Can Anyone Stop The G2 Juggernaut? – 2017 EULCS Spring Playoffs Preview

The last two splits have been dominated by Trick and friends. The Spring 2017 regular season has been no exception, but the last week of the season showed that immortals can bleed. Esportsranks is here to bring you the lowdown on all six teams in the 2017 EULCS Spring Playoffs Preview, and what they bring to the rift.

The top three teams of the two groups have been decided, and now we’re at the business end of the season. For six teams, all that stands between them and glory is a best-of-5 single-elimination bracket. The finals (and third place playoff) will take place in Hamburg, Germany. Before that, however, we need to actually determine who’s earned the right to go, as the wildcard round and semi-finals take place in the LCS Arena back in Berlin.

The Bye Week Teams

Group A winners G2 Esports are joined by Group B winners Unicorns of Love in punching their tickets straight to Hamburg. They get to put their feet up for a week, whilst the other four teams battle it out to fill the other two semi-final spots.

G2 Esports (Group A Winners, 12-1)

Despite missing out on the perfect record after ROCCAT’s incredible comeback in the last week of the split, G2 Esports are still the best team in Europe. The addition of former TSM head coach Weldon “MindGamesWeldon” Green as an Assistant Coach has seen a mental resilience come to a team that previously looked mentally flaky, even as two time champions. Player wise, Luka “PerkZ” Perković is out of his summer split slump and looking dangerous once more. Also look for star jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-yun to control things around the map.

Unicorns of Love (Group B Winners, 11-2)

Unicorns of Love teams have always had two big qualities. Slow and steady improvement, and exceeding well above expectations. Add to this two of the best solo laners in the game in the form of Kiss “Vizicsacsi” Tamás and Fabian “Exileh” Schubert, and you’re onto a winning formula. No matter what the meta, the power ponies can play in it, and they aren’t afraid to play off-meta either. They haven’t reached an LCS final in two years, and if there was ever an opportunity to right that wrong, it’s now.

The Wildcard Contenders

So, let’s talk about the wildcard round. The runners-up of each group play the third-place team in the other group, with the winners booking the other two semi-final spots. Group A runners-up Misfits face 3rd place from Group B in the form of Splyce. In the other wildcard round, Group B runners-up H2K will battle it out against Fnatic, who are lucky to be in the playoffs at all after barely pipping Team ROCCAT into that final playoff spot.

Misfits (Group A Runners-Up, 8-5)

Oh dear, Misfits, what on earth has happened to you? The early-season hype was fully justified as it was quickly looking like the newly-promoted team might compete with G2 for that Group A title. The wheels began to fall off as the season went on, however, and they limp into the post-season with a lot of people writing them off. Former KT Rolster legend Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon and EU veteran Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage will need to step up if the boys in black and red want a shot at glory.

H2K (Group B Runners-Up, 10-3)

Another split, another case of H2K being the clear third-best team in the region. H2K can be seen as being victims of their own consistency. They are 10-0 against everyone below them in the standings, but 0-3 against G2 and UOL combined. Something needs to change if they’re going to make their first EU LCS final. First blood king Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski is a huge talent in the jungle, but he and top laner Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu need to stop going missing in big games.

Fnatic (Group A 3rd Place, 6-7)

How Fnatic managed to step it up under the intense pressure ROCCAT were putting on them, I simply do not know. A head coach change towards the end of the season meant that things were looking bleak, before veteran ADC Martin “Rekkles” Larsson dragged his team kicking and screaming into the final playoff slot. On paper, the fifth best team in the tournament, but the famous Fnatic playoff buff is now in effect and they need it. Now more than ever.

Splyce (Group B 3rd Place, 7-6)

Possibly the least predictable team in the bracket, how far Splyce goes entirely depends on which Splyce team shows up! No changes in the preseason meant that any consistency and communication issues should have gone out of the window, but that simply has not been the case. As with most teams in Europe, the solo lanes are where it’s at for the Splyce boys. Whilst Chres “Sencux” Laursen has blown hot and cold this split, Martin “Wunder” Hansen leads the league in the Player of the Series standings.

The Schedule

8 Apr 17:00 CEST – Wildcard 1 – Misfits vs Splyce
9 Apr 17:00 CEST – Wildcard 2 – H2K vs Fnatic
15 Apr 17:00 CEST – Semi 1 – G2 vs TBD
16 Apr 17:00 CEST – Semi 2 – UOL vs TBD
22 Apr 17:00 CEST – 3rd Place Playoff
23 Apr 17:00 CEST – Final