EU LCS Roundup: Far from over

by theScore Staff Jul 24 2015
Thumbnail image courtesy of EU LCS / EU LCS Screengrab

This day could have been much longer than it was; there was only one tiebreaker after the scheduled games. Origen and Fnatic wait in second and first place, guaranteed at least fourth place, while H2K and Giants and ROCCAT and Unicorns of Love duke it out.

Now that we know our Playoffs teams and their seeding, it's time to give first impressions of what might trip them up and help them succeed. Obviously, these are very simplistic ones, and all the Playoffs teams are sure to advance to the next stage with more layers on display than this. But a few characteristics seem to raise their heads, time and again.

Giants like their Tear compositions

Giants Gaming opened today's games with a triple Tear of the Goddess composition. It worked well against Copenhagen Wolves, whose major pitfalls often include waiting too long to take action. A scaling or Tear composition makes Giants oppressive when teams fail to act early, and it's how they've won a lot of their games.

Teams can either avoid direct confrontation and try to play around the scaling or just crush Giants in the first fifteen minutes. Beware Jax and don't let them charge up.

H2K abuse mid and late game map movement

H2K get a lot of their advantages by splitting their siege in the mid game. They take advantages with mid game fights using picks like Rumble, then split their resources effectively to take turrets and pressure the enemy base from multiple sides.

One of H2K's weaknesses, though not on display today against a more disheveled Gambit, is the lane swap in the early game. It's sometimes easy to set H2K behind with turret dives, targeting loulex, or by denying Odoamne.

Their comeback potential then comes from Ryu grabbing picks on assassins. Take Ryu off his assassins and force an unfavorable swap, and H2K may crumble.

Origen still over-commit

One misconception is that Origen don't have as strong a sense of strategy as most other Playoffs squads. I'd argue Origen has a good sense for the 1-3-1 or 1-4 split because of their solo laners' roots, but they often ruin some of the advantages they acquire patiently by going for just that little extra advantage in dives or brawls.

Today Origen misjudged their advantage against ROCCAT and got behind in the mid game. They lost out to stronger scaling and a better team fight composition from ROCCAT. Sometimes Origen will make misplays if they think they have a massive lead, and making comebacks against them isn't impossible.

ROCCAT still have one major threat

Jankos had a strong performance today on Nidalee, but without a high damage pick to fall back on in the jungle, the team closes ranks behind Nukeduck. That's how the team has been designed, and they've gone a long way in improving the execution of their Nukeduck-centric playstyle.

It's still imperfect. Even when Giants' targeting in fights seemed questionable, they managed to neutralize Nukeduck right away in the team fights they won. ROCCAT have made it harder to get to Nukeduck, but their opposition should keep their eyes on the prize.

The Unicorns have a formula

As always with Unicorns, ignore their outlandish picks. This time around, their jungler, Gilius, is more trackable, so invading and warding can be beneficial. Keeping down Hylissang and PowerofEvil work best for the rest of the game.

Unicorns have the added struggle of working out a new roster, but they're the same 50-50 team they've always been. Keep a clear head, ward, and don't fall for the baits. Consider banning PowerofEvil's mages, and as always, history has shown us there's around a 50% chance for victory in a given game.

Undefeated champions eventually fall — but perhaps not right now

Despite not losing a game the entire split, Fnatic have exposed a few strengths and weaknesses. They're the best in the league at side wave control and positioning their top laner with Teleports to prepare for neutral objectives. They are powerful when it comes to team fighting.

Reignover and Fnatic's bottom lane are both vulnerable to early pressure. Invasion strategies and standard lanes can go a long way. It's about not losing advantages in team fights and falling for the bottom lane push in the mid game.

If both Origen and Fnatic make finals, a close series is possible, but so is the continuation of the latter's undefeated streak. 18-0 can translate to 24-0 with clear focus. Last Playoffs, both of Fnatic's series went to five games. It's time to see if this improved team can smash a best of five as convincingly as they can a single game.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore eSports. She hopes you've enjoyed following the European regular season with her and hold on through the Playoffs. Follow her on Twitter.