The League of Legends leagues in the western hemisphere will be run differently from what we were used to over the years, with the introduction of best of 2 matches in Europe and best of three in the North American LCS. These changes were made after Riot Games finally admitted that what the players have been telling them for years was actually true. Still, League developers are still messing with their competitive structure, in an effort to see whether BO2 or BO3 works better. Getting an answer to this question is the foremost reason why the formats of NA and EU LCS are different for the first time since the inception of the League of Legends Championship Series. While the best of three format makes way more sense to me, time constraints over two different continents could actually create a lot of difficulties, when trying to air best of threes in Europe during the week and best of threes in North America.
Enough about that.
Starting with Europe, the matches will start on June 2nd, with Origen facing off against G2 Esports in the traditional rematch of the last split’s final, where G2 Esports, owned by former SK Gaming star Ocelote defeated xPeke’s Origen 3 to 1, despite Origen being cited as one of the serious contenders to be the winners of the Spring Split.
This match is even more hyped because G2 will field Zven and Mithy as their plug-and-play botlane, which was acquired from Origen during the break between the Spring and Summer Splits. Of course, OG doesn’t seem too hurt by this event, as their AD Carry spot was quickly taken by one of the most hyped AD Carries in Europe FORG1VEN, with former G2 Support Hybrid joining to hold his hand. This looks to be a very exciting match from the objective standpoint, as both teams are some of the strongest in the western hemisphere, without even saying anything about Europe. Still, the roster swaps create an additional dimension of hype and, dare I say it, inbreeding, only found in the royal families of Europe.
Concerning the result of this matchup, we predict that G2 will sweep their opponents because even though FORG1VEN is a great ADC, even the greatest in Europe, the synergy between Zven and Mithy should give G2 an advantage in this contest.
The next matchup of the day will take place between H2k-Gaming and Team ROCCAT. This game is way less hyped than the opener, with H2K being strong favorites to win 2-0. Their lineup of Odoamne, Jankos, Ryu, Freeze, and VandeR looks much stronger than their opponents’, who will field Parang, Airwaks, Betsy, Steelback, and Raise. While ROCCAT does have two Koreans, which usually raises expectations and hype, the truth is that these players are by no means gods. Add to that the issues of communication and different cultures, and we can’t expect miracles from them. While these players probably have the potential to be some of the best in Europe at their roles, it will take time for them to get used to the new region. 2-0, H2K.
The third match of the week will be between Splyce and Vitality. With the loss of Hjarnan and Shook, Vitality probably took a hit in strength overall, as the Koreans who replaced them weren’t really stars over in Asia. Of course, Hjarnan and Shook weren’t European superstars either, so the loss of these players might have been successfully minimized. With that in mind, Splyce was one of the teams that faced relegation at the end of the Spring Split. Since then, Nisbeth was replaced by Mikyx but this probably isn’t enough to make Splyce strong enough to defeat Vitality.
The next match of the day involves the most well-known name to enter the eSports scene in a while. Schalke 04. One of the best football (soccer, for the American readers) clubs in the world. They acquired the LCS spot and most of the Elements roster, rebranding it to carry the name of the famous football club. Their trial by fire will take place against Unicorns of Love. The UOL squad saw three roster changes in the break between splits, with loulex, Fox, and Steelback leaving, replaced by Move, Veritas, and Exileh. Looking at the rosters, both teams seem to be mediocre; however, we hope that Schalke 04 pulls through against their opponents, if only to provide a good story of a famous sports club taking over a bottom of the pack team of underdogs and shaping it for greatness.
The last matchup of the day will involve a battle between GIANTS! Gaming and one of the true giants of the European League of Legends scene, Fnatic. With Yell0wStaR back from his NA tryst, the team which took third place in the Spring Split should be even stronger. Theirs will be a tough skull to crack for the GIANTS! roster. In fact, I would be willing to eat an onion if they manage to do it. This is a huge deal for me because I absolutely loathe onions.
The second day of the Summer Split will see five more matches playing out on the Summoner’s Rift. UOL will go up against Origen, SPY will oppose ROC, GIA will try to knock out G2, VIT will face the FNC roster, and finally, H2K will try their hand at defeating S04.
A gun to our heads, we would pick Origen to defeat Unicorns of Love because they weren’t hit as much in the break between splits. If the FORG1VEN – Hybrid synergy works, they may have even gotten stronger, which should prove to be a tough cookie to crack for the Unicorns of Love line-up.
Thinking about the next match, our bet is on ROCCAT, because their roster looks subjectively stronger than Splyce’s. At least to us. Don’t go betting on it though, as anything could happen in this outsider’s match.
The third match of the week will be between GIANTS! And G2. We would be extremely surprised if GIA managed to pull through against the arguably stronger EU LCS Spring Split Champions.
Considering the next contest between FNC and VIT, we will proudly complain to be passengers of the Fnatic hype train. They were good last split, they are always better with Yell0wStaR on the team. It WILL be a close match, however. Everyone who loves EU LCS should watch it.
H2k vs. Schalke 04… The phoenix-like rise of the mostly former Elements roster under a new, famous banner would a great story make; however, it won’t be happening vs. the H2k roster, in our humble opinion.