LEC Week 5 Day 1 Recap: Make or Break
- By Edward Brady
The first day of week 5 of the European League of Legends Championship has wrapped up and it was an important day for many reasons. It was the first time players actually got to play in the LEC studio in Berlin this year. It saw the return of longtime host Eefje "Sjokz" Depoortere. And many teams played crucial games in the race for playoffs that may shape their entire seasons. I will be breaking down the results of each game in-depth and giving a quick headline of how it went.
Let’s get started...
Game 1 Misfits Gaming (6-4) > BDS (3-7)
TLDR: Misfits survive an early deficit thanks to great plays from Shlatan. Team BDS takes a major hit to playoff chances.
Summary: This game was very important for both teams. Misfits needed this win to keep pace in the race for the upper bracket. Team BDS needed it to survive. The early game had a few surprises. Team BDS actually drafted for their bot side, which has received criticism for not stepping up so far. Xmatty and LIMIT looked far more comfortable on the Caitlyn/Karma and were able to pick up a few early kills. Misfits weren’t completely out of it, but BDS had a notable advantage. However, there were two factors that would come back to bite the newest LEC team.
Their composition didn’t really have any methods of hard engagement. This was also a flaw of Misfits, but it was far more noticeable for BDS. Most of their engagement was either short-range that required BDS to walk into Misfits or relied on members hitting their skill shots consistently. This led to a bunch of drawn-out fights that could go sour at a moment’s notice.
The second reason is that Shlatan had his best game of the season. His Lee Sin was a bit quiet in the early game, his kicks in the late game all but won them the game. He kicked Adam into all 4 of BDS’s carries, allowing Neon’s Jinx to pop off and get a quadra kill that led to Baron. He landed an amazing kick onto Xmatty that took the fed Caitlyn out of the fight in BDS’s jungle. And he secured the win by landing another critical kick in the enemy base.
While Misfits pick up a win that allows them to keep up with teams like MAD, G2, and Fnatic, Team BDS has suffered a massive blow to their Spring Split. At 3 wins, they are very much on the outside looking in and will need to play well above expectations to make a serious run.
Game 2 Astralis (1-9) > Rogue (9-1)
TLDR: The impossible happens as Astralis pulls out a miracle to stay alive.
Summary: That wasn’t even a hard-fought close game where the underdog narrowly takes it, that was complete strangulation and decimation of everything Rogue held dear.
The Larssen Ahri pick did not work out well, to put it mildly. His damage resembled a caster minion. A caster minion that forgot how to position. Malrang flashed back to his days on Jin Air Greenwings and played about as well as people initially expected him to play when he was first picked up. Odoamne was mostly invisible. Comp had no room to work and Trymbi looked extremely uncomfortable on the Janna as he was caught out multiple times. They looked completely dead from minute one. Nothing positive happened in this game. Rogue pulled the time-honored tradition of looking past an easy opponent and getting absolutely walloped by them. It’s by no means a death sentence nor a sign of things to come, but Rogue needs to use this as a lesson as to why you take every opponent seriously.
As for Astralis, that was the best game Astralis has played in their short 3 split histories in the LEC. Everyone played massively above expectations and more importantly, were actually on the same page as they put the top team 6-feet-under. They played well with a lead. Nobody really got caught out. Promisq hit massive engages, WhiteKnight helped carry the late game, Zanzarah kicked the snowball off, Kobbe was unkillable on Zeri, and Dajor was unstoppable on Vex. I highly doubt it’s the start of a miracle run, but this was a much-needed victory for a team on the brink.
Game 3 Excel (5-5) > Vitality (5-5)
TLDR: Excel holds on to the 6th place spot. Vitality might actually be in trouble
Summary: It’s been one of those days.
