Week 3 saw Fnatic, Gambit, and H2K all go 2-0, as a number of teams continued to experiment more. As is the case with any type of experimentation, some choices really paid off while others should never be repeated.
The role swap
Giants Gaming have improved their strategic play this split, even if they still have the same mechanical and champion pool pitfalls. At the same time, whether intentionally or not, Fnatic has been stalling games more and more to come back from behind. This could have been a more interesting matchup than would appear on paper.
Then the role swap happened. In a recent lolesports interview, PePiiNeRo claimed Fnatic's Rekkles was his greatest rival. Apparently this meant he had to play AD Carry against Fnatic to test his mettle. Give Huni top lane Ekko, and it went about as well as can be expected. Fnatic decimated Giants in their most convincing win of the split for this week's biggest disappointment.
Origen's misplays cripple Evelynn
No team has ever gone completely undefeated in an LCS split before, and Origen seemingly won't be the first — at least not this summer. After a well-played lane swap that netted them a dragon and a one-for-one tower trade as well as a massive CS lead in the top lane, ROCCAT set smart traps for Origen. Amazing's Evelynn got beaten down in the stage of the game where he should have had the largest impact.
Despite sOAZ's CS lead, Steve had strong impact from behind. There's a reason Rumble is considered his best champion. He doesn't need to do well in lane to impact team fights with ultimates.
Congratulations to ROCCAT on turning this one around. Origen has to examine what to do while they await their own power spikes in future matches.
Ekko is 1-4 in the European LCS
Despite the overall strengths of Ekko's kit, it's possible teams have begun to bring him out before they're completely ready. While Froggen looks practiced on the champion, Elements' overall ability to set up Ekko for maximum impact ultimates and chain the crowd control needs work.
Meanwhile, the Wolves played for comfort. Youngbuck hasn't played Vladimir since the 2014 Summer Season, but it's always been a pick he can default to for a solid game. He looked more comfortable than he has in a long time, and the Wolves succeed when their supporting cast can set up their carries for success. They ditched yesterday's Ekko pick and went back to their favorites for a win that seemingly had Soren delirious with glee.
Taric is not a good champion.
Unless the enemy team picks Kalista.
Gosu Pepper's Taric pick was both surprising and intelligent. Taric's Shatter area of effect armor buff shuts down a lot of the Hurricane Rend damage Kalista provides. As an added bonus, a targeted stun is excellent for stopping a high mobility champion in her tracks.
As for Forg1ven's Corki, he has another game in the win column. It would be nice to see him play Corki against teams that know how to focus him before calling him a born-again Corki main.
Match of the Day, MVP of the Week
I don't always agree with the European LCS panel's weekly MVP selection, but it's extremely difficult to argue against Ryu this week. His Twisted Fate play on Thursday single-handedly shut down Candy Panda's Vayne, and it's been a long time since I've seen a Lulu mid player have the massive game impact Ryu did with his Glitter Lances.
In today's game, The Unicorns had a smart idea to use Ekko as an Orianna ball delivery system, but Kikis' Ekko lacked the damage for it to be truly effective. On top of that, H2K brought massive amounts of zoning, disengage, and team fight reset to make UoL's execution as difficult as possible. While I still prefer SK vs H2K as my overall match of the week, you can't go wrong with Ryu.
Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore eSports. You can follow her on Twitter.