2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals: Odds, Analysis, Preview

The placements in the quarterfinals had already made it apparent that we wouldn’t be getting an epic G2 Esports vs Fnatic finals to the split like we did last time, although no matter which way things went, it was even clearer that the most one of these teams would have gone up to is the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals, because they’d have to face each other in them. Misfits spared both of them the pain of having to face each other and destroyed G2 in the quarterfinals.

On the other hand, everyone expected Schalke 04 to go over to the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals, but not in the manner that they did. We thought they’d be here with their head high, winning against Splyce like Misfits did against G2 Esports. However, they’ve barely managed to scrape by, and their upcoming opponents aren’t known for going easy on their opponents.

All odds courtesy of ArcaneBet unless otherwise stated.

2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals

Vitality vs Schalke 04

2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals

Schalke 04 messed up in their last match. How will they perform in the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals? (Image via LoL Esports Flickr)

Betting: Vitality to win at 1.47 odds (ArcaneBet)

We’re going to be brutally honest: Schalke aren’t looking good coming into the Madrid stage. They were looking stellar up until the final week of the regular split, and now they’re struggling a lot. They’re still a great team, but they’re having a hard time keeping up with their peers. They had a hard time getting by Splyce, even though we discussed how Splyce was struggling to get past the early game.

Nukeduck was a heavy target on the side of Splyce during the quarterfinals. While Amazing was trying to get his side lanes ahead, Xerxe and Nisqy were having repeated goes at Nukeduck, and he simply couldn’t survive the onslaught. This strategy was really risky for Schalke, and almost cost them the series. Nukeduck simply hasn’t been looking good during the quarterfinals and got outplayed by Nisqy during 1v1s more than once.

The only way Schalke started winning the series was when Amazing started focusing more on the mid lane and left his bot lane alone. Upset came out as a huge carry for the team, and Splyce made the mistake of letting him play Kai’Sa two games in a row. He played like an absolute madman, rushing into the enemy team with no front line, and flashing walls into enemy turrets just to grab a kill. He legitimately solo carried the game for his team and came out huge.

Vitality is much more formidable than Splyce

2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals

Jiizuke is in his prime, and ready to make the game-defining plays that made him popular in Spring 2018. (Image via LoL Esports Flickr)

Spring season Jiizuke is back! And you know what that means: Nukeduck has his work cut out for him. Jiizuke’s performance during the laning phase has got quite a boost recently, and it’s been working out really well for his team. This is great for Vitality because his comfort picks in Ryze and Zoe are working quite well in the current meta.

Unlike Schalke 04, Vitality have been looking exceptionally dominant during the past few weeks. They’ve utterly destroyed Schalke once before during the group stage’s final week, and they also made G2 Esports feel like a bottom tier team on their way to Madrid. Now that other teams have caught up with them in the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals, they’ve most likely concocted some new plans for their opponents.

For individual matchups, Vitality has most of the winning ones. They’ve got a better mid laner, although Jiizuke has been less consistent that Nukeduck. Should he stumble, Nukeduck won’t hesitate to take advantage and snowball the game. We think Jiizuke is more likely to make risky and aggressive plays, and that’s something S04 have been really inept dealing with.

Amazing showed that he can play aggressive junglers too, but he doesn’t really hold a candle to Kikis, who’s signature playstyle is to tear the enemy team apart by the time the game enters the 20-minute mark. Amazing and his team will have to play safe during the early game, which works out well for Vitality.

Predicted Winner: Vitality

Schalke had a lot of trouble dealing with Splyce’s macro game in the quarterfinals. Now that they’re in the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals against Vitality, the difficulty level is about to step up a bit. Vitality were able to best teams that were rated far above them recently using nothing but hard, solid macro strategies. Jiizuke was especially crucial to this, split pushing like the game depended on it, which it very much did.

We don’t think Schalke 04 have the prowess to deal with such an onslaught. Yes, they were able to have solid objective trades with Splyce after the third game was over, but that was more about Splyce throwing their lead rather than S04 winning their way. Vitality doesn’t play reactively; they’re the ones who’re making proactive plays, and that leaves Schalke in a tight spot because they rely on stalling when they’re behind.

