Misfits Academy and Fnatic Academy dominated the second week of the 2017 EULCS Summer Promotion tournament, as Giants Gaming and Origen fell away. The academy squads themselves face an uncertain future as the LCS slots will be sold, but their achievements should not be overlooked. EU LCS week 2 review below.
Misfits Academy edge Fnatic Academy in five game thriller. EU LCS week 2 review.
It was definitely the closest and most entertaining series of the tournament. In what was the only series of the tournament to bring out Silver Scrapes, the Misfits edged out their more experienced counterparts in a thrilling contest.
Having both won their opening matches the previous week in dominating fashion, both teams entered the Winner’s Bracket final looking confident. But it was Fnatic who struck first in the series as Maurice “Amazingx” Stückenschneider showed why his Lee Sin is a must-ban.
However, the next two games were a much tighter affair. Misfits Academy showed good initiative to open up leads in both games. In Game 2, Sofyan “CozQ” Rechchad managed to roam effectively on Syndra, particularly bullying Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek’s TP/Ignite Fizz. Despite this, Misfits Academy were struggling to finish off the map, but the resource advantage eventually told. It was the same story in Game 3, with the only thing seemingly separating the two teams being Misfits Academy’s superior Baron control. The boons provided, as well as Florent “Yuuki60” Soler’s second Pentakill of the tournament, netted the underdogs a 2-1 lead.
This jolted Fnatic Academy into life, and Game 4 saw a much more controlled approach come out from both teams, which favoured Fnatic Academy. Better macro play, as well as a build up of small advantages, lead to domination at team fights, which the Misfits had no answer to. Rasmus “MrRalleZ” Skinneholm scored a quadra kill on his beloved Ezreal, and we were set up for a one-map showdown.
It was Fnatic Academy who made the better start and showed good initiative. The initiative was not matched with the mechanical skill required, however, and the kills gifted back to Misfits Academy wasted the good work Fnatic Academy had made. Fnatic Academy were not deterred though, and managed to pick up Baron Nashor, but it came at a heavy price. Misfits Academy collapsed and, in the ensuing teamfight, picked up kills and, much more importantly, the initiative. With the wind in the their sails, the Misfits Academy found pick offs in quick succession, stormed down mid lane, and punched their ticket into the 2017 EULCS Summer Split.
Giants Gaming end Origen’s season before it really began
With both LCS teams being defeated in the first week, it was guaranteed that at least one of them would be relegated. With both teams struggling throughout the season, any chance to win a series and find some much-needed confidence had to be taken swiftly, and so it proved to be the case for Giants.
The story of the series could be summed up by the first big play of the first game. Facing a turret dive by two members of Origen, Olof “Flaxxish” Medin found a way to turn the skirmish in his favour, picking up first blood and living to tell the tale.
As clumsy as Origen’s engages were, Giants were brutal. Giants were particularly effective with Nautlius, it didn’t matter whether Flaxxish was playing the titan in the top lane, or if Morgan “Hustlin” Granberg was playing him as a support. Giants were also helped by Origen’s atrocious vision control, as there were times when the map was completely dark to them.
As a team, Origen have a long list of problems, but they have a split in the Challenger Series next year to sort them out. From an individual perspective, however, one player stood out as one to watch for the future. Jakub “Cinkrof” Rokicki showed huge promise throughout the series, in particular recovering from the bad start in the first game to set the tempo and give Origen a shot at getting the series off to a good start. In the end, though, it simply wasn’t meant to be.
The series win meant that Giants had a second chance at returning to the LCS. In order to do that, however, they would need to defeat Fnatic Academy, a team who had dominated them a week before. EU LCS week 2 definitely delivered!
Fnatic Academy sweep Giants to book the 10th slot
Fnatic Academy clearly weren’t happy with their performance against Misfits Academy the day before, and took their anger and frustration out on Giants as they swept past them and into the LCS.
The series started off as a scrappy affair, as the teams traded occasional kills and objectives without really dealing a decisive blow. However, as good as Giants’s vision control was against Origen, it was appalling against Fnatic Academy. Thanks to this, Fnatic Academy found great flanks, and finally found a big win in a team fight. That lead to Baron, then Elder Dragon, then the Nexus and just like that, Fnatic Academy were a game up.
The next two games were a largely similar affair, as Fnatic Academy rode the momentum of that win to force Giants into things that were against their best interests. Early skirmishes landed Fnatic Academy big early-game advantages. Game 3 is perhaps the best example of this, as Giants jungler Jonas “Memento” Elmarghichi tried to chase a kill onto Kikis’s Fiora that simply wasn’t there.
Despite these advantages, Giants were handed chances to get back in. Fnatic support and shotcaller Johan “Klaj” Olsson was perhaps the worst offender, getting caught in places that he shouldn’t have been. His opposite number Hustlin should take great credit, particularly on Malzahar in Game 2 as his Nether Grasps set up mice picks to try and get his team back into contention.
Giants’s risk assessment has never been the best though, and two ill-advised moves in both games led to their own demise. In Game 2, a risky Baron call quickly turned into disaster for the LCS team, and Fnatic Academy simply walked in and obliterated them, and then their nexus. Game 3’s big misstep was a fight in top lane whilst Kikis was split-pushing with Fiora, one of the best in the business at doing so. Whilst Giants were trying to take kills in the top lane, Kikis was taking Giants nexus turrets. The he took the nexus, and with it Giants’s LCS spot.
From 3rd to relegated, Giants’s fall from grace is a sad story. Ultimately, however, it’s a tale of how a lack of funding in a team will eventually lead to a team’s demise.
Want a refresher? Week 1 is here.