Season Five of the European LCS of League of Legends is coming to a head as the teams battle for the title, an invite to the Mid-Season Invitational and a $100,000 first place prize.
G2 Esports and Unicorns of Love secured the playoff first round byes in the round robin phase by winning Group A and B respectively. This also saw Splyce, Misfits, H2k and Fnatic battle it out for the right to play them in the semifinals.
Splyce start strongly
The European LCS Spring Split Playoffs started with a bang as both quarterfinal matches yielded surprising results.
The first encounter featured Splyce against Misfits in a battle of teams enduring up and down seasons. Entering the best-of-five match-up many gave Splyce the edge given their track record of success in previous playoffs.
Game One opened up with both teams playing incredibly passively, with only 1 kill per side at the 23-minute mark. While the kill count was low Splyce maintained a consistent gold lead via Turret kills and Dragons taken. Even with an 8-2 kill lead Misfits were still behind in gold when they made a crucial mistake in the Upper River. Misfits dove too far into a choke point, allowing Splyce to pile on their damage in a small area. That single team fight win was all Splyce needed as they pushed down the middle of the map for the win.
Game Two was also a struggle for Misfits as Splyce’s Mid laner Sencux dominated on Syndra for the second straight game. While a closer game than Game One, Splyce finished off Misfits in incredible fashion; with a backdoor. Splyce’s Top laner Wunder teleported to the super minions pushing into the base while Misfits attempted to fight around the Elder Dragon, which allowed him plenty of time to take down the nexus and pick up the second game.
Misfits make tactical move
Misfits then made one major change that defined the series; prioritizing the Mid lane in the pick and ban. They targeted Sencux and the difference was immediate as Misfits did what Splyce had done in the previous two games; control every aspect of the encounter. Ahead on Turrets, Dragons and kills, Misfits controlled the third game from the start, forcing a Game Four. Once again Sencux would be targeted as his selection of Syndra was countered by PowerofEvil’s LeBlanc. In an incredibly similar game to the previous one, Misfits dominated across the map, forcing a do-or-die fifth clash.
Game Five was all but over at the beginning as PoE picked up both first blood and double buff on LeBlanc. This caused Splyce to run out of gas as Misfits once again controlled the entirety of the game, picking up 20 kills to 4 in a 39-minute rout.
Fnatic pull the surprise
The second quarterfinal was expected to be a simple win for H2k as they squared off against an erratic Fnatic side. In recent weeks Fnatic superstar AD Carry Rekkles had spoken of issues within the team even though they had been on an upswing entering the playoffs.
On the flip side H2k were coming off a semifinal finish at the World Championships and had a quality season as they only dropped three series on their way to a 10-3 Spring Split.
However, not only did Fnatic stun H2k, but they did so in an incredible fashion by securing a 3-0 sweep. Rekkles led the way on three rarely seen champions; Twitch, Vayne and Kennen.
Cream rises to the top
Misfits and Fnatic both struggled in the semifinals (against UoL and G2 respectively), each losing the series 1-3. Even in defeat, the season should be considered a success for both teams though as Misfits showed promise and Fnatic demonstrated their ability to perform when the pressure is on.
By defeating Misfits and Fnatic, Unicorns of Love and G2 Esports have set up an incredible match-up in the Finals of the European Spring Split. G2 enter as favourites as they only dropped one series all season long (against a ROCCAT team that looked unbeatable at the time) while UoL secured an 11-2 record.
If Unicorns of Love are to come away victorious, Top laner Vizicsacsi will need to put in an incredible performance. While not a poor performing player by any stretch of the imagination, Expect is still the weak link on a stacked G2 line-up so Vizicsacsi will need to have his way in the Top lane if the Unicorns are to have any shot of defeating the long-time kings of Europe.