Despite their loss to Team Liquid, Phoenix1 made a statement this tournament. Sure, their play is still unrefined, but with Ryu stepping up in the mid lane, this team has a much easier time securing early leads and transitioning into a smooth mid game. And—historically—that’s where P1 shine the most.
eUnited have also gone through unexpected developments. Defeating their long-standing rivals—GCU—is one thing, but it’s the one-sided manner they’ve done it that really made them stand out. Of course, a lot of it came down to GCU’s mistakes, but you can’t deny that eUnited looked sharper as well.
Top Lane Matchup
P1 zig doesn’t have us convinced. Even though his team keeps winning, zig’s contributions to the cause are only noticeable on champions like Renekton or Kled. With a 2.3 KDA and 7.9 CS per minute, he went from being a jack-of-all-trades in the NA LCS to a very exploitable two-trick.
Licorice also doesn’t appear as dominant as we hoped for. His best showings came on team-oriented tanks, and these picks simply don’t take advantage of his stellar mechanics. Still, sporting a 4.7 KDA and 9.0 CS per minute, eUnited’s top laner won’t have a hard time against a player of zig’s caliber.
Verdict: EUN Licorice edges out a win in the top lane.
In a similar fashion, DanDy spends most of his time on frontline duty. Holding a 4.4 KDA and 4.3 CS per minute, EUN’s jungler is a solid backbone of his team, although don’t expect him to show up with many carry performances.
Meanwhile, P1 MikeYeung has been putting on a clinic in the jungle. His champion pool isn’t great for the current meta, but he makes it work by finding one early game lead after another. With a 3.2 KDA and 4.4 CS per minute, MikeYeung might actually be better than DanDy.
Verdict: P1 MikeYeung claims the jungle as his own.
Mid Lane Matchup
Alright, Ryu is a beast. Sporting a 3.4 KDA and 8.5 CS per minute, P1’s mid laner stepped up big time to carry his team through relegations. His champion pool may not be very deep, but it’s large enough to the point where you can’t ban him out. And when Ryu gets on his trademark Corki or LeBlanc, he just keeps finding game-winning plays in every teamfight.
Of course, GBM is formidable in 5v5s as well. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s a pushover in the laning phase. With a 4.2 KDA and 8.4 CS per minute, he’s going to struggle to stand up to Ryu’s aggression.
Verdict: P1 Ryu finds victory in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
P1’s bottom lane has been solid this tournament. Sporting a 3.7 KDA and 8.2 CS per minute, Arrow improved his laning phase to the point where it’s no longer a glaring weakness that’s holding back his impeccable late game. His support—Xpecial—is doing well peeling for his star AD carry and has a 2.7 KDA to show for his efforts.
But neither of them can match eUnited’s duo. Holding a 6.0 KDA and 9.8 CS per minute, Deftly might be the only marksman that’s even more comfortable than Arrow in late game scenarios while his teammate, Zeyzal (4.6 KDA), thrives on frontline supports.
Verdict: EUN’s Deftly and Zeyzal outscale the enemy bottom lane.
Even though eUnited have a stronger bottom lane, it’s the mid lane and jungle they have to worry about. Containing the playmaking from Ryu and MikeYeung will be a tall order for them, and Deftly’s Tristana priority makes it very easy for P1 to ban him out. Unless eUnited can find other ways to snowball their bottom lane, we’re predicting a 3-1 victory for Phoenix1!
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