EU LCS lived up to expectations for the most part. Matches ended the way they were expected to, teams that were expected to do well did just that and players that were supposed to do well were able to do so. Here are the takeaways from Week 1.
G2 Esports are still the kings of Europe
Although the gap between G2 and the rest of the league isn’t as huge as it may seem, G2 are still the top team in the region. After defeating a promising Fnatic squad in a close 2-1 series, they were able to easily dispatch of Team ROCCAT. With G2 expanding their support staff they can only improve and get better. It’s hard to imagine that any team will be able to take them out eventually. The biggest weak points for G2 seem to be their solo laners. Expect is a good role player and team fighters but when it comes to laning he’s not the most impressive player. PerkZ is playing better than he did at Worlds but that’s not saying much and he still had a lot of trouble on Syndra, dying often and being an easy target for ganks. He did get his hands on LeBlanc however and he proved once again that assassins are his comfort picks after destroying Team ROCCAT with the pick.
The sky is the limit for H2K-Gaming
Let’s just be honest about it, H2K wasn’t expected to do too well. They lost three big time players, one of which was a shotcaller for them. It was hard to imagine them doing well from the start with Febiven, who was a struggling mid laner last year, and an entirely new Korean bottom lane. But the team proved a lot of people wrong in Week 1. They didn’t look that great in their series against Origen but in their match against Splyce they showed us incredible play for a team that hasn’t been together for too long. Splyce was expected to be a top team coming into this split and while they most likely will be, it’s very impressive that H2K was able to dismantle them. This team can reach very high levels of play if they continue to get better with each and every week.
Misfits doesn’t look that impressive yet
My personal expectations for Misfits was that they would battle with Fnatic for 2nd place. While that still seems like a possibility, I’m not convinced after seeing their series against Giants Gaming. The team can certainly be a strong contender in Group A with players like KaKAO and IgNar but not if they continue to play at the level they showed during Week 1. It’s too early to judge but perhaps, with more time, Misfits will be able to ramp up and become a strong team.
The new Fnatic roster is promising
They lost to G2 Esports but the new Fnatic roster showed us they have the potential to reclaim their throne. Everyone on the team played well enough for me to remain optimistic about them. Caps is a very promising rookie and his improvement as a player will depend a lot on him and how he deals with the attention he will ultimately receive. If he lets it get to his head it may hurt him in the long run but if he is able to stay humble, the “mini Faker” nickname he has received from professionals and analysts may be justified. Fnatic’s growth is definitely one of the things I am most interested to watch throughout the EU LCS Spring Split.
Origen, ROCCAT and Vitality are where they should be at
I wasn’t excited for any of these teams because I personally don’t see much potential in them. And as expected by most analysts, they started off their first week with losses. Can they prove me wrong? Of course! Any team in the league can always improve and prove it’s doubters wrong. But I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. I expect all three of these squads to stay at the bottom of their groups. It would definitely surprise me if that’s not the case. Out of all three of them Vitality seems like they have the biggest chance of doing that. Hachani is a great player and if he is able to become a good leader for the team and lead them in the right direction, Vitality could finally prove its doubters wrong and be a top team.
Unicorns of Love and Splyce are opposites
In terms of performance these two teams played entirely differently this week. Unicorns showed the fans that they are still in great form despite changing their roster a bit. Meanwhile Splyce looked very lackluster in their loss against H2K and have their fans worried. It has only been one series so both squads should be given more time to showcase themselves. However both teams were expected to do well and for Splyce to do so poorly in their opening week is the polar opposite of what the Unicorns did. It’s definitely a big surprise but Week 2 will shows us if the Unicorns can maintain their level two form as they play against H2K-Gaming. For Splyce it’ll be an easier week as they only have one match against Vitality. If Week 1 was simply bad preparation and lack of good practice, Splyce should be able to dismantle Vitality easily.
It’s early in the Spring Split but the EU LCS has already established power levels for its teams. It’s going to be exciting to see which teams rise in the ranks and which players can perform well.