Welcome to the second LEC Review for week one! All the action has been concluded and certain trends are already starting to occur. Misfits and G2 are looking pretty good, Fnatic not so good, SK… who even knows anymore. Either way, it was an immense day full of action so let’s get right into it!
Misfits dominate SK Gaming
Quite frankly, it wasn’t even close. When your team has a 9k gold lead in 13 minutes it was essentially game over from there. This Misfits side looks scary. The match was hyped up more because of SK’s performance against Fnatic. However, this game has brought the organisation back down to earth. The match started off perfectly for Misfits as Hans Sama was able to get three kills in three and a half minutes. This was then followed by an absolute onslaught of ganks from Maxlore who would not let any of the former Mad Lion’s players breath, let alone make a counter attack. There isn’t much you can say about the game its self. In reality, it was over in 22 minutes and featured Misfits pummeling their opponents. This was a clear statement to G2 who played earlier on. Much like G2, this side is heavily relying on their skill factor to help them through the opening weeks. Their synergy isn’t perfect as of yet, which is even more frightening because this means they can get even better. Despite beating SK and Rogue in convincing fashion it’ll be all about how they fare against the likes of Fnatic, G2 and possibly Origen. That is when we will find out if Misfits are the real deal. By the looks of it though they certainly seem like a side nobody wants to face.
For SK, it’s been a weird week for them. If you told their fans they would come out of a tough opening weekend with one win, they would probably take it. However, the manor of which they got beaten must worry the side. Hopefully, this doesn’t affect SK too much as their performance against Fnatic outweighs their defeat today. Simply because people expected this org to finish 0-2 this week. Selfmade, Crownshot and Dreams can still be proud of their performance from the Fnatic game. Nevertheless, we here at Gromp News hope that SK Gaming is not a one and done side. With the talent they have at their disposal the sky is the limit for SK, despite their tragic loss today.
Origen win the ‘El Classico’
What a way to turn round a loss on an opening day. Origen beat Fnatic in a close contest to put xPeke’s side 1-1 at the end of the week. This match-up had two styles battling against each other to see which strategy was better. Throughout most of the game, Fnatic was the aggressive side leading the kill chart 6-4 in just over 20 minutes. However, it was Origen’s objective control which proved to be the more dominating strategy as they were never down on gold the entire game. This was mainly due to the mid lane matchup between Nukeduck and Nemesis. Vayne was played in the mid lane for Origen and it worked perfectly. Nemesis yet again was unable to much with Galio in the laning phase. By the end of the game, he was nearly 70 farm behind Nukeduck. It also hurts a little seeing Vayne used against Fnatic. It was caps who last played the champion in the middle for his former side. Fnatic feel like a side who have not practiced together enough. Compared to Misfits and G2, Fnatic doesn’t seem to have that togetherness about them. Is it because Bwipo no longer fears for his place? Or is it the fact that Nemesis is not performing and their Rekkles carry play style doesn’t seem to be working. Either way, something will certainly change next week. This is a small bump in Fnatic’s season. Nevertheless, they won’t want to be losing their next game.
Congratulations have to go to Origen. Not only did they beat Fnatic but they managed to bounce themselves back up from a brutal defeat to G2. As we mentioned in yesterday’s review, Origen’s loss was more because G2 played well, as Origen did hold their own against them. This result proves that they already are a top-four caliber side who have room to improve. They thought outside of the box with the Vayne pick and it worked. Mithy however, had a somewhat difficult game and against a side like G2 or Misfits, they may have been punished for their earlier mistakes. However, the mentality of their side remained strong as they knew that even though they were down on kills they had the gold advantage. This eventually resulted in more kills later on in the game. So the first ‘el classico ‘ of the LEC era is done and this time, it’s Origen with the first blood.
Are G2 the only opposition for Misfits?
The first game of the second day had G2 face Schalke, with the winner going 2-0. Many would have considered this to be a close encounter given the German organisation have built their team around their ADC Upset. All eyes were on how Perkz would be able to perform against another high-quality bot lane duo. Yet again, G2 mechanically and technically outclassed their opposition. Despite the draft being slightly different in terms of play style, G2 have so much mechanical ability that they easily dismantled Schalke. What remained the same was Jankos yet again being given the Karthus. After his dominating performance on the champion yesterday a lot of people expected the champion to be banned. However, he was yet again allowed to pay the character and Schalke paid for it with their lives on multiple occasions. Wunder remained consistent in the top lane with Akali and caps is showing his carry ability already in the early stages of the split. Perkz pulled out the Kai’sa, a champion he previously played in the funnel meta and remained a constant threat throughout the game.
