Fnatic: Will Rekkles help or hinder their Playoffs hopes?
What can you say about Fnatic that hasn’t already been said? They’ve been the most consistent team throughout the split. They have the most individual talent and experience of any team in Europe. They are capable of winning games through any one of their players. They are the hands down favourite to win the split.
Now, it does have to be said that with G2 dropping out of playoffs early, Fnatic have already locked up a spot at Worlds. But let’s be real. Any less than the Summer Split Champions title will be a disappointment for an organisation that already boasts six EU LCS trophies and a world championship.
Two major questions for them coming down the stretch involved the consistency of their jungler, Broxah, and the status of star ADC Rekkles. Broxah seemed to play with more confidence and pace in the latter half of the split and solidified the team’s early game style. Rekkles on the other hand may be a bit too early to tell. After missing the majority of the split, he returned in week 9 to mixed results. His individual play seemed decent, but the team synergy and tempo wasn’t as clean as the rest of the split, when backup botlaner, Bwipo, had been a solid replacement.
Obviously Rekkles still gives Fnatic the highest upside and potential to succeed at Worlds, but will it hurt them in the short term during EU LCS playoffs?
Vitality: Is their aggressive playstyle enough to carry them to Worlds?
Vitality took care of business in the final week to secure their first round bye. They went 4-0 over the final 3 days, all versus playoffs-bound teams.
The talk of the back half of the split has been about the addition of Kikis and the surge Vitality has had. You can see it on the rift and off. The incredible team fighting synergy. The smiling faces and warm embraces. They have become a team that believes in one another and trusts in their abilities. But how long can they keep it up?
As exciting and unexpected as their hot streak has been. They still have glaring weakness in champion pools and playstyles. They excel at getting early game leads with early game junglers, and working that into good decision making and solid team fights. They really haven’t shown much else, and in their defense, they really haven’t needed to.
When push comes to shove, when the teammate honeymoon is over, can this team stand up and show that they belong amongst the top teams in Europe and can compete for a championship?
FC Schalke 04: Can they adapt after H2K and Splyce cracked their code?
Schalke’s rise has been one of the key storylines throughout the summer. The offseason addition of Amazing has given them a voice and stabilized their tempo. It has allowed the vast amount of playmakers on their team to create opportunities, while still having a solid foundation to fall back on. Nukeduck has been an MVP candidate and arguably the most consistent player in the league.
That said, they do have a severe lack of early game pressure and a narrow champion pool across the board. They have the slowest average game time (33:50) of the 4 remaining teams. They had an extremely poor showing in the final week of the split, dropping a match to the 1-16 H2K and going 2-2 in total. In the first round match up vs Splyce, their wins looked shaky and their losses looked straight up embarrassing.
Are they going to continue to evolve and grow, or has the clock struck midnight on this Cinderella story?
Misfits: How will Hans Sama handle the pressure?
Misfits has had one of the more strange splits, going undefeated to through the first round robin, only to then stumble their way through the back half.
The development of Alphari has been a major contribution to their success. He nearly doubled his KDA from Spring, increased his kill participation, and was the lowest percentage of Misfits’ deaths throughout the split. While this incredible and for many teams would be the reason for their wins, Misfits lives and dies as Hans Sams does.
Hans Sama is the engine that makes Misfits go. When he has the ball rolling, they are a well oiled machine; able to take an early game lead and ride it into the sunset. But when he’s not, well… they just kinda stall. They have huge problems in mid to late game decision making, which is made easy when you have a fed Hans Sama one shotting people. This was no more evident than last weekend as they swept the heavily favored G2. Hans Sama popped off throughout the series, even feeling confident enough to break out a Draven pick in game 3.
Does Misfits have enough oil to keep the Hans Sama engine running? Or will they have to find an alternative source of fuel?
The EU LCS Summer title and some all important World Circuit points are still up for grabs. Every team has questions, we’ll soon find out who has answers.