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Kelsey Moser's EU LCS Roundup: Farewell to the bottom four

by theScore Staff Mar 19 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games / Riot Flickr

Today's matches featured exciting games between Unicorns and G2 as well as Origen and Fnatic, but that's not what this Roundup is about. In the coming weeks, we'll get a chance to spend a lot of time with the top six teams and get to know how they play together in best of fives. The same cannot be said for the bottom four teams who bow out of the main event before playoffs.

Only Elements have saved themselves from Promotion. Splyce, Team ROCCAT, and Giants Gaming all must contend with Copenhagen Wolves and Huma to retain their positions in the EU LCS. Aside from these matches, it's likely we won't see these teams in their current forms again. Massive roster changes are common for teams that fail to make the playoffs. It's a time to reflect on what they did well and what cost them a spot in the top six.

Giants Gaming

With frequent roster changes, it's hard to discuss exactly what let Giants down beyond an apparent absence of a will to improve. For most of the split, Isaac "xPepii" Flores has lacked some of the commanding presence that made him enjoyable to watch in 2015. Giants attempted to run more slow, scaling compositions and failed to adapt to trends in strategy overall. I'm still not convinced they understand wave bounces in lane swaps.

Giants' win against Team ROCCAT demonstrated the power that their current lineup can provide. Korean additions give Giants a jungle and AD carry combination that can execute dives well against teams with lackluster vision control. This will aid them well in the Promotion Tournament. Morgan "Hustlin" Granberg performed surprisingly well in his first week, but shows room to grow.

But Kim "Wisdom" Taewan has had games in the past for Tigers and Giants where his presence isn't felt. An invisible jungler may be Giants' downfall.

Team ROCCAT

Team ROCCAT always felt like a team that should be better than they were. To an extent, the meta favored Simon "fredy122" Payne's tank fixation. Felix "Betsy" Edling had an unexpectedly good split that puts him among my top four performing mids for the season. At times, Karim "Airwaks" Benghalia's smart movements gave ROCCAT leads.

Inconsistency in the bottom lane and awkward engages with poor vision have set ROCCAT low in the standings. Airwaks occasionally chooses poor fights or has invisible presence early. ROCCAT's recent additions of Erik "Tabzz" van Helvert and Lewis "NoxiaK" Felix have improved ROCCAT's decision-making slightly.

It's time for ROCCAT to start building an identity. Copenhagen Wolves and Huma aren't the strongest contenders, so a defined style of play could give ROCCAT an advantage. ROCCAT at the moment capitalize well on mistakes by enemy teams. Improving vision coverage and roams could allow them to identify more of these situations and allow them to play a safe and calculated style.

Splyce

Inconsistency really is the theme of the bottom four. Chres "Sencux" Laursen averaged the highest kill participation of any player in the EU LCS, yet some games he seemed less confident. Splyce often assigned top laner Martin "Wunderwear" Hansen to free lanes for more farm, forcing him into the position of having to try to make the largest impact as perhaps the team's weakest player.

Splyce's awkward play reflected off-and-on shotcalling. This sort of thing will develop with time, but a change to the top lane (or other positions) may be advised if Splyce return to the EU LCS. Catering to Sencux should be the team's top priority in Promotion, as little on this team seems to happen without him.

Elements

The rise of Elements Tier. Following the first two weeks, Elements only won three more games. This has saved them from having to play Promotion, but their predictable approach remained intact.

I broke down Elements' playstyle earlier this split, and it didn't seem to evolve immensely from this iteration. Elements still try to make things happen with man advantages. They lack convincing coordination for team fights, but this is their main mode of operation. Berk "Gilius" Demir now gives mid lane more attention, but this seems to be more as an attempt to stop some of the bleeding than to enable a carry.

Elements should consider experimenting more with split-pushing if this team plays another professional game together. They seemed most convincing with 1-4 or 1-3-1 setups. The Sivir meta could have been a huge boon to Rasmus "MrRalleZ" Skinneholm, were Elements allowed to play within it longer.

Huma and Copenhagen Wolves don't appear to be extremely strong contenders to join the LCS, so none of these teams seem to be in dire threat of elimination. The entire four may indeed return this summer, but it's doubtful the rosters will remain the same. Either way, improvements for these teams are entirely possible. Until we see you again, farewell to the bottom four.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.

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