The smoke has cleared on the EU LCS Playoffs and our Finals contenders have been decided. For the fourth time in their organization’s history G2 Esports will take to the stage in the LCS Finals, their opponents will be the Misfits, who are making their debut appearance. Before we get to the match on Sunday, September 3rd, here’s everything you need to know about the lineups.
From the UK Premiership, to the EU Challenger Series, to the EU LCS all in one year, Misfits Gaming have had a meteoric rise. They have spoken on many occasions about their “one year plan” since joining the LCS to get to the World Championships. A fourth place finish in Spring gave Misfits a glimmer of hope along that road, and substituting Maxlore in as jungler for the Summer Split has brought the team to the next level, letting them realize that goal before even playing the Finals. Some may count Misfits out before the Finals take place, but don’t be fooled, they have already earned a victory over the Kings of Europe this split. Through some of the best performances in his career from Power of Evil and a pentakill from the young upstart Hans sama, Misfits Gaming breezed their way past the Unicorns of Love and Fnatic to earn their spot in their very first EU LCS Finals.
Top: Barney “Alphari” Morris
Most Played Champions in Summer: Jarvan IV, Rumble, Gnar
Barney "Alphari" Morris began his professional career in 2015 and his play attracted the attention of Misfits who picked him up for their Challenger squad in 2016. He helped them carve a path through Europe’s Challenger scene and straight into the 2017 EU LCS Spring Split. The 2017 Summer Split saw Alphari reunited with his former team mate and fellow UK player, Maxlore, but the Welshman hasn’t had a jungler sit in his lane all season long. Now that he’s taken down Vizicsacsi and sOAZ during the playoffs, Alphari’s engage heavy champions Jarvan and Gnar are sure to be a major part of the Misfits game plan.
Jungle: Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian
Most Played Champions in Summer: Lee Sin, Zac, Maokai
Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian had some of the biggest shoes to fill this split, but let everyone know along the way that he was headed for the top. Coming in to replace veteran jungler KaKAO on the Misfits line up, Maxlore has showed that his successes previously on Roccat and Giants were no flukes, and that his leadership and gameplay deserve to be commended. Having had multiple wins over G2 in the regular split this year on both Roccat and Misfits, Maxlore has made a name for himself by carrying from the Jungle on the likes of Rengar and Lee Sin, or in more recent series, expertly channelling kills and gold to his midlaner, PowerOfEvil, on tanks like Zac.
Mid: Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage
Most Played Champions in Summer: Orianna, Syndra
PowerOfEvil is having the best season of his career. Having booked his ticket to his first World Championship, as well as playing in both Spring 3rd place decider and Summer finals of 2017, the former Unicorn and Origen mid laner has broken free of the shadow of his previous teams to stand as the primary carry of Misfits Gaming. The now veteran POE is perhaps one of the most convincing European midlaners on picks like Orianna, Syndra, and Corki, while also showing a considerable amount of growth as a player when it comes to strategy and map play. With PowerOfEvil, there will always be an unorthodox edge, and whether it’s his Nashors Tooth Orianna build to play against tanks or his much talked about Lux, you always have to expect the unexpected.
ADC: Steven “Hans sama” Liv
Most Played Champions in Summer: Varus, Xayah, Kalista
Hans sama started his career with the spotlights shining on him brighter than most. After only one split of Challenger Series, the French AD Carry was being touted as the next big thing. A Draven player at heart, Hans sama dominated the competition mechanically, dazzling viewers, and Misfits Gaming, who he would earn his way to the EU LCS as a part of. The Summer split has been a growth opportunity for Hans sama, who has answered questions of his carry potential defiantly, with a pentakill along the way vs the Unicorns during playoffs. A fan favorite in the making, Hans sama has captured the attention of EU LCS viewers through both his passion for art showcased in “Drive: The Hans Sama Story” as well as his in game play. Perhaps he’s just a Draven game away from a completed masterpiece.
Support: Dong-Geun “Ignar” Lee
Nationality: South Korean
Most Played Champions in Summer: Rakan, Blitzcrank, Thresh
Ignar found himself voted in as EU All Pro Support during the spring split thanks to the respect he has earned from his peers and other analysts. During his stint in the European Challenger Series, Ignar was so confident in his abilities that he was mixing in the odd Hextech Proto-belt on Taric and Alistar, before making it to the LCS. Ignar looks best when playing engage heavy supports, shining brightly on Malzahar in the Spring split, and Blitzcrank, Rakan and Thresh in the Summer Split. His high likelihood of roaming out of lane makes him a danger to play against, and he always seems in tune with his bot lane partner Hans sama when it comes to setting up plays. Thanks in part to Ignar and Hans sama, we’ve seen a massive improvements from Misfits Gaming through the end of the Summer Split, and their influence in game can’t be understated.
