1. PerkZ vs Nukeduck: The EU mid matchup of the year
There was a lot to like in the G2 vs Schalke matchup at the end of Day 1. But through all the back-and-forth teamfights, the knock-down, drag-out brawling between two strong teams, there was Nukeduck and Perkz. Add an assassin face-off into the mix, and you’re in a helluva time. Perkz’s Zoe and Nukeduck’s LeBlanc would prove to be crucial throughout the course of the game. In the mid and late stages of the incredible bout, both midlaners were instrumental in securing picks and fight advantages for their teams, and more often than not, found some sick outplays against one another.
As the dust cleared nearly an hour into the game, G2 emerged victorious, putting a slight damper on the “Year of the Duck”... for now. G2 and Schalke will rematch at the tail end of Week 8, and I cannot wait to seem them both again.
2. Minitroupax is Vitality’s true hero
If you’re a Vitality fan, you have a lot of reasons to be excited these days. A 7-1 record, top of the table standing, and a star midlaner who manhandles the opposition on a regular basis. But in the long shadow cast by the Italian Stallion Jiizuke, team Vitality have another, just as potent weapon: Minitroupax, the EU LCS’s first Portuguese player.
He entered the league as a part of one of the most talented ADC pools the region has ever had, and he’s certainly delivered. Going deathless in his first three games, and averaging only a single gray screen per game since, it’s easy to see how Minitroupax leads the league in KDA score among marksmen. He also has the second-best CSD at 15 minutes, only trailing behind the likes of Rekkles.
But in a game where flashy plays, not stats, make the headlines, Minitropax delivered on Day 1. Facing down a tenacious ROCCAT that refused to die, Minitroupax made a snap decision that stole back a win for Vitality when it looked like they could lose it all. Swapping his Heal for a Teleport, his Varus TP’d into the ROCCAT base while the rest of his team kept them busy inside their own, and made quick work of the Nexus turrets and the Nexus itself, in a play that will not be soon forgotten.
3. Team Roccat are blasting off
And speaking of ROCCAT: the underdogs continue to rise. On the surface, Team ROCCAT’s 1-1 result might not raise too many eyebrows, given their overall split 4-4 record. But looking beyond simply the results, ROCCAT are proving to be the real deal. On Friday, the boys in blue took on the top team Vitality, and despite finding themselves behind in a losing battle of scaling champions, managed to prolong the game in an incredible way. After Memento pulled off two heroic Baron steals for the team, Roccat used the buffs to masterfully drag Vitality between sidelanes and secure multiple inhibitors before backing away, in a spectacular display of Guerrilla warfare. The game was nearly won for ROCCAT, but a Minitroupax Teleport backdoor nabbed the win back for Vitality.
Rather than be discouraged, ROCCAT surged back the following day, overpowering and overwhelming Misfits in a rare almost perfect game, by not dropping a single tower or death. Things might’ve looked worrying for Roccat after their winless Week 3, but their recent performance proves that no team in the EU LCS can overlook them.
4. Fnatic are back in business
Fnatic have met a rocky road at the start of their journey to take back the European throne. Despite only making a single roster change, the team appeared somewhat disorganized, and lost some crucial early games in the split, notably against the likes of last place H2K and European heroes Misfits. However, Week 4 would prove to be redemption for the Fnatic faithful. Winning a brawler of a game vs Unicorns though brute force and superior engages, Fnatic kicked off the week with a win, before facing a surging Giants Gaming on Day 2. Despite some early setbacks and misplays, Fnatic would flex their team fighting muscles once again, getting incredible engages over and over again, to run down Giants and close the week out 2-0. After a well-deserved jump back up the standings to tied for second place, it’s safe to say that these days, Fnatic’s team fighting prowess is packing a powered-up punch.
5. Camille is the real deal
Now that we’ve had a few weeks on patch 8.2, we’re starting to see some changes in the perceived power of certain picks. After seeing some popularity in the top lane, Camille started to emerge as the frontrunner for carry solo-laner of choice. The Steel Shadow has hookshotted up the Pick/Ban list, banned over half the games of the last two weeks, and only remained unpicked once when left open. Apart from a single loss in the hands of ROCCAT jungler Memento, she hasn’t lost a game since 8.2 hit, either. The all-in potential and sidelane threat that Camille generates is just too good for teams to pass-up it seems, even though late game power picks like Gnar and Gangplank are still mainstays for most. Will she continue her reign at the top as patch 8.3 looms? Probably. If so, grab the popcorn, and get ready for some more sick Hextech Ultimatums, like what Giants’ Ruin managed against Alphari.