You were missed, LEC!

Schalke serve an upset as the LEC continues in-house

League of Legends
LEC week 8 day 1 this is lec

Image credit: Riot Games

After a one-week hiatus, the League of Legends European championship, or LEC for short, resumed on Friday with in-house matches. With only two weeks remaining, the fight for positions continues unabated.

MAD Lions power through SK Gaming

LEC week 8 day 1 senna

Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság’s Senna walked softly and carried a big gun. (Image credit: Riot Games)

The LEC’s newest team, the MAD Lions, were back on form in the game against the struggling SK Gaming.

MAD started amassing an advantage early on and it only grew when an SK collapse failed, leaving the Lions free to take the first tower. The Spanish team continued to control the map with a nearly perfect objective control, resulting in a 5K gold lead and three dragons by the 20-minute mark. Four minutes later, they took an uncontested fourth drake for a mountain soul.

SK were playing fully on the defense, though they weren’t out of the game yet – a gutsy call to take the elder drake resulted in them taking the objective and even escaping with a kill to their name. However, MAD were not going to be denied and in turn took the Baron, then set up to siege in the bottom lane.

Lacking good engage tools, SK attempted a teleport flank with their new top laner Simon “Ventair” Tschammer. It didn’t go well – MAD quickly killed him and rampaged through the base, took two inhibitors and a nexus tower before ending the game on their next push.

It was a key victory for the Lions as they look set for a playoff spot.

Misfits stumble against on-point FC Schalke 04

LEC week 8 day 1 lee sin shalke win

Schalke’s jungler showed off his Lee Sin moves. (Image credit: Riot Games)

Despite already being locked out of the playoffs, FC Schalke 04 started strong in their game against Misfits.

For a start, Felix “Abbedagge” Braun on Azir took first blood against Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten’s Ornn. The Royal Blues’ jungler Lukas “Lurox” Thoma had a standout performance as he set up several kills in the early game. Misfits still found some counterpunches and kept the gold close for a time.

But it was not enough: in the first 20 minutes, Schalke took three drakes and had toppled all outer towers. At 23 minutes in, a 1-0 fight gave them the advantage to secure an ocean soul. Even worse for Misfits, their jungler fell in the dragon fight and they were unable to stop the German team from taking a Baron as well.

The next big clash came 30 minutes in as the Elder drake was up for grabs. Misfits tried to kill Lurox, but it was their own jungler who would fall.

Video credit: Riot Games

Schalke were able to push them away and claim the objective. Just as Misfits tried to back off, Abbedagge made a hero play on the Azir, jumping in for an extended quadra kill that opened his team’s path to victory.

This was a harsh blow for Misfits, who only recently appeared to be in contention for the top spot, but it was a well-deserved win for FC Schalke 04.

Excel fail to take Fnatic down

LEC week 8 day 1 pantheon fnatic win

Pantheon running amok did not help. (Image credit: Riot Games)

As the current seventh-place team, Excel Esports had only an off chance for making it to the playoffs and it required several wins against the top teams, including against Fnatic on Friday.

Excel opted for an aggressive pick, putting their star AD carry Patrik “Patrik” Jírů on Draven. The start was not so good for the Czech marksman as Fnatic took the first blood against his support. While Excel got the first tower and a kill on Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek, Fnatic soon got several more kills across the map and by the time the mid game started, they were over 3K gold ahead.

While Excel took occasional wins, such as a 3-2 fight near the Rift Herald soon later, it was not enough to pull close. An air dragon soul 23 minutes in solidified Fnatic’s advantage and shortly afterward, a 2-1 fight in their favor led to an uncontested Baron. With it, they pushed across all lanes and took down all three inhibitors.

Eventually, this also led to a kill on Ki “Expect” Dae-han which started the rout that secured Fnatic a key win in the fight for the top.

G2 brook no upset from Rogue

LEC week 8 day 1 g2 esports win

ADCs mid and mages in the bot lane, GG, G2. (Image credit: Riot Games)

The last game of the day saw favorites G2 Esports take on a Rogue, who many expected to be a top 4 team.

Both teams showed some pocket picks: Draven for Steven “Hans sama” Liv and Taliyah for Rasmus “Caps” Winther. A standout early-game performance from G2 jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski gave the 2019 champions a flying start and they were over 2.5k gold ahead just seven minutes into the game.

Rogue fought back, however, and a series of shutdowns narrowed the gap. This lasted until 15 minutes in, when their attempts to spring a trap backfired and a quick G2 collapse resulted in a 3-1 in the German team’s favor.

G2 pressured their opponents across the map and 24 minutes in, they secured an unopposed Baron. However, Rogue took a fight in their jungle where they got two kills and while it was not enough to turn the game around, it at least blunted the G2 advance.

The teams continued jockeying for position until an extended fight 33 minutes in resulted in two kills and the ocean soul for G2, who then went for the baron. Rogue tried to contest, but a teleport flank by Martin “Wunder” Hansen made it a 5v3. There, the 2019 LEC champions took 4 kills and ended the game before the respawns could come.

Origin endure Vitality aggression for a key win

LEC week 8 day 1 origen aphelios win

Tip: don’t let Aphelios get fed. (Image credit: Riot Games)

With their rivals Fnatic with a win and G2 Esports a game ahead, Origen needed a win against Team Vitality but the French team was in no mood to accommodate them.

Vitality got first blood and several more early kills as they stayed on the offense throughout the early game. While Origen found several kills of their own, they were still at a disadvantage. It was only a 3-0 near their inner bot-lane turret where Barney “Alphari” Morris’ Renekton took two kills that saw the favorites regain control.

Vitality were not ready to give up, however, and when Origen went for an early baron, they came to contest. The French took three kills after an aggressive play from Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos’s Miss Fortune turned the fight in their favor.

This brought the game back to equal, but unfortunately, Vitality’s mid-game call issues came to haunt them again. A split call near the ocean drake resulted in an Origen win and an uncontested baron. With it, OG pushed all lanes, found a weakness in the top lane and after a kill on the enemy mid laner, ended the game to stay in the race.

With these games, G2 remain set for first place, having both a game up on their closest competitors – Origen and Fnatic – and the head-to-head advantage against both. Under the top 3, MAD Lions, Misfits Gaming and Rogue are currently tied for 4th-6th place, with Excel Esports having virtually no chance to interfere.

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