G2 Esports, Origen, Fnatic, Splyce, SK Gaming, Team Vitality, Schalke 04, Misfits Gaming, Rogue and Excel Esports have returned to action, to the delight of LEC fans. And they wasted no time to set the stage for a tense Summer Split.
Week 1’s winning teams had something in common: they selected devastating and efficient picks to overcome their opponents, and used them to great effect. Five player-pick combinations were particularly noteworthy – let’s take a look.
Jankos’ Jarvan IV: 1/2/13 vs. Splyce
G2 Esports started the season with a 2:0 record, and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski’s play was a huge factor. In a situation many would have found compromising, he leveraged his teammates’ strong laning to shut down opposing jungler Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir.
His counterjungling prompted Quickshot to state that he was “having a field day.”
Jankos had his game plan against Splyce figured out. For one, his Electrocute build allowed him to threaten Rek’Sai at key points of the early game. Then, his jungle pathing and ensuing level advantage allowed him to take control of the map.
His impact was such that the game was technically over at the 10-minute mark; indeed, for the rest of the game, he facilitated skirmishes and punched G2’s first victory in the Summer Split.
Patrik’s Sona: 12/0/7 KDA vs Team Vitality
Patrik “Patrik” Jiru was unkillable against Team Vitality in a matchup of scaling bot lanes. Although the reactive Team Vitality denied Taric at the draft, Patrik’s Sona was unstoppable with Tahm Kench in tow.
Beyond her oppressive damage in the late game, her utility during early skirmishes and team fights was off the charts, turning disadvantageous skirmishes into short-term wins. Eventually, those team fight victories piled up.
Team Vitality were helpless against the Kleptomancy-Frostfang build Sona. Indeed, Patrik relied on the support item’s passive and the rune to receive gold, allowing Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez’s Tahm Kench to freely farm. Vitality’s scaling bot lane had no countermeasures, and Vitality eventually faced doom – rather, overly potent Crescendos.
Crownshot’s Ezreal: 9/2/6 vs. FC Schalke 04
Although he may not seem like it, Ezreal is an outstanding late-game champion. While the pick takes time to scale, he is also one of the safest in the game, and Jus “Crownshot” Marusic picked it when his opponent’s pick was unknown.
Although his early-game and laning is not dominant, he greatly scales – allowing him dart in and out of situations and deal absurd damage.
Crownshot took it one step further, purchasing Ability Power items to complement his Muramana-Trinity Force core. Hextech Gunblade came in handy in kiting or burst situations, and Luden’s Echo is a reliable Cooldown Reduction / Damage item to supplement his spellcasting.
With the game lasting long enough, Schalke 04 were unable to break his front line. He was free to melt health bars and take the game from there.
Broxah’s Lee Sin: 4/3/6 vs. Misfits Gaming
Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen piloted the Fnatic ship to a 2:0 cruise during the weekend, but he had to sail through high waves. Against Misfits Gaming, his Lee Sin facilitated Fnatic’s survival in the early game with timely ganks.
However, he remained relevant even in late game team fights, when the majority of Lee Sins would have lost the game single-handedly.
Broxah showcased his full arsenal of moves in the early game and built a quick Warrior enchant and the Black Cleaver. Later on, he equipped a Quicksilver Sash to cancel Skarner’s ult, allowing him to hunt for Misfits’ back line.
With many threats piling up on Steven “Hans Sama” Liv’s Sivir, Fnatic commanded late game team fights and emerged victorious.
Perkz’s Xayah: 15/3/3 vs. Origen
G2 Esports are lethal in every position, but Luka “Perkz” Perkovic still had to prove some detractors wrong. The jokingly self-referenced ‘auto fill AD carry’ played a role that surprised Origen: their undoing.
Although Origen had threatening picks for an AD carry (Sejuani, Kennen, Jayce and Rakan), he shrugged them off and damaged them freely.
Unlike many bot lane marksmen, Xayah is relevant at all stages of the game. Her kit allows her to duel most bot laners early on, and her great scaling and R – Featherstorm allows her to threaten opponents and evade tricky situations during team fights.
With an Essence Reaver, Rapid Firecannon, Infinity Edge, Mercurial Scimitar (on top of her ultimate) and a Bloodthirster, Perkz was death bundled in an AD carry. Would you look at his front line play near the end of the game...