This past weekend, both LCS regions played their quarterfinal matches. Naturally, the matches ranged from being slobber-knockers that were played between two evenly matched teams, to total stomps that evoked pity in spectators everywhere. No matter how the games went, there was a lot to enjoy and no lack of hype and excitement behind what we as viewers bore witness to this past weekend. On the European side of the oversized lake we call the Atlantic Ocean, the teams Splyce, Misfits, H2K and Fnatic battled to make their way to the semifinals and take their rightful spots across the rift from G2 eSports and the Unicorns of Love. Join me as we look into what we learned from these entertaining games between some of the best teams Europe has to offer.
The Misfits Can Work Under Pressure
It was a dark time for Misfits fans. The powerhouse of a team had managed to finish second in their group behind a G2 eSports team that was just one loss short of a perfect record. You couldn’t hope for a better showing of skill than that. Many thought they would cruise their way through the quarterfinals, not worried about the power of any team not named G2, but on this day, they sat on the wrong side of an 0-2 loss to Splyce, a team that was definitely strong in their own right, but not someone who was supposed to be a challenge to Misfits. Game 3 started, and the viewer-count of the Youtube stream dipped slightly, Misfits fans tuning out one might assume. No one likes to see their team lose. But if those same fans had turned on the stream just fifty minutes later, they’d find themselves looking at a scoreboard that was thirteen kills in Misfits’ favor.
The game had gone long, but neither the length of the game nor the fact that they were on the back foot had broken the team. Misfits were intent, determined to drag themselves onward and no one would stop them, not even Splyce. This was something they made clear as they broke the Nexus in game 3. This wasn’t over yet. The Misfits would go on to win the series, managing a reverse sweep against Splyce and proving that no matter the odds or the pressure, they could be counted on to try and claw their way back into a series. They displayed extreme mental fortitude, cleaning up shotcalling errors and making sure both their micro and macro play were as clean as possible, despite thousands of people watching, the series not being in their favor and the pressure that they had, no doubt, placed on themselves.
H2K Has a Hard Time With Pressure
Don’t bring up Worlds to me, reader – that isn’t the same team as this one, and this is the best way I can put it without seeming unnecessarily mean. They had a strong regular season, placing just under the Unicorns of Love, so it’s not like they’re just a bad team. The only thing I can say is that they MUST have a hard time with pressure. It’s not even like we can use the “It’s a Best of 5 this time!” excuse because they didn’t even reach five games. They went 0-3 handily to Fnatic, and it wasn’t even particularly close, with game 2 being the tightest – a six kill difference and a 14k gold league in favor of Fnatic. H2K just collapsed in the face of pressure, which is a fine contrast to how well the Misfits worked in their uphill climb. Still, not all is lost for them, if they can figure out what went wrong during this series, they can pick up and do better for themselves next split. They’re certainly not out of the running for World’s yet, but they need to sort out their problems before it truly does become too late.
Only Rekkles Can Play Kennen ADC (So Far)
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Three out of the four AD Carries playing in the semifinals in both regions tried their hand at Kennen. Rekkles, Kobbe and Altec all gave it a go, and out of the lot of them, Rekkles is the only one who has a victory to speak of on the champion, and the victories aren’t unimpressive in the least. It takes a lot of skill to go against all of a marksman’s primary instincts and get to the middle of a fight, as well as understanding the decision making aspect behind doing so. There are abilities you have to watch out for to ensure that you don’t get instantly destroyed upon ulting. You still have to make sure that you keep yourself positioned carefully in every other situation and have maximum damage turnout in every fight. It’s nothing simple, and it speaks volumes about Rekkles’ skill as well as Fnatic’s very unique ability to play around him in their team compositions, an ability that is definitely nothing to scoff at.
What did you learn from the EU LCS Quarterfinals? Make sure to let us know in the comments!