Not all was set in stone, after all
LEC regular split ends in surprises
The group stage of the League of Legends European Championship, or LEC for short, Spring Split is behind us and the final day got … interesting.
Strong SK upset Excel Esports
While SK Gaming had long suffered from lack of initiative and errors in execution, the game against Excel Esports that opened the day showed what the team could do when on point.
The action started early with six kills in the first six minutes. AD carry Juš “Crownshot” Marušič getting the first blood in what ended in a 1-1 fight. Excel had an advantage in the top lane while SK were stronger in the bottom lane. However, the German team slowly grew their lead as Crownshot and mid-laner Janik “Jenax” Bartels got fed throughout the early game. (Do you want to have such a good early game? Check out our basic tips here!)
SK’s early-game drake advantage paid off as they secured an ocean soul 25 minutes in. The regeneration was handy three minutes later as they secured the Baron and got a 2-1 fight. A series of kills gave the Germans the opportunity to take two inhibitors before starting the decisive push and winning the game.
This showdown was only a matter of honor – while it concludes SK’s first 2-0 week for the split, it is too late for them to take advantage of it.
Rogue shell-shocked by strong Schalke
While Excel already had no chance for the playoffs, Rogue were still in contention for a Top 4 spot. However FC Schalke 04 had come to play.
The Germans picked Jax for Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu to counter a blind-pick Irelia and an early gank by Erberk “Gilius” Demir saw that Jax unleashed. Soon, Schalke’s top laner had two early kills and while the gold remained even throughout the early game, the Jax was quickly ramping up.
Despite having a lead in the mid and bottom lanes, Rogue were being pushed. Even worse, their composition was heavy on physical damage which gave Schalke an easy defensive itemization path. The German team slowly extended their lead and 20 minutes in, they got kills on the enemy bottom lane that gave them the opportunity to start the Baron. Three more kills followed from the contest to go with the purple buff.
While favorites before the game, Rogue were left floundering and soon saw their inhibitors crumble just like their dreams of a Top 4 spot evaporated. With this, Schalke end the season with a 6-12 record but their current form is that of a solid mid-rank team. Meanwhile, Rogue’s loss cemented their sixth place finish – giving them the last playoff spot and a long road to the cup.
Hear me roar: MAD Lions with key win against Origen
After a loss to Fnatic, the rookies of MAD Lions took on another big name to end the regular split as they faced off against Origen.
MAD came out swinging, getting a big push 3 minutes in to get plates and first blood in a 4v2 towerdive, before losing two on the way back. However, they continued focusing the bottom lane, killing Origen AD Carry Elias “Upset” Lipp 3 times in the first 8 minutes.
The pressure spread across the map, resulting in MAD taking the first tower and having a good objective control, taking three dragons just 17 minutes in. Origen were left reeling and it took them 22 minutes to get a good fight. They finally took a 3-2 and a drake that delayed the incoming air soul. However, MAD were soon back on the offense and extended their gold lead to over 5K 25 minutes in.
Origen chose to contest the air soul 28 minutes in and while they got several MAD members low, a clean engage by Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser gave them 2 kills and the objective. The game lasted for several more minutes until another catch gave the Lions a road to the baron, then they took several more kills during the contest and ended the game.
This ensures that Origen end in third place, as even if Fnatic lose, they will be second due to better late-split performance. Meanwhile, MAD have almost guaranteed themselves a fourth place.
Fnatic bring in the clown fiesta against Vitality
In their last game, Fnatic had some fun – putting Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau on Jarvan IV as support while mid laner Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek brought Graves to the Rift.
Team Vitality started strong, taking first blood in the bottom lane and then securing a small advantage in several minor skirmishes. However, Fnatic returned several early kills on Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek’s Evelynn, and the assassin jungler was soon running amok.
The teams traded blows but Fnatic were winning more often than not which translated into three kills 21 minutes in, leaving them free to take the Baron. They continued dominating the game to the point they were comfortable even taking troll items like a Liandry’s Torment on Graves.
However, their map game got sloppy and eventually, Vitality got several fights. Even after Fnatic got a big teamfight and a baron 38 minutes in, they split and lost two.
In the face of push towards their inhibitor, Fnatic opted for a backdoor. However, Vitality recalled just in time to barely save their base, got two kills and completed their push to win the game.
While the match soon devolved into a clown fiesta, both teams had their moments. Fnatic remain in second place, while Vitality can at least say they had their first comeback win this split.
G2 smash Misfits to close the day
Troll picks returned for the last game of the day. After a Twitter challenge, Misfits top laner Danny “Dan Dan” Le Comte did what he promised and picked Teemo top. G2 Esports would not be out-trolled, though giving Martin “Wunder” Nordahl a solo-lane Bard while taking an Aatrox-Swain bottom pair for the bottom lane.
This unorthodox pick proved to be a winning move as they got first blood in 4 minutes in, then took another one less than two minutes later. G2 were some 2K gold ahead just 10 minutes in, mostly off the bottom lane, and this advantage quickly spread. Despite Misfits getting the first tower, the 2019 LEC champions continued smashing the game, gradually growing their lead.
They conceded a few kills but won all skirmishes and dominated the map. Unlike the previous game, however, there was not to be any comeback and 24 minutes in, G2 pushed into the enemy base and got an extended ace to end the game in a commanding fashion.
After the game, Riot announced the results of the MVP contest. The final game gave G2 jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski the lead over his teammate Luka “PERKZ” Perković.
With this, the group stage of the LEC Spring Split has concluded. The games will continue next Friday, April 3, with the upper bracket as G2 Esports face off against the MAD Lions.
If you missed our recap of Week 9’s Day 1, you can check it out here.