The EU LCS Spring Championship Best-of-5 Series:
Date: Sunday, April 17th, 2016
Time: 11am ET/8pm PT
Coming into the European League Championship Series: Spring Split many fans expected Origen to make the Split Finals, while many doubted the capabilities of newcomer G2 Esports. Toward the end of the split, fans felt like G2 stood a shot, but Origen didn’t have a chance at all, yet here they are playing for all the marbles (or playoff points in this case). Fnatic stunned the scene taking down heavily-favored Team Vitality in the first round and Origen made waves overcoming H2K Gaming in the Semis, in what was shaping up to be an unlikely rematch of last year’s Summer Split Finals. G2 Esports had other plans; however. They are the new kid on the block, the team that no one expected much more than a mediocre performance from, yet they took down the winningest organization in EU LCS history in Fnatic and have their sights set on defeating xPeke’s Origen as well. Let’s take a closer look at how the teams performed over the course of the split.
Heading into the Spring Split many expected Origen to dominate all of the competition and walk away with the EU LCS Spring Split title. They kept the same roster of players that they finished in the top four at Worlds with, only adding Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage, whom many expected to be an upgrade to Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño in the mid lane. Throughout the first three quarters of the split, Origen’s play was very inconsistent and whether they would even make playoffs was beginning to be questioned. In the last few weeks, xPeke stepped in and Origen began to look like the Origen of old once again. Entering playoffs, expectations were still low with many questions surrounding 4th-seeded Origen, but the team began to silence the doubters as the playoffs raged on. They began their run taking down #5 Unicorns of Love 3-0 in the first round before overcoming H2K Gaming in a full five game series in the Semi-Finals. Origen enters this Championship game with a wealth of playoff experience in comparison to newcomers, G2 Esports, but they have also looked much more inconsistent over the course of the split.
From the Summer EU Challenger Series to the Spring EU LCS Championship Game, G2 Esports has come a long way. G2 Esports may be young, but they are a team chalk full of talent. There weakest player is arguably Mateusz “Kikis” Skudlarek in the top lane. He was a former Unicorns of Love jungler and G2 challenger jungler who converted to top lane to make room for Korean import Kang-yoon “Trick” Kim this Split. Even Kikis has been begun to win his lane more regularly as the the split has dragged on though. G2 has a solid bottom lane in Korean import Kim “Emperor” Jin-hyun at ADC and Glenn “Hybrid” Doornenbal at Support as well. The real strength of G2 lies in there middle lane and jungle though. Their middle lane features the EU LCS Outstanding Rookie Luka “PerkZ” Perkovic, while their jungle is presided over by the EU LCS Split MVP Trick. As if G2’s players aren’t good enough, they are lead by the EU LCS Coach of the Split in Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool as well. G2 Esports is a young team full of players who are looking to prove themselves and what better way to do that than to beat out another top organization in Origen, right after keeping Fnatic out of their first EU LCS Finals in their organization’s history.
The mid-lane will draw a lot of focus in this matchup, as will the jungle. PerkZ has proven time and time again this split that he belongs among the elite midlaners of Europe, while PowerOfEvil has yet to piece together back-to-back consistent performances. The other factor that comes into play here is xPeke. He subbed in and out of the last series against H2K Gaming in a mid-lane platoon with PoE. Will Origen use xPeke in the series? I would assume that they will. Origen looked off all split until xPeke subbed in toward the end to help them refocus and avoid missing out on the playoffs. Now look where they are; fighting for 1st place at the end of the Spring Split.
The jungle will also be a key focus of this matchup. Trick has been dominate all split long, while Amazing, like PoE has been very lackluster and inconsistent from one performance to the next. It is safe to assume that Trick will show up to play, but which Amazing will show up on Sunday is still a question that many EU LCS fans are asking. If Season 5 Amazing takes to the Rift then expect a very exciting throw down in the jungle. If he doesn’t expect Trick to take full control of the jungle and after that the map.
The bot lane is on pretty equal footing with the exception that Origen typically defaults to Zven as their primary carry, while G2 shares that duty around much more. Origen will try to get Zven ahead early, so expect extra jungle pressure from Amazing near his duo, while Trick will focus more on getting his solo lanes ahead. Many would highlight the top lane as G2’s weakness, but as I mentioned before, Kikis has been stepping up in the top lane and playing against him is no longer a walk in the park even for talented EU top laners. If the Origen of old (or at least of recent weeks) shows up on Sunday, then this could be one heck of an exciting Best-of-Five series.
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Featured Image LCS Logo courtesy of Riot Games/lolesports.com; Origen Logo courtesy of Origen/origen.gg; G2 Esports logo courtesy of G2 Esports/g2esports.com.