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From Challengers to Champions?

Which teams showed up big in the first week of the EU Challenger Series?

The European Challenger Series Summer Split kicked off last Sunday and the teams didn’t waste a second before we saw some exhilarating action.  With a stacked set of rosters, we expected high intensity gameplay and the teams certainly delivered. Let’s break down some of the top plays of week 1.

 

Team RB 1-1 Schalke 04

 

Team RB came into the split as the new ‘super team’. Composed of experienced heads and superstar youngsters, many deemed them as the team to beat. Schalke 04 coming off a perfect Spring Split aimed to go one step further this time and make it to the LCS. With the two titans of the league facing off each other in the opening game there was bound to be action.

 

In game one Team RB dominated from the get go. With a composition that had it all, they consistently dived on Upset and eliminated him from the fights time and time again:

They managed to take the nexus in an almost perfect fashion with only one death throughout the entire game.

 

It took until game two for Schalke to show us the reason that they dominated the spring split. A much slower start to the action allowed their composition to scale and nothing scales better than a Kog’Maw into the late game. Is this a sign that Upset has established his lane kingdom once again?

Paris Saint-Germain 0-2 Origen

 

It feels like not much more can be said about Origen. From Challenger Series to Worlds Semi-finals to Challenger series all within the space of two years, calling their descent a fall from grace seems overly kind. Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, had a resurgence at the end of the last split. Coming off a strong performance in playoffs, they will definitely be looking to continue their fine run of form.

 

In game one PSG took an early lead, very reminiscent to their performances last split. Managing to be six thousand gold ahead at the 35 minute mark, they took top lane inhibitor even after losing the Baron. However, Origen kept up their motivation and worked to improve as a team across the game.

 

DanDan stopped split pushing and joined up with his team, bringing the full force of late game Kennen to help take the victory.

Game two was the Illuzjonist show. As part of the substitute bot lane for Origen, both he and Neon had not had much time to practice with the team. However, they channeled their inner love birds to absolutely destroy with Xayah and Rakan.

 

If this is Origen with subs, how much more deadly can they be with their full roster?

 

Giants 2-0 Wind and Rain

 

Another team down from the LCS and trying to prove themselves against a new face in the Challenger Series sees Giants take on Wind and Rain.

 

Giants have replaced their entire LCS roster and brought in a few known names while putting their trust in some lesser known players too. Jizuké is the man to watch for this roster, previously having called himself the ‘Italian g0d’, he does not lack in confidence, but can his confidence transfer to the rift?

 

Wind and Rain were playing with substitutes in three of their roles and it showed a lot in game one. Giants took an early advantage and were able to snowball the game away from WAR, who looked like a team dearly lacking synergy.

 

Giants ran a composition in game two that revolved around not falling too far behind. Well when Gilius is your jungler it can be pretty easy to get ahead early on. They got an early lead and just ended up out-macroing Wind and Rain. At the 20 minute mark they’d accrued at ten thousand gold lead and forced WAR on the backfoot. WAR took one last fight late in the game to try and get something out of the series but Giants were just too strong.

After a great week of Challenger Series action, we’re still no closer to knowing who’ll be fighting for those playoffs spots. Schalke 04 and Team RB look strong, but so do Giants and Origen. Could we see the rebirth of OG as a super-team? Only time will tell. Join us next week for more of the European Challenger Series!

 

 

EU CS will return on Sunday June 25th at 15:00 CEST on twitch.tv/esl_lol brought to you by ESL UK.