H2k Gaming have had a contender for the worst split in EU LCS history.
In 2018 H2k released a statement on the state of their team in July trying to place blame on the bad meta and lack of player skill in their lineup. However, this only made their domestic issues even more apparent as they've continued to pick incorrect champions in the seemingly wild west era of League of Legends champion select.
After watching the matches of H2k (especially against Vitality recently,) it is clear that they are improperly putting their team compositions together. It appears to me that they have overly aggressive tendencies and lack the proper timing to take team fights in the early game to capitalize on them.
Looking at their match stats from their first 15 games in Summer Split H2k had just 3 first bloods. And even then, they won 0 of these games. Additionally they have won 1/7 games where they take first dragon.
The only game they have won all split was against Splyce in the second game of week 7. H2k had 14 kills and 10 deaths in the game, and that was their highest kill count in a game this split.
It hasn't been a great ride.
In H2k's matches there are still some positives to draw, like their ability to segue early poke and leads into objective based gameplay. After they get an objective however it is immediately shot down by their laners overextending or running into big play for their opponents. There are some major flaws that drag down this already hamstrung roster.
Another of the biggest bad traits is their rotations and ganks. Whether H2k is moving to put pressure on the map or relieve it elsewhere, their team decisions seem too slow for the competition. I do not have any sure way of saying it comes down to communication issues, but it does seem like a lack of warding or slow communication from teammates is ruining their mid-game play and anchoring their chances.
Off the Rift
Now let's talk about the things outside of game, including the players mentality toward LoL patch 8.15 and its meta.
I am not going to respond to their statement they released in July at this point. It is a waste of time to wait so long and I believe Duncan “Thooorin” Shields hit the nail on the head pretty well with his response to it early. However, I will highlight a few things they said in the statement and point them out.
The main thing H2k blamed in their statement was the meta for 8.15. Saying you struggle because of a meta is the same as saying you are a good student but bad at tests.
While I agree that the meta is wonky, I will not blame a bad game on the meta rather than my own play. If you are a talented professional in any esport you should be able to overcome something like a meta shift, it's part of the job. If you cannot do so then you get cast aside while newer more adaptable players come in to take your spot. It's something we've seen plenty before in League of Legends.
As I look around LCS in EU and NA and at LCK, LPL, even TCL, I notice that the teams on top are still for the most part on top. If this meta is as bad as H2k makes it seem, we would see “lesser teams” in the top end of each region lucking out on the changes. It's just not happening.
If this organization wants to return to former glory H2k must swallow the painful pill that, at the moment, they're just not on par with EU LCS teams.
Change has been the real issue with H2k's lineup in 2018. They had a good spring split being slightly above average in the EU LCS. However Summer Split changes created this disaster they have to recover from next split.
The key to H2k's success lies in their coaching staff and dedication. Some roster moves would certainly help, but it is only one symptom of many key issues in this H2k organization.
We can only hope to see them escape these growing pains and become the team we all saw rampage on its best days, even internationally, and miss it as we head into Worlds 2018.