Week 8 of the European League of Legends Championship looks to separate the playoff contenders from the pretenders with a myriad of potentially close match-ups on the schedule.
UOL the focus of the week
The suddenly scorching Unicorns of Love will have to prove just how good they can be this week, with Vitality and Fnatic on the slate. Both sides have looked vulnerable in the past few weeks, although both are still considered amongst the best in the league, with Fnatic leading the overall standings with a 10-4 record.
The Unicorns have recently built some solid momentum, with an excellent grasp of the new patch furthering their position. However, doubts remain as to whether they can maintain their form against the top teams, having beaten the bottom two sides last week. If UOL can pull off a 2-0 run this week, they would become a legitimate favourite to win the tournament, which is astonishing given how horrendously they started the season.
Schedule an opportunity for Splyce…
Third-place Splyce have a chance to separate themselves from the middle of the pack, with matches against Misfits Gaming and H2k this week. Splyce looked fabulous as they claimed a 2-0 sweep last week, a sweep that included a win over the previously streaking G2 Esports. Diversity of champion picks and a dedication to the early game showed how Splyce were ahead of the curve on patch 8.4, but concerns remain over whether their play is sustainable.
Splyce have been up and down since the beginning of the year but their recent surge could continue this coming week. Misfits are possibly the most inconsistent team in the league, appearing to be one of the best sides one week before falling flat on their faces the next. Coupled with H2k, who have occasionally looked decent but are currently in last place, a 2-0 week is more than possible for Splyce. With the edge clearly in Splyce’s favour for their match-up against H2k, the question is what Misfits Gaming will bring to the table.
…And for G2 as well
G2 Esports could bounce back after going 1-1 this past week, with their one win being against Giants, a team trending in the wrong direction for weeks now. On the schedule this week are H2k and Schalke 04, the two sides at the bottom of the league. Schalke shouldn’t cause many problems but H2k can be dangerous, particularly given their decent record since their roster overhaul. However, given the wealth of talent at G2, they should still prevail.
The key player for G2 Esports is Wunder, who has asserted himself as the best Top laner in the region by a fairly decent margin. Across the board Wunder has led the way for G2, with the likes of Mid laner Perkz performing strongly alongside him. Look for G2 Esports to continue their pattern of drafting quality champions early for Wunder (Sion in particular this patch) with the hope of snowballing the advantages he attains into a victory.
One of the most intriguing match-ups includes the two teams arguably in the worst current form, with Schalke 04 squaring off against Giants. For Giants, losing six of seven has seen the team spiral downwards, with every member appearing to struggle. A return to priority in the Mid lane did little good for the side as they lost both their matches this past week, with the game against ROCCAT being particularly disappointing.
For Schalke 04 their continued drop extends the disbelief that such a talented roster can struggle in such a manner. Schalke appear to have strong laners in every role, but an inability to find any sort of advantage throughout the game has left many wondering what changes need to happen with this line-up.
The crux of the clash is likely to be which team will make the fewest number of mistakes. This game might therefore be the most entertaining of the week, but for all the wrong reasons.
The EU LCS Spring Season is in the home stretch with just two weeks to play. Week 8 should shake things up and give some clarity as to the teams most likely to make the Playoffs.