It’s Academies vs Spain! The Esportsranks EULCS 2017 Summer Promotion Preview is here to guide you through the most nerve-wrecking and, potentially, career-ending tournament of the split.
With Europe’s Spring regular season done and dusted, four teams will battle for two spots in the 2017 Summer Split. Fnatic Academy and Misfits Academy have fought through the Challenger Series, earning their shot at the big time. Standing in their way are two Spanish organisations in the form of GIANTS! and Origen.
The gruelling best-of-5 double-elimination format will run from April 6th-14th. The opening round seeing GIANTS! taking on Fnatic Academy, before winless Origen face a Misfits Academy with a huge scalp to their name already in the form of FC Schalke 04. The following week will see the conclusion of the tournament, with the Winner’s Final determining the first of the LCS spots, and the Elimination Match seeing who gets relegated to the CS. The loser of the Winner’s Final and the winner of the Elimination Match will then fight for the second LCS spot in a winner-takes-all series.
GIANTS! have struggled throughout the season, and the 2-11 record they ended with is a big indicator of that. Whilst other teams around them have improved both on the rift and off, GIANTS! have had no such luxury, and have had to make do with whatever resources there measly budget allows them. Make no mistake, though. This team has individual talent in Memento and NighT, and are firm favourites to bounce straight back up.
The less said about Origen‘s season, the better. They have the unwanted honour of being the first team in EU LCS history to go an entire split without a win. The players have simply failed to perform to LCS standard, and things got so desperate that owner xPeke had to come out of retirement again to try and save his sinking ship. Unlike GIANTS!, Origen are just not good enough, and will likely drop down into the Challenger Series, and maybe altogether. A huge fall from grace for the former Worlds Semi-Finalists.
Fnatic Academy are the most frustrating team of the four to watch. On paper, these guys are the best of the bunch. The roster is also arguably the most experienced. However, the early chopping and changing as a result of the main team failing has meant that Fnatic Academy has struggled with communication and their macro-play. However, playoff victory over Paris Saint-Germain should instill a lot of confidence in the team. The talent of Kikis and MrRallez should be enough to see them through, but don’t be surprised if they drop the ball along the way.
No one quite knows how Misfits Academy are here, but a shock victory over the previously undefeated FC Schalke 04 shows that they definitely deserve to be here. Young jungler Pridestalker has plenty of potential and teams will need to keep a close eye on him. The Challenger Series showed that the Misfits can blow both hot and cold, something to be expected with such a young roster.
6 April 17:00 CEST – Match A – GIANTS! vs Fnatic Academy
7 April 17:00 CEST Match B – Origen vs Misfits Academy
13 April 14:00 CEST Match C – Winner of A vs Winner of B, Winner goes to LCS
13 April 14:00 CEST Match D – Loser of A vs Loser of B, Loser goes to Challenger
14 April 17:00 CEST Match E – Winner of D vs Loser of C, Winner to LCS, Loser to Challenger