No player for G2 could be faulted and many may consider G2 the early favorites if they continue to steamroll decent teams like Origen and Schalke. Schalke will be incredibly disappointed with how they played. Upset was unable to carry the game despite being given the Ezreal and Abbedagge failed to stand out in his matchup with former MVP of the split caps. Nevertheless, the German org have come out of this week 1-1 and that is a solid building block for a side looking to make it into the playoffs. It clearly shows that Schalke have a few issues to iron out however, they will certainly be a threat by the time these two sides meet again. But right now, are G2 the team to beat already? Only time will tell as it’s so early on in the season to be certain.
Vitality dethrone the late game composition
The third match of the day saw Splyce and Vitality battle it out on the rift. This game felt like it would go long and after nearly 40 minutes of action, a winner was finally decided. However, the masters of the late game composition where unable to rectify their name as Vitality came out on top. Splyce played for the late game from the moment the draft begun as Kobbe secured the Sivir, pairing him up with a Braum for good measure. Vitality on the other hand, used this meta’s versatility in their favor playing Sejuani in the jungle, Jayce in the top lane and Karthus in the middle. For the majority of the game Splyce where the side ahead. Kobbe secured an early advantage picking up the first two kills of the game and early on Vitality looked un-coordinated, much like in their game against Schalke. However, it was the lure of the Baron that was Splyce’s downfall. After multiple attempts by Splyce, Vitality would eventually slay the Baron (again a very similar situation to what happened against Vitality vs Schalke). This allowed Vitality to get back in the game, stall, find the team fight and go 1-1 in the first week.
The issue for Splyce was their sudden change of mentality throughout the game. In the mid and early game, this Splyce side felt aggressive and they were taking the game to Vitality. However, their late-game mentality kicked in and ultimately that was their downfall. If the side were perhaps more proactive when they had the lead we could have seen Splyce go 2-0 this week. However, Vitality took advantage of their passive nature and after securing the baron, it felt as though all the momentum was on Team Vitality’s side. In the late game Atilla was the star securing the final blow with a triple kill to end the game. However, it was Vitality’s composure throughout the match that was most impressive. Vitlaity is seen as a compulsive side, sometimes to their detriment. But even when they were losing they remained active on the map and confident in their ability. In the end, Cabochard and Jizuke became too powerful and Splyce were beaten at their own game. Overall, an impressive comeback from Vitality shows their promise, however, they certainly have room for improvements. Splyce will also be content to be 1-1 in the opening week.
A game of three-thirds
Excel Vs Rogue was the battle of the new orgs. Both sides suffered losses yesterday and this match showed that. Due to this being an important clash for both of the teams, the game as a whole was very cautious. The game could be split into three simple sections. Early, mid and late.
Rogue was dominant in the early laning phase. Despite not picking up a single kill they were already 1k head on gold over Excel. It’s fair to say it was advantage Rogue. However, the British organisation did not back down and as the game rolled on to the mid-game exceL took the advantage thanks to a drawn-out team fight in the 13th minute. Advantage exceL. The game could have swung either way in the late game and it all came down to who could take the Baron and ultimately win the game. After a closely contested Baron fight, it was exceL who took down the beast and in turn went into Rogues base and secured their first ever LEC victory.
exceL already looked better than their previous game against Splyce. Expect stuck to a meta champion in Sion and while no player particularly stood out, they all worked well as a team and that is what secured them the victory. exceL’s composition was a mixture of meta and comfort as KaSing locked in the Zilean. In the end, he was nothing short of a lifesaver on multiple occasions during the game. When exceL would get caught out KaSing was mostly there to revive them and turn the team fight back into his side’s favor. It was this tactic that helped his team secure the Baron. Rogue, on the other hand, will be disappointed to have lost both of their opening games. Against Misfits, there was the excuse because they faced one of the league’s best teams. However, exceL is a team they would have expected to beat. This roster is comprised of players who have the mechanical skill to be in the LEC, yet have never shown their true ability. Hopefully, they will be able to perform next week but this loss will certainly be a tough one to take.
To conclude, it’s been an unbelievable opening weekend full of shock results and dominating performances. All of these sides are already creating a unique identity and brand (for better or worse) and despite the minor technical issues, the LEC as a whole today ran smoothly. Now that everybody has a rough idea of where teams may lie this split it makes everybody look at their power rankings and think… what went wrong. However, there are a lot more games left to play and despite Fnatic losing their opening games, we now get the opportunity for this side to try and build themselves back up as the split continues. Well done LEC and the organisations, you have made this weekend epic.
By Tom Daniels
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