Only a week separates the LEC teams from the 2019 LEC Spring Playoffs, and it has been rather an up and down season for majority of the teams in Europe.
While G2 Esports have dominated in terms of their record, they have appeared quite vulnerable in some of their games, even losing to Origen, SK Gaming, and Splyce, during the second round robin. Just right behind them are Team Vitality, who entered the 2019 LEC having retained their trademark early game aggression and inclination to play towards side lanes, following by Origen, who have been quite inconsistent but appear to prefer playing a more macro-oriented style, and finally, Splyce, who have shown a lot of improvements over the last few weeks.
With only two spots left and two teams already eliminated from contention, only four teams are vying for a spot at the 2019 LEC Spring Playoffs.
Which teams do we think will advance? Read on more to find out!
Current Record: 9-7 (currently in 5th place)
Fnatic is like a good friend who has let you down recently. You know they messed up, they know they messed up, and they were set on rectifying that. And Fnatic did.
They are 6-1 so far in the second round robin, are on a six-game winning streak. Fnatic’s drafting and early game prowess has improved quite a lot during this period. In particular, last week, they showed us a different look as they ran bridging scaling compositions with immensely robust early games, as evidenced by their game with the Neeko with the on-hit build for the mid lane and the Vayne for the bot lane.
They have also shown the capability to carry from almost every position: Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau has been getting several solo kills over the last few matches, and his champion pool is in a rather good spot. Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen’s champion pool has been untouched by the recent adjustments to jungle champions. Tim “Nemesis” Lipovsek has found some stability in the mid lane, and the duo of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov are now capable of drawing pressure towards the bottom lane.
Their last remaining matches against G2 Esports and Splyce will be a test of their form, and given their current form, they might just be able to end the split on an 11-7 record.
Hold: FC Schalke 04 Esports
Current Record: 8-8 (currently in 6th place)
FC Schalke 04 Esports was once sitting on a 7-2 record for the first half of their split, but they have plummeted since then, going 1-6 for the second half, which leads to them currently possessing a dead even 8-8 record.
Because they own the head-to-head record against Misfits Gaming and can force a tiebreaker game against SK Gaming, they have a good shot at making it to the 2019 LEC Spring Playoffs. Except, there’s just one problem — they haven’t really been playing well lately.
As of the moment, the team is in desperate need from a more stable performance from their mid and jungle. If not, then the onus is on Elias “Upset” Lipp to become the stellar team fighting AD Carry that he is, and for Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun to affect the entire map with his roaming plays. They’ll also have to count on Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, in such a scenario, especially if they put him on champion that can both split push and fight.
Unfortunately, a lot of things have to go right for FC Schalke 04 Esports to advance, and while we’re optimistic, mostly because of the record of the team’s behind them, we’re not fully invested in their chances of making the playoffs either.
Buy: SK Gaming
Even if SK Gaming ends up missing out on the 2019 LEC Spring Playoffs, they’ve already won the hearts of fans from all over the league as they have successfully pulled off upsets against the likes of Fnatic, G2 Esports, as well as Team Vitality.
The fact that they’re even in the playoffs conversation is a testament to the potential of this team going forward.
SK Gaming’s mid and jungle in Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik and Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek have proven themselves capable of carrying the team on their backs, playing well enough to force opposing teams to target them during the drafting phase, which, coincidentally enough, frees up the other members of SK Gaming to do their thing. That therein lies the problem, though. SK Gaming’s other members have yet to step up consistently.
Lucky for SK Gaming, their final opponents of the split are Rogue and Team Vitality, who they’ve already beaten before. They’re looking at a possible 9-9 record at the end of the weekend, in which case, they’ll immediately advance if Fnatic finally stumbles. If in the likelihood they end up with the same record as FC Schalke 04, we’re extremely confident in SK Gaming’s chances of winning the tiebreaker matchup.
The only problem for SK Gaming is that their fate is not completely in their hands, and they could very well end up missing out on the playoffs even if they play well should FC Schalke 04 and Fnatic go 2-0 to end the split. But, despite those odds, SK Gaming’s chances are still looking pretty good, which is why we’re definitely rooting for them this weekend.
Sell: Misfits Gaming
For all the talent on Misfits Gaming’s roster, they seem to have a lot of trouble putting it all together. As a result, they’re in real danger of missing out on the 2019 LEC Spring Playoffs.
So far, what has worked for Misfits Gaming is playing around their bottom lane of Steven “Hans Sama” Liv, and then unleash Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon to the rest of the map on a playmaking champion. They should try to keep things simple and let Nubar ‘Maxlore‘ Sarafian play a more defined role, while they should put Paul “sOAZ” Boyer on a team fight tank so he can start initating in the later stages of the game.
Even then, however, we’re not really buying any of what Misfits Gaming are selling. It also certainly doesn’t help that Misfits Gaming are likely starting at a sure-loss with a match against G2 Esports coming up. Plus, for them to advance to the postseason, Misfits Gaming will have to hope that both Schalke 04 and SK Gaming start forgetting how to play and win games this weekend while they won both of their own games.
As much as we’d love to believe on the talent in the roster, the odds simply are stacked against Misfits Gaming.
At the end of the day, we’re putting all our chips on Fnatic and either one of SK Gaming and FC Schalke 04 Esports, albeit, we’re more inclined to go with SK Gaming.
While FC Schalke 04 Esports are ahead of both SK Gaming and Misfits Gaming in the standings, they aren’t exactly in good form. They may have the benefit of having the easiest schedule of the four, but, from what we’ve learned so far this season, it’s that you should never underestimate FC Schalke 04 Esports’ ability to disappoint.
With that said, the regular season is finally come to a close, and these last couple of matches will indicate what form the top six teams will be coming into playoffs.
What do you think will happen in the last wek before the 2019 LEC Spring Playoffs? Which teams do you think will advance? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.