The pack is starting to separate in the EU LCS, with a clear top and bottom grouping of teams, and by the end of this week we finally will have seen every team play each other. Considering the fact that most of the top half squads play each other as well this week, we could very well see the league settling into a real hierarchy and it may be time we find out who the real legitimate international level teams are in the EU LCS. Unicorns and H2K will both be expecting to come out of this mini gauntlet in a favourable position.
H2K should have too much for UoL in this matchup however, as their incredibly tight macro play has seen them comfortably cruise to their 7 – 1 standing with the only hiccup coming early against a talented if slightly directionless Fnatic lineup. Unicorns of Love on the other hand have made most of their wins up from beating lesser teams, losing to both G2 Esports and Origen in their season thus far and, as of yet, having not playing H2K. We expect this game to act as confirmation that UoL will be the gatekeepers to the elite this season; if you can beat them, you are a legit team. H2K should have no trouble countering UoL’s scrappier, skirmish heavy style with their objective centric gameplay, however UoL do have a win condition with their mid and jungle combo; Rudy was incredibly impressive in his early matches for his new team, and if he and Fox can combine to punish Selfie, who has had little time to mesh with his brand new team, possibly UoL can pick up an upset win. H2K should take this one though, and comfortably.
Team Vitality have had an inconsistent start to the season, comfortably beating strong teams like Fnatic and Origen whilst managing to fall to lesser opposition in the form of Roccat, being Roccats only win in a 1 – 7 start. This will be the real test for them however, as they finally play the other half of the EU LCS powerhouse this year, G2 Esports, having lost to H2K earlier in the season. G2 will be looking to use this week to put to bed any disputes that they are truly an elite team, and beating Vitality is incredibly important in order to do this.
We still feel like G2 are weak in the top lane and can be exposed here, either with a lane swap or through camping Kikis. Kikis currently sits with the lowest CS per game and per minute of any top laner despite being on a top team, and also with very weak kill participation and kill share. Such poor stats despite being on a 7 – 1 team tells the story for Kikis who has struggled to adapt to the top lane, and putting him far behind will cause G2 to struggle, as their jungler Trick prefers to play carry oriented champions leaving them with no viable frontline. Team Vitality have shown a propensity for split push styles, and initiating a lane swap that then morphs into a 1 – 3 – 1 will be tough for G2 to deal with if one of their solo laners is far behind. Smart drafting and good macro could see Team Vitality win this one, so we are going to go with them in this game considering the odds on offer.
Team Vitality to win at 13/10 with Betfair (2.3)
By: Arron “King Dempz” Dempsey – @arrondempers