Europe’s Summer Split has kicked off mostly as expected. With Fnatic, Unicorns of Love, G2 Esports and H2K leading the pack so far, there have been some surprising things that are quite interesting. Here are the takeaways from the opening week of the 2017 EU LCS Summer Split.
In the first game of the split as well as their first game with Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian in the jungle, Misfits looked largely unimpressive. On paper, replacing Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon with Maxlore was supposed to be a good move that would clean up the team’s shotcalling and communication. KaKAO during his time with Misfits was largely seen as a jungler that had good early game impact, being able to snowball his laners into the mid game. However his reliance on certain champion picks coupled with his inability to mesh well with his teammates into mid and late game was a problem. Adding Maxlore to the line-up was supposed to be the fix to this but that hasn’t been the case so far.
Fnatic defeated them swiftly and easily. Misfits wasn’t able to put up much of a fight and Maxlore was mostly invisible in the game, having a low amount of impact on his lanes. It’s possible that it’ll take him time to mesh well with the team. If they are able to help Maxlore fit in with the team while figuring out their style, Misfits has the chance of becoming a serious contender for the title of EU LCS champion.
G2’s three subs proved their worth
In a big upset which surprised many, G2 managed to defeat Team ROCCAT with three substitutes in the line-up. What’s even more interesting is that it wasn’t the Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez show. All three of these subs played well. Both Jin “Blanc” Sung-min and Jean-Victor “Loulex” Burgevin made a ton of plays, and despite not having much synergy with each other, outperformed Felix “Betsy” Edling and Milo “Pridestalker” Wehnes in the 2v2s. Rosendo “Send0o” Fuentes didn’t stand out as much but he did fine in the top lane and was stable enough for the team.
While this is all great for G2, it’s very worrying for ROCCAT. After having such an impressive second half of the Spring Split, expectations for ROCCAT were that they would be able to challenge for a Top 3 spot this time around. Losing to a G2 line-up that has three substitutes is very discouraging. Perhaps it was a fluke and ROCCAT simply didn’t prepare well enough. That being said they need to make up for this loss quickly and get a win next week otherwise they will risk having another poor start to the split.
Fnatic and H2K looked great
Both of these teams performed extremely well and looked dominant. Fnatic continue to stick to the unique playstyle they have developed which revolves around putting Martin “Rekkles” Larsson on unusual AD Carries and playing very aggressive in lanes and team fights. It has worked out greatly for them ever since they started using this style so there’s no point in changing their approach to the game. Jesse “Jesiz” Le in particular has been playing very good so far and if he can continue to improve and expand his champion pool, he could challenge Mithy for the title of best support in the league.
In a similar manner H2K looked dominant in their wins over Splyce and Mysterious Monkeys. Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski proved once again why he is the first blood king, having insane early game impact in most of the games. H2K still hasn’t faced the Unicorns of Love which will be the first huge test for both teams. However if they are able to play at the same level they showed in Week 1, they have a solid chance of defeating UOL next week.
Disappointment for Splyce and Vitality
Both teams are plagued by the same problems from last spit. Vitality continues to have no identity and no game plan with some of the players underperforming. Splyce on the other hand has solid players but are unable to play out their early games well and appear to be lacking synergy as a team. Jonas “Trashy” Andersen in particular underperformed a lot early in the Spring Split and it looks like the same is happening in the Summer Split.
Meanwhile both Mysterious Monkeys and Ninja in Pyjamas performed better than what was expected of them despite losing their matches. The Monkeys showed that their early game can be pretty good and they have potential as a team if they can control Sofyan “CozQ” Rechchads aggression. NiP on the other hand was much more controlled as a team and despite their roster coming together recently, they showed that they have the makings of a solid team that can challenge for a playoff spot with enough hard work.
Although the opening week went pretty much as expected, it’s only the start of the split and all of these teams have a lot of time to surprise us in good or bad ways. Next week’s games include G2 facing off against Fnatic and H2K battling the Unicorns for supremacy of each group.