Two kills onto Carzzy’s Vayne thanks to great pathing from Selfmade’s Trundle surprisingly did not turn into a quick Vitality win. A failed dive from Labrov’s Leona resulted in a 2v2 kill and shutdown for Patrik’s Aphelios and destroyed everything Vitality had snowballing for them. On the contrary, that was all Excel needed to start rolling the snowball themselves. Markoon got out and impacted the map on Xin Zhao while serving as a great frontline. Finn’s Malphite actually solo killed the Vayne and was an excellent “go button” whenever XL needed to start a fight. Nukeduck’s Zeri mid worked surprisingly well with massive amounts of damage and safety, MIkyX was always there with a binding or a shield on Lux. The game was bloody, but it was always on XL’s terms.
Team Vitality never really got to have a great fight. Either XL kicked off the fight themselves and Vitality were on the backfoot, or XL worked around Vitality’s opening moves and threw a devastating counterpunch. Perkz never was truly a threat on the split pushing Ryze and was caught out at vital moments multiple times. Carzzy never got to take over the game. Alphari’s early movements didn’t pan out and he was nowhere near as useful as the Malphite. Selfmade was practically 1v9ing at some points. They threw everything at a Malphite who stopwatched twice and ulted out to safety. The team looked uncoordinated and always one step behind.
Now Vitality might be in some serious trouble. This win means that Excel has now swept the supposed super team. XL at this rate is likely going to be Vitality’s main competition for the final spots if they continue to struggle. They also lost to MAD Lions on the first go-around. If it goes down to the wire, Vitality could very well be on the outside looking in. They need to kick it into high gear and stay there fast.
Game 4 Fnatic (7-3) > SK Gaming (2-8)
TLDR: The expected result plays out… for once today.
Summary: Well at least there is some sense of normalcy today. Fnatic utterly slaughtered SK Gaming without even giving them hope or a prayer of fighting back. Constant dives bot snowballed the early game, and it never got any better. Humanoid went deathless on the Ryze while ripping through SK. Upset followed his example on Aphelios. Treatz ended the game before it began with an overcommitment flash that started the bot snowball.
Not much to say. Fnatic picks up a clean victory and now has a chance at 1st with Rogue’s misstep. SK Gaming continues to underwhelm and might even fall to dead last if Astralis continues their momentum.
Game 5 G2 (7-3) > MAD Lions (5-5)
TLDR: MAD Lions control the early game, but G2 show up in the clutch
Summary: If there is one word to describe the draft for both teams, it would be volatile. If Broken Blade got ahead on the Yone, even Armut’s Graves wouldn’t be able to stop him. The same could be said for Reeker’s Irelia. Both teams drafted AP junglers (Gwen for G2, Diana for MAD) and scaling ADCs (Jinx / Aphelios). If one fight went a team’s way, they could easily snowball it.
MAD Lions did have a strong early game with around a 3k gold lead. Armut and Elyoya found a kill onto Broken Blade early and were doing a good job in shutting him down. Elyoya in particular was incredibly strong and had a large sum of MAD’s gold. UNF0RGIVEN was scaling up. However Reeker was put in a hole early, so he couldn’t be relied on as a main carry.
The entire game was decided at one moment. At 22 minutes, MAD Lions decided to do Baron. A smite from Elyoya was just barely spotted out that keyed G2 in on the play. Targamas got a beautiful Hexflash into the pit on Sett to lock down Elyoya, MAD’s biggest source of burst. Armut’s teleport was immediately punished with lockdown from Flakked and caPs while Targamas all but 1v4d the backline. Broken Blade hit a big Yone ultimate, Jankos’s Needlework ripped through the Lions, and caPs’ Shockwave finished the job. From there, it was smooth sailing for G2 as they routed MAD for a solid victory in the blooming rivalry.
With this, G2 keeps pace with a Fnatic squad they have an h2h advantage over and have a real shot at usurping Rogue for the #1 seed if things break right. MAD Lions on the other hand are tossed back into the pile that is the middle of the pack. This was a good chance to keep pace with Misfits in hopes of securing the much-coveted last upper bracket (RGE, FNC, and G2 should have the first 3 on lockdown). Instead, they are now tied with the likes of XL and Vitality for the final 2 spots.