It’s been a rough run for Schalke. After barely winning against Mysterious Monkeys, the NA CS lineup fell at the hand of Giants Gaming. They still have a solid 3-man core in Upset, Caedrel, and SmittyJ, but it’s the sluggish jungle presence from Memento that’s holding them back. Additionally, Schalke’s macro game could use some work as they often find themselves behind on dragons and turrets.
Despite getting knocked down by Giants Gaming in the first round of the promotion tournament, Ninjas in Pyjamas came back with a confident 3-0 win over Mysterious Monkeys. Profit continues to be the foundation of this lineup, but what’s more important is that Nagne finally started showing up in the mid lane. Combine that with NiP’s naturally aggressive playstyle, and we have a very explosive team on our hands.
Top Lane Matchup
If there’s one Schalke player that’s caught everyone by surprise, it’s SmittyJ. Sporting a 4.7 KDA and 9.3 CS per minute, he’s a seasoned top laner that uses his veteran game sense and deep champion pool to pressure his opponents. If you look at Profit’s 2.1 KDA and 8.5 CS per minute, it might seem he’s hopelessly outmatched. But numbers don’t tell the whole story, and Profit is one of the most mechanically gifted top laners in the EU LCS, and he’s bound to give SmittyJ a run for his money.
Verdict: NiP Profit finds a lead in the top lane.
NiP Shook is a wildcard. Sporting a 2.0 KDA and 4.0 CS per minute, he’s a gank-heavy jungler that tends to sacrifice his advantages to get his laners ahead. And that’d be all fine and dandy if his aggression didn’t often err on the side of recklessness.
Fortunately for Shook, S04 Memento isn’t in a position to punish him. With a 4.4 KDA and 4.3 CS per minute, he’s another early game jungler that’s very hit-or-miss with his mechanics. Everything will come down to the execution of that first gank, but we’d still give the edge to Shook and his vast competitive experience.
Verdict: NiP Shook edges out a win in the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
Despite the extensive criticism he received during his time in the EU LCS, Nagne stepped up for the promotion tournament. With a 2.2 KDA and 8.9 CS per minute, he’s a roam-heavy mid laner with a particular knack for late game teamfights. Caedrel is his polar opposite in that he prioritizes winning his lane above everything else. Holding a 6.2 KDA and 8.6 CS per minute, he’s definitely been able to do so in the past, but crushing someone as experienced as Nagne will be a tall order even for him.
Verdict: NiP Nagne outmaneuvers his opponent.
Bot Lane Matchup
The bottom lane is the saving grace of Schalke. Sporting an 8.2 KDA and 9.6 CS per minute, Upset is a clutch hypercarry that seamlessly takes over teamfights and skirmishes. His teammate—Norskeren—is a potent support that uses playmaking picks to break open the game and has a 5.9 KDA to show for his efforts.
NiP’s duo pales in comparison. With a 2.8 KDA and 8.3 CS per minute, HeaQ is a well-rounded marksman that performs a utility role on his team while Sprattel (2.2 KDA) backs him up with a wide range of shielding supports.
Verdict: S04’s Upset and Norskeren outgun the enemy bot lane.
Schalke’s only hope is their bot lane. If they can pour resources into Upset and stall for the 5v5s, they have a fighting chance. But if that doesn’t happen, NiP will use their solo lanes to seize the momentum and get their snowball going. In the end, Ninjas in Pyjamas have more win conditions, and they’ll make full use of them by taking the match with a 3-1 score.
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