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Clash of Champions

The midpoint of the split has finally arrived. The past is past: glory and disappointments from international play, rivalries formed across a split founded on redemption. One goal now in sight: a spot at the 2016 World Championships in the U.S.

Two teams have risen above the European pack: Fnatic, the region’s past kings and current leaders; G2 Esports, spring-split champions scorned for their poor international performance. One point separates them at the top of the standings, and on Thursday June 30th they will finally clash for the first time this summer. Two European titans now duke it out in an attempt to solidify their hold on the number one spot. Mid-lane friends will become foes, two formidable Korean junglers will skirmish for supremacy, and blood will stain the bot lane as Europe’s best ADC-support combos clash. It’s time for our match of the week: Fnatic vs G2 Esports.

BEST OF FRIENEMIES

Despite their on-camera camaraderie, there will be no chumming around when Fnatic’s Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten and G2’s Luka “Perkz” Perković face off in the mid lane on Thursday. Both are fiercely competitive, with the talent to back it up, and the mid-lane brawl will be a tasty affair. Febiven leads the mid laners in terms of KDA, while Perkz’ performance in spring netted him rookie-of-the-split honours, following his standout debut split in the EU LCS.

Febiven and Perkz share similar champion pools, with both players favouring the ever-present Azir. Between them they boast 8 wins from 11 picks, though Febiven’s stats are infinitely more impressive. His 39 kills on Shurima’s emperor is the highest kill count by any mid laner on a single champion, and his 894 DPM on the golden chicken is the highest DPM by any mid laner on a single champion. The fact that he’s managed to keep his DPM so consistently high in 6 games on the champion is astonishing: it shows a remarkable level of consistency on one of the most popular picks (and one of the most difficult to play) in competitive League of Legends.

Though Febiven’s stats far surpass those of Perkz, some of Perkz’ best performances can’t be captured in stats alone. Both players have their unique picks, but Perkz’ Zilean deserves special mention. He has 3 wins in 3 games on the Chronokeeper, and anyone that’s experienced the power of a competent Zilean player will know just how valuable that is. Indeed, we’ve seen North American leaders TeamSoloMid use it as an especially potent last pick on red side.

Though every lane matchup between these teams promises to be explosive, the mid-lane scrap will surely be fighting for the lion’s share of the spotlight, along with the bottom-lane duel. Two talented, young players vying to carry on the legacy of EU mid laners in a crucial match. Speaking of the bottom lane…

BLOOD IN THE BOT LANE

Zven

Zven and Mithy are attempting to win their first LCS split

From EU’s best mids to EU’s best bot lanes: G2’s Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Rodriguez will face off against EU’s historical best bot lane of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim in what is sure to be a bloody affair. Zven and Mithy led the charge for Origen in previous meetings against Fnatic, and now they’re on G2 they’ll look to surpass them and earn the top spot.

KDA-wise it’s Fnatic’s bot lane that reigns supreme in this matchup: both Rekkles and YellOwStaR boast higher KDAs for ADC and support respectively than their counterparts on G2. However, looking beyond KDA alone it’s not quite as clear cut. Zven leads Rekkles, and tops the EU charts for ADCs, with 759 DPM compared to Rekkles’ 700. Mithy places more wards per minute than YellOwStaR, both stealth wards and vision wards, and kills more wards per minute too.

Unfortunately it’s unlikely we’ll get to see them lane against each other, especially if Fnatic has anything to say about it. The boys in orange lane-swapped in 75% of their games this season, for good reason: despite their win rate being the same in both lane-swapped and non-swapped games (75%), their stats in the former are far superior. They pick up more first bloods, more first towers and first dragons in games where they lane swap. G2 favour standard lanes ever so slightly (9-7 in standard vs lane swaps) but non-standard lanes in this week’s match of the week seem the more probable outcome.

Picks & bans will be an intriguing affair, with Zven and Rekkles sharing similar champion pools. Both play a lot of Sivir and Ezreal, however they do have their own unique favoured picks. Zven, despite being known for his Kalista play, hasn’t played the Spear of Vengeance at all this season, while Rekkles has 4 games on her. Instead, Zven puts priority on what is widely considered to be the current S-tier marksman: Caitlyn. Rekkles meanwhile has only one game (a win, to be fair) on the Sheriff of Piltover.

RISING STARS VS LEGENDS

All eyes will be on the battle for top spot when the EU LCS returns on Thursday. Though some enticing warm-up games precede the main event (such as H2K vs Origen), there’s no doubt what everyone will be tuning in for: spring split champions vs EU legends. The battle for first. Thursday, June 30th @ 20:00 IST. Tune in at watch.lolesports.com!