During their last game against Vitality, they weren’t able to buy a single minute as they were ravaged to the ground. Once Schalke gets to the team fighting stage, we think the game will tilt in their favour. Up until that point, Vitality are going to be running the show, and we doubt Vitality would want it any other way. So far, Vitality’s game plan is looking far better. They could take a leaf out of Misfits’ book and run a fully early game composition to snowball their games to an early victory.

Could Upset perform a miracle and get his team to the finals? It’s possible. However, we’ll go with the hard facts available to us, and they point towards a Vitality victory at 3-2.

Fnatic vs Misfits

2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals

Misfits seem to be back in their prime for the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals. (Image via LoL Esports Flickr)

Betting: Misfits to win at 2.93 odds (ArcaneBet)

Misfits made the statement of the year during their game against G2 in the quarterfinals: they’re back in the game. For too long, Misfits have been sliding out of the show to the sidelines, and now it seems like they’re making a comeback. They had an amazing start of the split, going undefeated for half the split. The remaining group stage had a completely opposite story in mind for them and had them lose enough games to just barely make it to the playoffs.

Judging by their past performance, we chalked them down for an easy defeat against G2, who were looking like a much superior team. What happened next was something that pretty much no one would have expected. Misfits absolutely destroyed G2 in a 3-0 victory and proceeded to the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals with ease.

How they managed to do this was exactly what we’d mentioned in our prediction: they overcame their early game weaknesses and turned them into their strength. They focused on exactly what they were lacking, which was that they weren’t finding any leads they could snowball off. Their response to this problem was to introduce a wholly different team composition to the Rift. Other than this, Hans Sama has started carrying again, which brings a lot to the table for Misfits.

Alphari is vital to Misfits’ success

2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals

Alphari is an irreplaceable asset for Misfits. (Image via LoL Esports Flickr)

The most important factor to Misfits’ victory in the quarterfinals was one that people rarely talked about, and that was Alphari. Wunder from G2 was supposedly one of Europe’s best top laners. Well, Alphari made him look like a complete amateur. Alphari was able to solo kill Wunder multiple times even though he was on a tank champion. His plays drew the enemy team’s attention from Hans Sama and Sencux, which was all that was needed for a Misfits victory.

Fnatic have looked better in the past

2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals

Caps is the player that Fnatic depends upon. If he’s shut down, it’s all over. (Image via LoL Esports Flickr)

Right now, it looks like Fnatic have used up everything they had in their backpack. Sure, they might be the top team in the region, but their performance as of late was subpar to what we’ve come to expect from them. For one, their strategy of having Bwipo in the bot lane might not continue to work as efficiently as it has in the better part of the summer split.

The meta in the playoffs has been around marksmen and tanks, and we can’t think of any reason this would be different for the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals. This means Rekkles is needed on the team instead of Bwipo, and Rekkles hasn’t had great games in the past few weeks. There’s no denying how great of a player Rekkles is, however, but pitting him against Hans Sama might be risky because he’ll need some time to adjust to his gameplay.

Fnatic’s last game of the regular split made them look pretty bad. Unicorns really got the best of them, outplaying them in a manner which shouldn’t have been possible considering the difference between the two teams.

Match Prediction: Misfits Win

It’s extremely difficult to call out who’ll win this matchup because Fnatic is a team that always seems to know how to win when it matters most. No matter what the odds are, they know what they’re doing, especially in best of 5s. They decimated G2 in the Spring finals, and we’ve yet to see their composure during this split’s playoffs in the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals.

Misfits are looking incredible right now, quite reminiscent to their split opening in which not even Fnatic could come close to them. By rights, Misfits should win because they’ve got a more solid team as of now, and have the momentum from their previous game.

It’s a tough call: Fnatic have a record of holding the best comebacks and having a solid foundation in the region. This year seems different, however. Other teams are looking like serious competitors of the top teams, with G2 not even attending the semifinals. This year might be the one where Fnatic don’t enter the EU LCS split finals.

We’re putting all our faith in Misfits, and predict they’ll win the series 3-2.


What do you think of our predictions for the 2018 EU LCS Summer Playoffs Semifinals? Do you think Fnatic will be able to stand up to Misfits’ sudden revival? Or will Misfits take it all and proceed to the summer finals? What do you think about Vitality’s standpoint right now, and do you think they’ll be as dominant over Schalke 04 as we think? Let us know in the comments below!

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