With week three coming to an end, we are officially over the halfway mark of the summer split. Giants have lept out to a powerful lead and remain undefeated, while early favourites Team RB and Schalke 04 are not the destructive force everyone expected, and the playoffs spots are still very much up in the air.
Schalke 04 1 - 1 Wind and Rain
After last week’s dominant performance against Origen, Schalke fans hoped for a revival of their Spring Split form. They met up against Wind and Rain to kick off the week and were looking for another clean 2-0 while WAR had their own axe to grind, after managing to get a draw versus Team RB and were looking to start racking up the wins.
Game one was the battle of the Marksmen. Both teams’ drafts focused around getting their AD carries into the late game and Upset butted heads with Woolite many times across the course of a turbulent affair. The deciding moment came as S04 cleared out vision at baron, and baited WAR into blindly wandering into the river. 1-0 Schalke.
There have been many doubts around Wind and Rain throughout this split. They have a reputation for being a team that always seems to fall behind but somehow magically manages to pull off wins late game, and this game was no exception. Once again S04 took an early lead, including two baron buffs and three dragons to the one of WAR. However, WAR’s macro shone true once more and off a strong fight, and a lot of hooks from AOD’s Thresh, they drew their second series in a row.
Team RB 2-0 Paris Saint Germain
Team RB have started to solidify themselves as a top team in Challenger this split. With mechanical prowess, they snowball their leads from lane, looking unstoppable throughout the mid-game. Paris Saint Germain are still searching for their golden bullet. Subbing in Klaj and Satorius this week, PSG were trying to find some of the magic that WhiteKnight brought them in the middle of last split.
When Team RB play their style, it’s a sight to behold. Their coordination in team fights, and the ability to switch aggro is something that is rarely seen even at a challenger level. The game was looking equal going up to the 20 minute mark, but fight after fight went in favour of Team RB, and they were able to close out the game without too much trouble.
In game two, Team RB drafted a strategy that seemed to lack damage. Shen, Elise, Galio, Ashe and Lulu is the quintessential definition of a protect the ADC composition. However, Moojin had other plans. Securing himself three kills within 5 minutes, his Elise became an assassin. PSG fought back with a great dive down toward the bottom lane, but Team RB had all the tools they needed to snowball the game. Their coordination was a joy to watch as they continually protected Ashe and re-engaged to take the series 2-0.
Giants 2-0 Origen
Giants are the standout performers of Challenger Series this split. Undefeatable, indomitable, and straight up the best team in the league at the moment. Origen, conversely, have looked weak since their week one win. Their full roster hasn’t seemed to gel and it’s difficult to find hope for them against Wind and Rain and Team RB.
Ruin has been meddling around in the Challenger Series for a while now, and hasn’t always had the opportunity to shine and seems to have found his home on Giants. His early roams to mid-lane coupled with his ability to rotate and join fights at the opportune moment helped Giants secure a perfect game to start off the series.
Game two was pretty much the same story. Giants subbed in their secondary support, Joo, and he, alongside Minitroupax, destroyed the bot lane of Origen. Ending the game unkilled, with a combined KDA of 9/0/15, they dismantled Origen. Minitroupax is still unkilled across all of this Challenger split, and doesn’t look like he’s going to give up that title soon.
With that, the third week of Challenger Series draws to a close. Giants have guaranteed their spot in playoffs, the rest of the pack is gnashing at their heels, we’ll have to see if anyone can catch up.