Team Vitality dominates H2k, Misfits beat G2

Team Vitality took down Schalke 04 and G2 Esports during a three-way tiebreaker in the European League Championship Series. Provided by Riot Games

Vitality 1, H2k 0

Team Vitality dominated H2k to open Friday's European League Championship series slate.

Both H2k (0-7) and Team Vitality (5-2) had a similar draft going into this game, but it was VIT who was in the driver's seat. With an impressive performance from jungler Erberk "Gilius" Demir, who posted a 3/1/12 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) on Trundle, Vitality found pressure early and never slowed down.

The early game was disastrous for H2k as Vitality opted for an aggressive Level 1 invade that paid off. Denying two jungle camps from H2k, both mid laner Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro and Gilius were able to hit Level 2 and gain massive leads early on. Not thinking properly, H2k did not account for this difference and played aggressively, allowing VIT to capitalize on its lead and gain a major advantage before the game had a chance to fully develop.

As quickly as the game got out of control, it ended. Vitality knew exactly what to do with its lead, focusing down key members of H2k and quickly grouping and forcing teamfights. With every teamfight came an additional advantage for Vitality. Taking down neutral objectives left and right, the team used its lead to fully control the map. Just 22-minutes into the game, Vitality took down Baron and began its final march into the enemy base. Though an impressive shutdown by H2k's mid laner Marcin "Selfie" Wolski's Talon allowed the team to survive for an additional three minutes, the onslaught from Vitality was simply too much to handle.

H2k will try and bounce back to claim its first victory of the split as it takes on Unicorns of Love at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, while Team Vitality looks to hand Misfits the team's first loss later in the day at 3 p.m. ET.


Schalke 04 1, Giants 0

Schalke 04 claimed another victory Friday after a back-and-forth match against Giants Gaming.

Giants (1-6) and Schalke 04 (3-4) had very different compositions and objectives. Opting for a funnel strategy, S04 wanted to ensure the lane phase lasted as long as possible, allowing mid laner Erlend "Nukeduck" V├ątevik Holm to scale on Kai'Sa. On the other side, Giants was intent to focus on the rest of the map in order to end the laning phase to stop Nukeduck's free farming.

The early game could not have gone better for Giants, who successfully denied jungle camps from the funneling team while simultaneously finding leads in the side lanes. The result was a 2,000 gold lead. Unfortunately, the team was unable to play to its strengths during the mid game. After forcing S04 to react time and again, Giants began slacking, giving up neutral objectives and failing to force teamfights despite having a strong teamfighting composition. S04 was content biding time for Nukeduck to continue to scale as the team took advantages across the map.

The game quickly got out of control as Nukeduck became the sole focus for both teams. With S04 continuing to funnel him resources, he quickly entered double-digits in the kill column. Too late at this point in the game, Giants began focusing onto him in teamfights and were unable to reach him. S04 forced a critical teamfight, picking up a 33-minute Baron and beginning the team's final march towards the enemy base. Though it was unable to crack the enemy base with the buff, the team bought time to claim Elder Dragon. In combination with the team's four previous elemental drakes, S04 easily won the final teamfight of the game thanks to the buff. As a result, S04 closed things out to secure a 39-minute victory.

Giants will have its work cut out as it takes on G2 Esports at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, while FC Schakle 04 will try to continue its momentum by picking up a victory against Splyce earlier in the day at noon ET.


ROCCAT 1, Unicorns of Love 0

Team ROCCAT claimed a convincing victory over Unicorns of Love after being in the driver's seat for the whole game.

With yet another contest showcasing the funnel strategy against a more traditional strategy, Unicorns of Love (2-5) and ROCCAT (4-3) had vastly different mindsets entering the game. With only one major threat on the side of UoL, the team had to play the early game perfectly to allow time to scale and disrupt the enemy team.

Unicorns of Love opted to go for an extremely aggressive Level 1 strategy. It could not have gone worse for the team, giving up two kills to ROCCAT jungler Jonas "Memento" Elmarghichi on Camille. On top of giving over the kills, the team's funnel champion, Kai'Sa, was killed during the exchange. Putting a huge wrench in the team's strategy, UoL found itself at a huge disadvantage that it ultimately could not overcome.

