the huge map pressure put out by H2k's split-pushers grew its turret and gold leads while also granting easy dragons. Finally, while the rest of H2k started Baron, Smittyj and Selfie picked off the enemy jungler, securing the buff for the team, as well as kicking off the subsequent ace. Afterward, H2k simply walked into the Schalke 04 base, took all three inhibitors, and ended the game in under 32 minutes.
ROCCAT 1, Misfits 0
Huge credit has to go to the champion select of ROCCAT (7-11) in this game -- while the lane matchups were fairly even across the board, ROCCAT's team composition was a major stylistic counter to that of Misfits (11-7). Drafting global and semi-global ultimates with Twisted Fate, Ashe, and Tahm Kench, ROCCAT set itself up to make cross-map plays. Meanwhile, Misfits drafted a pick composition, with Leblanc, Pyke, Taliyah, Varus, and Cho'Gath.
This compositional parity came to the forefront in the early game; while Misfits found first blood, ROCCAT collapsed with four members at eight minutes to find three kills in a clean turret dive, setting up for first turret minutes later. Especially from behind, Misfits' team composition struggled to be effective, as ROCCAT used its map mobility to constantly group up for plays, removing the possibility of getting picked off. Even when Misfits did manage to collapse onto a lone member, help was never far away, between multiple Teleports and the Abyssal Voyage from support Tore "Norskeren" Hoel Eilertsen on Tahm Kench.
In the scrappy mid and late game, Misfits did manage to find some kills, but these almost always came by way of trades that favored ROCCAT. Misfits made a bold play in starting Baron at 28 minutes, only for the buff to be stolen away by ROCCAT jungler Jonas "Memento" Elmarghichi on Olaf. ROCCAT was sloppy in closing out the game, but after a prolonged 4-vs-5 teamfight allowed mid laner Jin "Blanc" Seong-min to split-push into the Misfits base as Twisted Fate, Misfits' backs were broken. ROCCAT ended the game just shy of the 39-minute mark after one last ace.
ROCCAT has been out of playoff contention for a while now, but will certainly be happy to have ended on a win. Misfits, on the other hand, no longer has a shot at a first-round bye in playoffs, which kick off on Friday at noon ET.
Unicorns of Love 1, Fnatic 0
As has become a trend here on the final day of the Split, Unicorns (7-11) continued the parade of upsets by taking down Fnatic (13-5) on Saturday in a fairly lopsided battle. While Fnatic had singular moments of greatness, they were usually followed by Unicorns responding with blistering teamfighting to protect the early lead it had amassed.
Right out the gate, Unicorns made sure to focus on Fnatic mid laner Rasmus "Caps" Winther's Fizz in an effort to keep the player from having his usual impact on the game. Shortly after, Fnatic responded by tallying three quick kills of its own before fading back into the abyss as Unicorns picked up steam in a hurry. Fnatic desperately tried to leverage its kills into an advantage, but there was nothing at all it could do in the end.
Unicorns took over the game for good with a clean 4-for-0 teamfight on the back of two kills from mid laner Fabian "Exileh" Schubert's Irelia. From that point on, Unicorns was firmly in the driver's seat, securing the next Baron a few minutes later to solidify its lead. With the powerful buff in hand, Unicorns started pushing into the Fnatic base to end things early. Fnatic wouldn't go down without a fight, though. As Unicorns tried to take a second Baron, Fnatic stormed the Baron pit and stole away the objective to try and stall the game long enough to get a comeback going. The only problem was that it lost four members in the process, and with death timers sitting over 30 seconds, Unicorns had no problem at all moving down the mid lane and closing out the game to lock up the upset win.
Fnatic, while still locked into a playoff bye, could lose out on the No. 1 seed based on the result of the final game of the day between G2 Esports and Team Vitality. Meanwhile, Unicorns will hold its head high after taking down the best team in the region.
Vitality 1, G2 0
Vitality (12-6) wiped the floor with G2 (12-6) in a quick 28-minute contest to set up a three-way tie for the top playoff seed. While G2 was one of the top teams in the league this Split, it has been on a downward spiral over the last few weeks and that continued today with a subpar performance against a hungry Vitality squad.
From the very beginning of this game, it was clear that Vitality was itching for a chance at playing for the No. 1 seed, as it quickly picked up two kills just three minutes into the game. By the time 10 minutes had passed, Vitality amassed five kills and was in full control. Top laner Lucas "Cabochard" Simon-Meslet was leading the way with three of those kills and was dominating the matchup against G2 top laner Martin "Wunder" Hansen. The quick start was a sign of things to come as Vitality did whatever it wanted at every point of this game.
While G2 ended up securing a single dragon and knocking down a tower, those were the only positives for this team in the 28-minute scuffle. Not only did the team looked dazed and confused on offense, but its deficiencies extended to the rest of the map as it had no control over any portion of the Rift. Once Vitality secured the only Baron of the game, it was only a matter of time before it wrapped up the quick game to slot itself into three-way tie for first place just weeks after many had declared the team dead in the water.
Both teams, along with FC Schalke 04, will now get to work and prepare for a set of three tiebreakers set to kick off at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday.