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Team Vitality vs Unicorns of Love – EU LCS Preview

With one of Europe's top dogs fighting a desperate Team Vitality, can the underdogs put their 5th Summer Split victory together?


After a confident 2-0 sendoff of Splyce and a strong 2-1 to put down Mysterious Monkeys, the Unicorns of Love have solidifed their position in the Summer Split. The team has put on for Europe, and looks to remain a very dominant force in the region alongside the other European top dogs.

That’s a category Team Vitality simply don’t make. The squad has cobbled together 4 wins in it’s first 11 matches, and find their way in a tough spot staring down the Unicorns. Still, Team Vitality have shown that they can compete on their day, and the end of the season might be a wakeup call. Last week Team Vitality put down Mysterious Monkeys and fell to H2K. That’s not a shabby week for this 4-7 team to bounce off of.

Matchup Breakdown

Top Lane –

Vizicsacsi has asserted himself as the best top laner Europe has to offer on his best days, and fallen far short of this mark on the other days (mainly on days he plays Rumble.) Overall, the Unicorns top lane threat has stacked a 2.6 KDA and 8.0 cs/min. This could certainly be higher. But on his best picks Shen (5-1 record, 5.5 KDA,) and Cho’Gath (4-1 record, 3.1 KDA), he’s an entirely different player on the Rift. Even better, these champions are in the meta spotlight, and he always has an incredible Gnar in his back pocket.

Cabochard holds perhaps the best chance Team Vitality have at taking down a matchup. While he’s certainly fared lacklustre along with Team Vitality’s season, as an individual he has shown some promise, especially on Shen (a character he holds a remarkable 30 KDA across 3 games.) Compared to Vizicsacsi, Cabochard comes out ahead on KDA at 2.7, and ties with 8.0 cs/min.

Verdict: Team Vitality’s Cabochard scrapes by with a small victory in the top lane.

Jungle –

Xerxe is perhaps the most dangerous jungler Europe has, and that’s saying something with others like Broxah in the mix. His kda (5.9) is the 5th highest in the league, and he remains a threat on whatever champion he picks, regardless of meta fit. While Xerxe’s more standard champions like Gragas are deadly, he can still just as quickly bust out picks like Warwick, Sejuani, and Kayn to carry on Unicorns to victory. In a teamfighting squad like Unicorns Xerxe is the bread, the butter, and the knife to spread it. He’s a hard jungler to top.

But Djoko steps onto the Rift to try exactly that. Djoko isn’t Team Vitality’s biggest weakness, but he’s definitely not up to par in the European jungle scene. Still, in a relatively strong recent form, Djoko can hold his own on a few different champs. That just isn’t enough to put down perhaps the most powerful of the Unicorns.

Verdict: Xerxe tears down the jungle for Unicorns of Love.

Middle Lane –

When in top form, Exileh has proven that he can duke it out with greats. The problem is he often comes out on the losing side, and dies an astronomical amount of time in lane, often solo. Exileh is the achilles heel of Unicorns of Love, and his 2.3 KDA alongside a 7.8 cs/min illustrates the story. After losing lane twice to Mysterious Monkeys, and scraping by Splyce on strong team performances, Exileh is looking to be a very exploitable hole in a very strong Unicorns lineup.

Nukeduck might not be the best midlaner the EU LCS has, but Team Vitality can count on him to at least fight out a relatively even fight against Unicorns of Love’s weakness. If Nukeduck breaks open a game for Team Vitality from the middle lane this season, this is likely to be the match he does it. Sporting a 2.7 KDA, and 8.8 cs/min, Nukeduck clearly sets himself apart as the better player. It’s just a matter of executing on the advantage.

Verdict: Team Vitality’s Nukeduck runs the middle lane.

Bottom Lane –

The bottom lane pairing of star carry Samux and standout support Hylissang have been a consistent source of wins and leads for the Unicorns of Love. With a powerful combined KDA of 8.6, that certainly shows. After putting in some serious work with Xayah and support Trundle, the Unicorns prove that even in the bottom lane, the unexpected can be very dangerous. This duo has the opportunity to run the table against any European bottom lane, and Team Vitality certainly aren’t exempt.

With the way Team Vitality has performed in the Summer Split, you would think the bottom lane would be wildly inconsistent. On the contrary, it provides much of the stability Team Vitality has. Proven carry Steelback and support Vander put in strong work in the team’s last two matches, and face perhaps their biggest challenge in the Unicorns. Sporting a combined KDA of 6.2, this team seems like it can put up a fight. We don’t think it will be enough.

Verdict: Unicorns of Love’s Samux and Hylissang gun down the bottom lane.

Prediction

While this matchup is closer than it looks on paper, we have to give it 2-1 to the Unicorns of Love, who march on to 9-3. We assume the Unicorns will break down Vitality from the jungle before closing out games in their signature teamfight fashion.

Who do you expect to come out of this Summer Split matchup? Let us know in the comments below!

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Brandon Ridgely

I'm the League of Legends Editor for Realsport, and a longtime competitive League of Legends fan. I focus most on the LCS but watch a bit of everything. I'm probably the only person that misses Team Vulcun. Well met.

Team Vitality vs Unicorns of Love – EU LCS Preview

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