The weekend just gone saw the final two matches of the 2017 EU LCS Spring Split in Hamburg’s packed out Barclaycard Arena. Saturday saw the third/fourth place final between Fnatic and Misfits, and Sunday the first place final between G2 and the Unicorns of Love. This capped off a week that saw two new champions spawned onto the rift and news of changes that are to be made in the mid-season. To cap it all off, two new records were also set in the EU LCS.
This month we have seen both the play-offs and promotions/demotions played out with some fascinating games. The road to the final for G2 and UoL was fairly straightforward with G2 posting a 3-1 semi-final series win against Fnatic (who perhaps surprisingly beat H2K 3-0 in their quarter) despite going 1-0 down, and the UoL beating Misfits (who beat Splyce 3-2 in their quarter final) to the same scoreline in the other semi.
The final itself was fantastic and intense, but G2 displayed precisely why they are the top team in Europe at the moment. Unicorns are known for their more aggressive playstyle, with Xerxe leading the charge with his jungling, but G2 throughout picked excellent team compositions to counter UoL and Xerxe in particular. This in turn allowed Trick to take control of the jungle and lowered the carry threat of Vizicsacsi who on Saturday was named as the MVP of the split.
The biggest difference for me however, was the bot lane where Sven and Mithy showed their class. It was summed up I think by Mithy as Fiddlesticks in game three (that G2 actually lost) after going 2-0 up, when at times it was unbelievable that he just would not die. Despite getting a game back and the crowd willing UoL on (helped by Romain Bigeard as a dark Viking-like unicorn), they weren’t able to take the match to game five, which allowed G2 to lift the trophy after an impressive 3-1 victory; overall deserved winners and G2 have qualified for the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational in Brazil next week.
Two records were also set in the match that saw G2 take maximum points towards qualification for Worlds this year; the longest surviving mountain drake in the EU LCS to date and longest living cloud drake across all EU LCS Spring splits.
Meanwhile, the previous day saw Fnatic show that they are real contenders for the Summer split as they seem to only be improving. Despite failing to match G2 in the semi-final, the previous five time EU LCS split winners were on fire against Misfits and romped to a 3-0 victory against the EU LCS newcomers. Fnatic certainly stepped up to the occasion and showed they meant business in game one, with excellent performances from Rekkles on his now favoured ADC Kennen and Broxah in the jungle, who had an impressive 100% kill participation which he repeated in game two. A couple of missed opportunities from Misfits allowed Fnatic to snowball to victory, but overall Misfits looked overawed by the occasion.
Interestingly for the Summer split both Fnatic and Misfits had their academy teams achieve the unexpected and qualify for the LCS whilst poor displays from both Origen and Giants saw them relegated from the European top flight.
Now attention turns to the Summer split later this year. With some interesting changes coming onto the rift in the mid-season and qualification for the World Championship at stake, it definitely a split to look forward to.
For results, match videos and stats head over to https://eu.lolesports.com/en.