This weekend, the NA and EU LCS Semifinals are coming to the Twitch stream near you in a fascinating League of Legends extravaganza of epic proportions.... Okay, that might be too much. Scratch that. Seriously though, the Semifinals in both regions promise to be quite exciting.
The European Semifinals will start on Friday, Mar. 30, at 18:00 CET, with the match between the reigning four-time EU LCS Champions G2 Esports and Splyce. Then, on Mar. 31, the other winningest (incoming Word of the Year 2018) team in Europe, Fnatic, will face Vitality with the match starting at 17:00 CET. The matches will be best of 5 so we have a lot of potential matches coming up.
Despite the fact that Splyce and Vitality were known as two of the middle of the pack teams of the EU LCS, they rose to the top of the league in 2018. Not because they are that much stronger exactly. The NA franchising-fueled teams simply took many of the best players from Europe and that led to a slightly weaker league, which allowed Splyce and Vitality to shine. Especially when the former strongest teams were the most affected.
This year, Team Vitality and Splyce will have a much better chance than ever before to make it to the Finals of the EU LCS but we honestly hope they do not. We have nothing against the two teams, they’ve had a great split. But. The storyline of G2 Esports vs. Fnatic would be simply too great to pass up.
From the time the LCS began, Fnatic has dominated the scene, until G2 Esports rose up and took over. With their ongoing string of victories, the young upstart facing the Legends of Europe would make for an amazing Finals. Will G2 extend their string of EU LCS wins? Will Fnatic take back the crown and prove who’s the top dog of the EU LCS once more?
In North America, things are a bit less hyped and more interesting at the same time. The upset of the split happened last week when Clutch Gaming won against Team SoloMid 3-1 in the NA LCS Quarterfinals and moved on to face 100 Thieves.
If Team SoloMid won the Quarters, we could have hoped for and exciting Finals where former teammates, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg hashed it out against each other and LiftLift got the chance to prove that he’s worth more than TSM’s new AD Carry, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen. Alas, that’s not what happened.
Instead, we have an awesome Semifinals best of 5 series between Team Liquid and Echo Fox to look forwards to and a more… boring matchup between Clutch and 100 Thieves.
The Liquid vs. Echo Fox match will be interesting because both teams have risen from the depths of suck in the preseason. Team Liquid underperformed compared to what was expected of them but completely overshot expectations from what they looked like last season. Echo Fox, on the other hand, almost became the embodiment of a phoenix, rising from the ashes of its crap roster and losing record, only saved by the org’s admirable values and the charisma of its owner, to dominate the Spring Split Regular Season, even though nobody expected them to.
On the other side of the Semifinals, we have two new teams—a great example of why franchising is a good thing. Yes, the teams mostly field players and staff we’ve seen in the scene for a long time, like Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black, Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten, Apollo Price, Yoo “Ryu” Sang-wook, William “Meteos” Hartman, Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho and even former H2k-Gaming’s coach Neil “pr0lly” Hammad. But. The orgs are new. Instead of wallowing in mediocrity until they find their feet, both teams did very well in the preseason and later, becoming Top 4 over a single Split.
This matchup might not be as hyped, there might be no exciting Finals storyline brewing in the background; however, that doesn’t mean that the best of 5 series between the two teams will not be interesting.