What a week it was in the world of League of Legends! Let’s recap it all ahead of Finals weekend…
In Europe, we saw one expected result and two, well, not so expected results!
On Friday, Schalke 04 Esports shocked everyone by defeating FNATIC in the lower bracket matchup. But it wasn’t even close- Schalke swept the Old Kings of Europe 3-0 in a series lasting a little over 2 hours! While all the S04 players were brilliant, extra praise needs to be lauded on Abbedagge, who commanded the mid lane throughout, and LiMiT, who was instrumental in some exquisite playmaking.
On Saturday, we had the second upset of the weekend, as MAD Lions took down top dogs G2 3-1. MAD looked raring for the occasion, while G2 looked like they were asleep at the wheel- they looked brighter once they drafted a damage threat for Rekkles instead of Karma bot, but by then MAD were already on match point and saw the next game out convincingly to advance to the grand final. Elyoya was once again a commander for MAD, with many pros and analysts rating him as soon-to-be one of the best in the world.
On Sunday, Schalke faced off against Rogue for a spot in the loser’s final, where they would face G2 for the final spot in the grand final against MAD. Schalke were pinned back early, and despite dominating Rogue in game 2, found themselves knocked out by the pressure soaking ability of Rogue. Despite it being a playoffs run to forget so far, jungler Inspired showed up massively in this series, and made sure any efforts Gilius made to get S04 back in the series were in vain.
Match to Watch: MAD v G2/RGE- It’d be crazy to recommend anything other than the grand final, really. MAD have put any talk of them being unable to play on stage well and truly to bed, and are arguably the favorites to head to MSI. However, the two teams they could face are major roadblocks- RGE seems to be MAD’s bogey team. We can see this final going to 5 games, and hopefully it does.
Player to Watch: MAD Armut- I believe in Armut supremacy. The Turkish top laner absolutely gapped Wunder in their matchup, and shows no signs of stopping. A player who is just as comfortable solobolo-ing on Sion or grinding his enemies down with Urgot as he is Standing United with his team on Shen, he’s a vital key to success for MAD this weekend.
Only two matches for the LCS this weekend, but they were great to watch nonetheless!
On Saturday, Cloud9 faced off against Team Liquid in the Winner’s final. These two have met multiple times before and matchups like this can go both ways, and this time it went in favor of Cloud9. Playoffs Perkz was well and truly activated, and TL could do little to stop him. These two could still meet again in the final, and it’s likely they do, but C9 won the day here.
On Sunday, TSM went toe-to-toe with 100Thieves. Truthfully, this once should have been close, but 100T just didn’t show up for the races. Looking a shadow of their performances in the Lock In, 100T were able to secure 1 game off of TSM, but were outclassed in the other 3, and by the time they got their 1 win of the series, the damage had been done and the team had seemingly lost confidence.
Match to Watch: Cloud9 vs TL/TSM- Again, this one is surely the right choice! Cloud9 have a lot of history with both teams, and considering C9 have fallen during Spring when playing both of these teams, it’s going to be an interesting one to see if it hamstrings TSM/TL by having to play twice in two days, or if the momentum pushes them on.
Player to Watch: C9 Blaber– Blaber has been a vital part of the C9 war machine ever since he was given the starting spot following Svenskeren’s departure. An aggressive and objective focused jungler, he causes real pain for his opponents. A matchup with Santorin is sure to test him in terms of kill participation, and Spica will challenge him on objective plays. He’s got a big task ahead of him- but his opponents have a bigger task facing him.
In this week’s matches in the LCK, we saw the results go the expected way for the most part, but they were still a thrill to watch.
In the first game, DWG KIA swept aside Hanwha Life without a single problem- the roster has been dominant all spring and looks to continue that trend all the way to MSI. Ghost 7 ShowMaker were particularly dominant this series, and will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with, should the team make it to MSI.
The next day, DWG had their Final opponent confirmed to be GenG. It’s been a decent season overall for GenG, and ultimately they showed that the new-look T1 10-man roster put together by Daeny is still far from being ideal for the team. Special praise must go to Bdd, who gapped Faker the whole series and picked up each of the 3 MVP awards for the games.
Match to Watch: DWG v GEN.G- It’s kind of tough to recommend another due to the lack of games, but this one should still be a banger! GenG will come into the series as heavy underdogs, and truthfully it feels like DWG have one foot on the plane to Iceland already. But upsets can, and will, happen in League of Legends, and with as powerful a roster as GenG has, it’s definitely not impossible.
Player to Watch: DWG Canyon– One of DWG’s many feathers in their cap, Canyon has terrorized LCK junglers all split long with his aggressive and dominating jungle performances. Coming up against legendary jungler Clid will be an interesting matchup- Clid is no slouch. While the deck is stacked in Canyon’s favor, he should be wary of GenG shuffling the cards and upsetting the World Champions.