ROCCAT played things perfectly after finding an early lead. In conjunction with having made the perfect response to the enemy team's invade, mid laner Jin "Blanc" Seong-min proved to be crucial on Zoe, boasting a 4/1/14 KDA (kills, deaths, assists). With long-range waveclear, he was able to put a halt on the enemy team's push, buying time for his team to make plays.

Things got out of hand quickly for UoL, who seemed completely unsure of what to do in order to come back in the game. Though the team tried to allow mid laner Fabian "Exileh" Schubert to scale on Kai'Sa, the enemy team's aggression was too much to handle. Making his presence felt in seemingly every teamfight, Memento used his lead on Camille to secure every neutral objective aside from a Baron. With the rest of ROCCAT equally in control, the team simply forced fights at every opportunity. Manipulating the final fight near the 33-minute mark to its advantage, the team easily secured a victory after cleaning up the opposition.

Unicorns of Love will look to bounce back as the team takes on H2K Gaming at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, while ROCCAT is slated to take on Fnatic later that day at 2 p.m. ET.


Splyce 1, Fnatic 0

Splyce upset Fnatic to claim a rather one-sided victory during Week 4 of the EU LCS.

During the draft phase, Splyce (3-4) opted to go for a mid-game focused teamfighting composition. Fnatic (4-3) went for a much different composition, placing all of the team on odd champions that seemingly had no synergy. With the game eventually coming down to teamfights, the composition of Splyce reigned supreme.

The early game quickly became a disaster for Fnatic, who gave up first blood and continued to find itself the victim to the aggressive jungling of Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir's Camille. Quickly taking over the game, Xerxe had free reign of the map, finding his team five kills before the 10-minute mark.

Fnatic struggled to respond to the aggression, with top laner Paul "sOAZ" Boyer on Heimerdinger being the only member who could find any success. Able to stem his team's bleeding by picking up advantages of his own, his performance was crucial to his team surviving the early game. Although the early game went decisively in the favor of Splyce, his ability to farm well and take the first turret of the game proved to be the only reason Fnatic was able to survive.

Even with a 21-minute Baron, Fnatic couldn't do much to prevent itself from getting run over time and again. Off the back of Xerxe, Splyce shrugged off the Baron-buffed Fnatic through hellacious teamfighting. Seemingly not focused on neutral objectives, Splyce continued to play to its composition strengths, teamfighting at the drop of a hat. Fnatic fell for the trap, engaging in these fights and slowly bleeding out. Fnatic allowed Splyce to run into the team once more, taking a final teamfight to upset Fnatic with a 32-minute victory.

Splyce will look to continue its momentum as it takes on FC Schalke 04 at noon ET on Saturday, while Fnatic will look to bounce back from the defeat, taking on ROCCAT later that day at 2 p.m. ET.


Misfits 1, G2 Esports 0

In the battle for the sole possession of first place in the EU LCS, Misfits came out on top over G2 Esports.

A more traditional game was expected between Misfits (7-0) and G2 Esports (6-1). Although the teams decided against a funnel, each had its own strengths. The goal for G2 was to poke out the enemy team before forcing a fight. Misfits was focused on picks and teamfights.

The start of the game went well for Misfits who quickly found a pair of kills and the first dragon of the game. Continuing to play aggressively, the squad built up an experience advantage over G2. Despite being in the driver's seat, Misfits made a critical error at the 13-minute mark. Forcing the first tower of the game, the team burned Teleports and gave up two towers and two kills to G2.

With the lead, G2 had no problem controlling the game for the next 15 minutes. Despite that, the enemy team was able to continue controlling objectives. G2 was finally able to crack the enemy base, taking an inhibitor with ease. Just as the game looked over, Misfits found an opening onto an overextended member of G2, taking a teamfight victory by picking up four uncontested kills and a Baron buff immediately after.

With the momentum now flipped again, Misfits had no problem pushing forward and taking over the map. G2 struggled to get anything done over the next couple minutes, with jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski making positional mistakes and dying time and again. Thankfully for Misfits, this allowed the team to take an Elder Dragon that became the deciding factor in the final teamfight of the game. Picking up three kills, Misfits pushed into the enemy base with ease, closing out the game in 38 minutes to remain undefeated.

Misfits will look to continue it's undefeated streak as it takes on Vitality at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, while G2 Esports will look to bounce back from the defeat, taking on Giants earlier in the day at 1 p.m. ET.