Given the nickname “the Kings of Europe” thanks to their dominant performance since their entrance into the EU LCS in Spring 2016, G2 Esports have destroyed the domestic competition and lifted the EU LCS trophy three times so far. Once plagued by disappointment on the international stage, 2017 has brought G2 into a new era after finishing second at the Midseason Invitational, where they took a game off of the reigning World Champions SK Telecom T1. The Summer Split has had its challenges, but a 3-0 decisive victory over H2K in the semifinals gives G2 all the confidence they’ll need to look towards defending their throne and claiming a fourth consecutive EU LCS title.
Top: Daehan "Expect" Ki
Nationality: South Korean
Most Played Champions in Summer: Jarvan IV, Renekton, Gnar
Expect came to Europe in 2016 when he joined G2 Esports to share the top lane role with Kikis, before joining the starting lineup for Summer that year. He’s consistently improved throughout his tenure in the EU LCS, and after winning his second EU split in Spring 2017 Expect helped his team come in second at the Midseason Invitational. Fans flocked to Expect after G2's series vs TSM, where in a career defining moment, his cries of "believe me" while shotcalling led to victory for Europe. The 2017 Summer split has seen Expect become a much more solid base for G2 esports, with the team needing to rely on him more heavily than before. Having taken down Wunder and Odoamne on his route through the playoffs, Expect has beaten some of his stiffest competition to date.
Jungle: Kang Yun “Trick” Kim
Nationality: South Korean
Most Played Champions in Summer: Gragas, Elise, Kha’Zix
G2 Esports have another LCK veteran in Trick, who played on CJ Entus and multiple challenger teams before leaving South Korea to join the squad for the 2016 Spring Split. With two “MVP of the Split” awards and three European titles under his belt, Trick has repeatedly proven that he is the jungler to beat when it comes to being the best in Europe. Critics have had a lot to say about Trick this year, with a handful of rough performances causing people to call his jungle playstyle into question, but through standout MSI Playoffs games and a convincing 3-0 performance vs Jankos in the EU LCS Summer semifinals, Trick has shut down his haters.
Mid: Luka “Perkz” Perkovic
Most Played Champions in Summer: Lucian, Taliyah, Orianna
The always outspoken midlaner for G2 esports has found quite a few reasons to boast this year. From winning another EU LCS split, to an exceptional performance in lane vs Faker at MSI 2017, Perkz seems to have grabbed every figurative brass ring out there. Despite this, the 2017 Summer Split has perhaps been the most challenging for Perkz and G2 esports. Critics of Perkz have been quick to hold him to a handful of games where he hasn’t performed to his usual gold standard, but his latest performances against Febiven and H2k are all that need to be looked at to see that mid lane is still Perkz’s Lane Kingdom.
ADC: Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
Most Played Champions in Summer: Caitlyn, Tristana, Varus
Zven has booked his ticket to his fifth EU LCS Finals and third World Championship in a row, a staggering feat considering that accounts for each and every possible opportunity since he joined the LCS in 2015. Always a reliable carry for G2 esports, Zven has taken on, and defeated all contenders challenging him for the title of best AD Carry in Europe when it counts. Zven has always adapted perfectly to meta shifts, from late game scaling ADCs to powerful laning picks like Varus. Zven can do it all.
Support: Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez
Most Played Champions in Summer: Tahm Kench, Alistar
The second half of “The best bot lane in the west,” mithy, has a list of accolades longer than just about any EU player. This year marks a fourth appearance at the World Championships and a sixth EU LCS finals for the Spaniard. A stalwart presence by Zven’s side, mithy has maintained a dominating tank playstyle for the majority of Summer, even when many were flocking to the likes of Janna. The Summer Quarter finals saw mithy making his own highlight reel in a stunning team fight around Baron to win game five vs Splyce, proving that you shouldn’t doubt the All Pro Support.
HOW CAN I WATCH?
All the action will be broadcast on watch.lolesports.com, starting with the Third Place Decider on Saturday, September 2nd and the 2017 EU LCS Summer Finals on Sunday, September 3rd, at 17:00 CEST, available in English, Spanish, German, French, Polish, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, and Serbian.
Want to watch the action live? There are still tickets available for both the Third Place Decider Match and the EU LCS Summer Finals at the AccorsHotels Arena in Paris, France, available here and on the door.