As the dust settled on the second round of the 2019 LEC spring playoffs, three teams remained in contention for the crown. In Europe’s first split in the new LEC era, old stalwarts prevailed.
Indeed, Fnatic sent Splyce out of the playoffs in a tense 3-1 series, moving ever closer to completing their dead-last-to-champions run. As a result, they will face Origen on Saturday for a chance to face G2 Esports after G2 made a statement in a 3-0 sweep, in what is shaping up to be the most stacked EU roadshow pro League of Legends has ever seen, with the three most successful, most storied and best-loved orgs in EU coming together to write the next chapter in our history, and add to their legacy.
Besides (or instead of) Hecarim and Rek’Sai, the following picks helped define the storylines behind the two series, and will surely cause havoc at the Ahoy to boot. Let’s take a look.
Wunder’s Irelia: 8/2/4 KDA vs Origen in Game 2
G2 Esports overcame Origen in a tense Game 1 thanks to savvy rotations (empowered by Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s Ryze) and Wunder’s Hecarim reaching a critical point. However, they left nothing to chance in Game 2 as they unleashed Wunder’s Irelia on Summoners’ Rift. The result: a magnificent blade waltz, and a game that was out of Origen’s reach.
Once he purchased Trinity Force at the 18:24 mark, his Conqueror-runed Irelia set the tempo of team fights. Of course, Origen’s positioning around choke points in the terrain or of their making (through Jarvan IV Cataclysms) certainly helped him take off from 1/2/3 to 8/2/4. In fact, G2 Esports had two standout carries on Game 2, but Wunder was the most impactful one, wreaking havoc upon Origen’s backline unopposed. Will he be able to draw on the champion’s strength again come Sunday? If he can, G2 will surely be the team to beat.
Mikyx’s Rakan: 1/3/29 KDA across two games vs Origen
G2 Esports dominated Origen in three swift games, and all five players pulled their weight. But it would be a disservice to omit mentioning Mihael “mikyx” Mehle’s Rakan on its own. In fact, his flanks and engages were determinant in sealing Origen’s fate, from creative Level 1 onwards. His performances left one question: what would have happened if he was not playing through injury?
Mikyx’s Rakan pairing with Luka “PerkZ” Perkovic’s Xayah helped him peel for the latter on a moment’s notice, or dominate against Origen’s defensive bot lane selections. More importantly, his Guardian rune assisted Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski’s Rek’Sai and PerkZ’s Xayah whenever they were within proximity of one another. Beyond the R-W combo, he improved his teammates’ survivability, leading to a swift 3-0 series.
Rekkles’s Sivir: 12/1/13 KDA vs Splyce in two victories
Splyce and Fnatic faced off in a series to end all series: one that included hyper scaling picks, high-octane early game action, and tradeoffs galore. In the end, Fnatic prevailed in emphatic fashion, as they took the initiative frequently. That they did it with Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s ol’ faithful Sivir is the cherry on the cake.
Rekkles facilitated skirmishes through timing his R – On the Hunt activations, speeding his front line into positioning for ambushes. That alone made his lifesteal-focused Fleet Footwork Sivir useful for his teammates, but he did not stop there. Indeed, he provided a commendable amount of damage in team fights, as his Essence Reaver, Infinity Edge, Rapid Fire Cannon, Bloodthirster and Phantom Dancer did the talking. Rekkles led Fnatic all the way to the final of Worlds last year; can his picks take the team to the first ever LEC Spring Split finals as well? An in-form G2 will be a monumental challenge for any team to face down, but with Rekkles in form too, if anyone can...
Kobbe’s Tristana: 14/1/0 in Game 2
Splyce ultimately didn’t qualify for Rotterdam, however the team did not bow down quietly, as they stood toe to toe with Fnatic during the first three games. In fact, they won the Game 2 scaling war: against Fnatic’s Sivir-Kayle carry duo, they unleashed Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup’s Tristana and provided her with a sturdy front line and ways to cancel Fnatic out.
As such, Kobbe was free to wreak havoc upon his opponents with Press The Attack stacks, Infinity Edge, Statikk Shiv and Rapid Firecannon shredding through opponents. In fact, had Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir not brought doom upon him, he would have gone deathless in Game 2. Although Splyce ultimately lost the series, he showcased why he was voted as the All-Pro first team AD carry – could Kobbe make an impact this weekend, Splyce or no?
Broxah’s Jarvan IV: 5/0/11 in Game 4
Ultimately, there could be only one team heading to the semifinals at Rotterdam between Fnatic and Splyce. After securing a 2-1 lead, Fnatic elected to take risks during the draft in answer to their opponent’s draft. Their odd draft involved Vayne as a counterpick to Sylas and a flip-flopping it, Lissandra and Sivir (across all three lanes). In the midst of it all, Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen brought a semblance of normalcy with an Electrocute empowered Jarvan IV.
With several damage threats on the team, Jarvan IV split team fight initiation and peeling duties with Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov’s Alistar. As a result, Tim “Nemesis” Lipovsek’s Vayne and Rekkles’s Sivir had bodyguards during team fights as long as they did not feed themselves to their opponents (on a silver platter at that). With that much willingness to take initiative, it had become apparent that it was Fnatic’s series to win – which they did.