The day every European competitive League of Legends fan has been waiting for finally came. The EU League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split 2017 has begun. In the first day of the competition, there’ve been two matches, featuring four of the absolute fan favorite teams in the league. In the first match, the overhauled Origen played against touched up H2k-Gaming with a completely new botlane, while in the second match, the reigning European LCS Champions, G2 Esports played the old/new Fnatic.
Origen vs. H2k-Gaming
Before the match, it was clear that H2K was extremely like to come out victorious. Even though Origen have managed to pick themselves a pretty nice team fighting comp that wasn’t lacking at all in the engage department or utility, H2K’s answer, a comp specialising in killing people, came out ahead. They had Syndra and Kha’Zix to burst people down, supported by Shen, Zyra, and Varus to keep them in place while getting dead. Origen’s best hope for victory was trying to not give their opponents opportunities to snowball, hoping to reach a point where their Maokai would become almost unkillable, catching a priority target with Ashe’s Ultimate and then capitalize by taking everything they could over and over again. Unfortunately, H2K was ahead of them, invalidating the strategy.
In game two, OG tried to stop H2K from using the same strategy by picking up the Varus away and getting Ekko to have some pick potential themselves, especially with their Top Laner playing Rumble, however, it didn’t work out for them. Even though Ekko did well in lane against Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten’s Syndra, the rest of the team didn’t fare so well. OG managed to hold on for 43 minutes, however, they still lost the game.
G2 Esports vs. Fnatic
Now, this match was better than the one between OG and H2K. Before the first game, in the Pick and Ban, Fnatic got themselves a Maokai, Lee Sin, Ryze, Ezreal, Nami comp. G2 picked Shen, Rek’sai, Taliyah, Ashe, and Zyra. Hoping to win with a double Tear of the Goddess comp against the reigning EU LCS Champions was quite optimistic. Maokai does nothing against Shen in the early game, both Ryze and Ezreal take a lot of time to scale up, which is not among the problems Taliyah has, not to mention the awe-inspiring lane bully combo of Ashe + Zyra. To win, Fnatic needed to come out of the laning phase more or less even with their opponents, however, they were not successful. There’s no wonder that they got rolled over.
In the Pick phase before the second game, Fnatic took away Zyra, resulting in the automatic counter of picking Ashe (denying the Ashe + Zyra bot lane from Fnatic) and Miss Fortune Support, picked entirely to counter Zyra. Then, Fnatic went with Lee and Ryze once again, which was answered by Rek’sai from G2. Fortunately for FNC, G2 decided to take Maokai away from their opponents instead of picking Shen. This allowed both teams to run boring tanks in the Top Lane. The game might have gone similar to how the first one ended up, if not for Rasmus "Caps" Winther, jokingly called “Baby Faker”, killing the opposing Mid a couple of times and getting a big advantage. This was the push Fnatic needed to rally and manage to keep on even ground with their opponents, eventually using the Ryze Ultimate while one of their number was holding G2’s attention to teleport behind the enemy lines and backdoor rush the Nexus, winning the game.
In the final match of the day, Fnatic moved away from their strategy, which experienced mixed success in the first two matches. They no longer used Ryze and Ezreal, picking Oriana and Kennen ADC, together with Zyra, Lee, and Shen Top. G2 also showed that they do have something left in their tank by picking Rumble and Ivern. The combo by G2 was just as good if not better than the one enjoyed by FNC. G2’s MF slow into Ashe Arrow into Rumble Equalizer with Syndra clean up if needed eventually managed to close out the game despite Rekkles having a decent game on Kennen. Fnatic did manage to land some decent Orianna Shockwaves, however, they weren’t enough to pull of a win against the heavy favorites G2 Esports.