The push for playoffs: EU LCS Week 9 Staff Picks

by theScore esports Staff Jul 27 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of EU LCS / lolesports flickr

theScore esports' League of Legends experts have tapped into their inner oracle for the seventh week of the European LCS Summer Split and offer up predictions for each of the games.

2016 EU LCS Summer Season Records: Emily Rand (31-49), Kelsey Moser (33-46) Tim Sevenhuysen (31-49).

Thursday Rand Moser Sevenhuysen
G2 vs. VIT G2 G2 G2
UOL vs. H2K Spliy Split Split
Friday Rand Moser Sevenhuysen
S04 vs. VIT Split Split Split
OG vs. H2K H2K H2K H2K
G2 vs. FNC G2 G2 G2

Unicorns of Love vs. H2K

Rand: H2K only need one win this week to secure a playoff spot, but they've been far from impressive and UOL did best them earlier this split in Week 4. That being said, I think this will split 1-1, clinching the playoff spot for H2K.

Moser: This is really hard to call. H2K seem to be thrown off by teams that just group and trust themselves early, but H2K have learned from their mistakes. Regardless of the AD carry they play, it comes more down to how Jankos react, and I think him getting advantage in one game, but getting blind-sided in the other.

Sevenhuysen: I’ve liked the decisiveness of H2K’s shot calling lately, but they need to be a bit more selective in those calls, and more aware of what they’re giving up elsewhere on the map when they make their moves. Speaking of Move, the jungle matchup could be exploitable for H2K, and if the Unicorns’ jungler can’t keep up with Jankos, they might find themselves in too deep a hole to dig their way out. If H2K misstep and fall behind at all, though, I worry about their potential to tilt themselves out of the game. The Unicorns know how to throw, too, and I think we’ll see each team look good in one game and struggle in the other, leading to a split.

FC Schalke 04 vs. Vitality

Rand: The battle of two inconsistent teams — neither are out of the playoff race, but both could also finish as low as last in the Summer split. They meet on Sunday, after they've both faced other opponents, I'm predicting a tie here as well, since both teams have struggled to find a good team dynamic that works for them.

Moser: S04 will likely try to brute force the mid lane, which will be difficult for Vitality to handle, but overall I think Vitality's vision coverage is slightly better. I also think, the longer the game goes on, the more likely Vitality are to win given how Police plays in the laning phase as opposed to team fights. This matchup overall feels fairly even, but I suppose that's why they're so close in the standings.

Sevenhuysen: Talk about playoff implications… Both of these teams could find themselves sneaking into the Quarterfinals after this week, but could also wind up playing to preserve their spot in the LCS. A 1-1 split won’t make either team happy, but it seems like a real possibility, given both teams’ inconsistencies. If anyone gets the 2-0, I’m guessing it will be Vitality.

G2 Esports vs. Fnatic

Rand: Despite Fnatic's recent struggles — they went 1-3 last week against Splyce and Origen — they should be able to put up a good fight. That being said, Spirit has still looked out of sync with the team at times where Trick and G2 have been more coordinated as a unit. I'm picking G2 for the jungle matchup and overall consistency this split.

Moser: The highlight match of the week, but it should be a fairly one-sided affair. With Trick play more toward top side, it will be hard for Fnatic to get a lead for Kikis. I can see Fnatic getting a lucky game if G2 try something experimental like their Nunu comp, but it should be fairly easy for G2 to take as long as they take strong early lanes and pressure advantages well.

Sevenhuysen: I would love nothing more than to see this series go 1-1, creating extra hype for the playoffs. I’m predicting that G2 will take both games, though, because I haven’t seen enough improvement in Fnatic’s coordination since Kikis’s arrival, and their drafts have continued to involve some questionable choices. G2 is one of the few teams in Europe with the tools to limit Spirit’s influence, and they feel vastly more refined and cohesive as a five-man unit.

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