The elite are still on top
No surprises at the start of LEC Week 5
The Friday LEC games saw the expected favorites defeat their opposition, and Misfits Gaming, G2 Esports and Origen remain tied for first place.
Dominant Misfits continue winning streak
In their clash against MAD Lions, Misfits Gaming were once again on a roll. They took the first blood with a mid-lane gank that found Marek “Humanoid” Brázda exposed. Then, they quickly followed with two more kills. With that early advantage and the map pressure, Misfits had reached a 2K gold lead just 7 minutes in. Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten and Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz continued dismantling the MAD mid laner and dominated the early game.
The pressure on MAD was unrelenting, and when Humanoid attempted to split-push to salvage something back, Misfits grouped up and barreled down the top lane to take an early inhibitor. It was only a great disengage by Zhiqiang “Shadow” Zhao that saved the Lions from being crushed in their own base.
Misfits turned to secure the baron and appeared to have an easy cleanup in the ensuing fight. Then, Shadow turned it around and nearly aced them. It was only a temporary respite, however. Misfits got two inhibitors in the next attack, then regrouped an in a final push, ended the game.
With this, Misfits remain in the fight for the top spot while the MAD Lions slip back to a 5-4 position, two games behind the leaders.
Schalke win last-place derby vs Vitality
After their surprise win against G2 Esports, FC Schalke 04 faced off against fellow struggling team Vitality in the second game of the day.
The German team started with a minor advantage and secured the first drake. However, 10 minutes in, Duncan “Skeanz” Marquet pulled a great Insec kick to start a 3v2 fight in the top lane. That resulted in Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos’ Kai’sa getting two early kills. Schalke replied with great cross-map plays, however, and instead of falling behind, they gradually extended their lead throughout the game.
The two teams came to head 25 minutes in, and Schalke’s poke proved to be their trump card. While Vitality got a great flank, half of the team was already zoned and Schalke won the fight, getting three kills for one.
The French team was unable to match their opponents around the map, and several minutes later, the Germans secured an ocean soul and then headed for the baron. Vitality were too late, losing both the objective and having two deaths in the ensuing fight. In the next few attacks, Schalke broke apart Vitality’s defenses to get their second win of the split.
Despite their horrible start, the team has solidified its improvement while Vitality continue to struggle to maintain their tempo throughout the game.
G2 back in shape with win against Excel
After two consecutive losses, the G2 Esports players were no doubt eager to stop their slip against the middling Excel.
After several mostly even minutes, they found their opportunity. After a skirmish in the mid lane, Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski secured first blood on Son “Mickey” Young-min’s Vayne with a Karthus ult. Shortly afterward, the G2 mid-jungler combo saw the Vayne killed again.
The game erupted in action 11 minutes in as Excel found several good trades on the map and the two teams remained close in gold for the rest of the early game despite a kill and dragon deficit.
However, the reigning LEC champions found their big fight around the 19-minute mark, getting a 4-2 fight that saw them take over the map. The early dragon rush culminated in an ocean soul just 24 minutes in, followed by a big fight near the top lane where G2 got a total of four kills. Soon after, they got the inhibitor, and an ace near the Baron resulted in them picking that objective as well. Excel were scrambling and after their bot-lane duo was caught and killed, they could only offer token resistance before losing their nexus.
This win keeps G2 tied for first place with a 7-2 record alongside Misfits Gaming.
Confident Origen dispatch SK
The fight for the first place continued with the next match, featuring Origen and SK Gaming.
The Germans’ early invade backfired as they were chased out of the enemy side of the map and jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-yun lost his flash. Origen had a pressure lead for much of the early game but the first blood came fairly late – 13 minutes in. What happened was that SK dove too far and lost one to the counterattack.
They only continued falling behind, with the gold difference cresting 5K 18 minutes in as they stole a drake only to lose two players in return. Eventually, Origen secured the first Baron, though SK were able to at least get a kill in return. More importantly, they managed to stall out the game without losing an inhibitor. However, Origen remained in control of the map, and while the hearty defense delayed them, it only bought time. At 34 minutes in, they broke into the SK base to end the game.
With this, Origen remain in a shared first place with G2 and Misfits while SK are now tied with Schalke for the 8th position with a 2-7 score.
Rekkles leads Fnatic against Rogue
The last game of the day featured two of the teams many expected to be in the fight among the Top 4 – Fnatic and Rogue.
It showed the return of a nearly forgotten pick as Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau chose to pick Zac as a counter against Finn “Finn” Wiestål’s Kled. Rogue appeared to have an edge in the top lane but Fnatic’s mid laner teleported on a blob from Zac’s passive to turn the fight and get first blood.
The teams traded blows throughout the early game, with Fnatic taking the edge in multiple fights but their opponents having the early tower advantage.
As the mid-game started, however, Fnatic were able to inch ahead in gold and started setting the tempo.
Fnatic started the Baron 26 minutes in but they turned to fight when Rogue arrived, getting an ace and a quadra kill for Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. This opened the floodgates and soon Fnatic took the first inhibitor. They were taking fight after fight as their opponents struggled to find any purchase on the map.
In a fight near Rogue’s top – and only remaining – inhibitor, Rekkles put the final nail in the coffin. He got four kills before his team dove the fountain to give him the Penta and end the game in style.
This was a statement game for Fnatic, and despite being a game behind the first-place teams, they looked very much part of the elite in this match. Rogue, meanwhile, continue to have ups and downs which could be quite problematic considering the close fight for the top spots.
With this, the first half of the LEC spring split is coming to an end. The LEC continues on Saturday as Vitality will seek to find their first win of the season against SK Gaming.