While LirA has played his heart out, the rest of Envy have displayed the same mistakes that brought them down in the regular season. Their solo laners struggle to get any form of agency, and the team looks lost in the later stages of the game.
But eUnited have also been far from perfect. Their plays still work just about as often as they backfire. Even though some of their players have strong laning phases, they have a hard time capitalizing on that success in mid game.
Top Lane Matchup: Envy’s Seraph has been unimpressive. His tank performances were lackluster, and his only standout game was on Renekton. Unless Seraph manages to secure a good matchup, he will have trouble influencing the game. Meanwhile, EU’s Licorice has proven his worth in the series against TL. His Rumble play is as strong as ever, and his performance on tanks is also formidable. Moreover, his solid mechanics allow Licorice to go toe-to-toe with most top laners. An edge for eUnited in the top lane.
Jungle Matchup: EU Gilius is a decent jungler. He knows how to pull off ganks, and he has strong synergy with his teammates. But it’s become increasingly clear that he doesn’t have what it takes to stand up to a top-tier jungler. Unfortunately for him, NV LirA is exactly that. LirA still has that game sense and mechanical prowess that allowed his team to repeatedly secure huge early game leads. And it will take a much, much stronger opponent than Gilius to stop him.
Mid Lane Matchup: NV Ninja just doesn’t hold up against strong mid laners. His performances are too inconsistent, and he can go from a standout player to a liability over the course of a single series. But Fox has also struggled to make his mark on the Rift. His reserved play style is surprisingly shaky, and Fox often looks lost when dealing with aggression. Still, he has been a more stable player than Ninja, which secures eUnited a win in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup: EU’s bot lane has had a lot of hype coming into this tournament. But if the support, Zeyzal, has certainly lived up—and even exceeded—these expectations, then Deftly crumbled under the pressure. His mechanics weren’t on a level that we’re used to seeing and Deftly would often miss crucial skill shots like Ashe’s Crystal Arrow. And while Apollo and Hakuho don’t exactly shine in their games, they’re a solid bot lane that can stand its ground against most opponents. If Deftly can get it together, then EU should have an advantage in lane. But if that doesn’t happen, Envy’s veteran duo will take over in the mid game.
Once again, this game comes down to LirA. But this time his enemies have more openings that Envy’s superstar jungler will be sure to exploit. And even if the series drags on, eUnited’s macro isn’t strong enough to punish Envy’s indecisiveness in the late game. A 3-1 victory for Team EnVyUs.