H2k-Gaming put an end to Vitality's playoff ambitions on Friday when it took a clean 2-0 victory at the beginning of Week 9, Day 2 of the European League of Legends Championship Series in Berlin, Germany.
The biggest impact of this series is, as previously mentioned, that it eliminates Team Vitality from playoff contention and locks the team into fourth place in Group B. While this keeps Vitality out of the promotion tournament, for a team that was initially formed to be a European super team, it is a tremendous failure. Team Vitality has never lived up to the hype that surrounded it upon its formation, but it has also never failed so spectacularly in the past, as Vitality has always at least made playoffs. While this iteration of the team still has two more matches to play over the course of this split, it may be possible that those games are the last time we'll see Vitality field this exact roster, as the team has been more than willing to make personnel changes between splits in the past. As this roster has managed the worst win rate of any previous Vitality roster, it wouldn't be out of character for the organization to once again reorganize the team.
The series itself was a fairly bland affair, the sort of series where one team, H2k, clearly knew what it wanted to do in order to win the game, while its opponents seemed to have a much more nebulous grasp on how exactly to do that. To be fair to Vitality, however, H2k had the easier to execute compositions in both games by far, as Vitality seemed to think that Zac was no longer a pick worth banning, a notion that H2k was only too happy to prove wrong. Time and again, H2k jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski won teamfights basically single-handedly by hitting a priority target on the side of Vitality with an Elastic Slingshot before chain crowd controlling VIT's carries to death. H2k had a better laning phase, had better map rotations, and had stronger teamfights throughout the series, so its victory was all but inevitable.
The series MVP was H2k ADC, Shin "Nuclear" Jung-hyun, who distinguished himself well across the series. He met the Vitality bottom lane head on both games, and came out ahead both times. The immense pressure that Nuclear and support Choi "Chei" Sun-ho were capable of applying in the bottom lane gave Jankos the freedom he needed to take control of the bottom side of the map in both games with impunity, which led to H2k always being where ity needed to be. Vitality attempted proactive plays to keep its playoff hopes alive, but H2k prevented Vitality from finding an opening to do much of anything over the course of the series.