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We have now come to the end of week 8 of the League of Legends EU LCS Summer Split and with the Summer Finals fast approaching, teams are vying for those top spots. With only weeks 9 and 10 remaining, Fnatic look set to take top place in Group A, whilst Unicorns of Love and H2k battle for top spot of Group B. Qualification for the World Championships is the prize.
Fnatic are certainly the in-form team at the moment, sitting comfortably on 9 wins to one loss in Group A and on a winning streak of 6. Since losing to Roccat in week 4 2-1, they have only dropped one game to the Unicorns of Love (discounting Rift Rivals). Their recent form was exemplified by that match, turning around a 1-0 deficit with two perfectly executed games which both ended in under 30 minutes each.
It’s hard to pick stand out players from this Fnatic side for this split as they have all been superb, but both Rekkles and Broxah for me have been on another level all split apart from that week 4 blip. Broxah going 6/0/9 and 4/0/9 on Cho’Gath in games 2 and 3 respectively against the Unicorns shows he is only getting better and have a variety on Jungle champions to choose from. Notably Rekkles has played 60 games in 2017 in 22 of which he has not died. He does seem to be the ADC of Europe currently.
G2 in the group have overcome their poor form at the beginning of this split. Having lost 3 matches early on, they are now on a five-game winning streak, which has put them right back in contention for the Summer Split crown as Misfits have lost 4 of their last 5. Below them, Roccat and Ninjas in Pyjamas look to really be struggling and for me look certain to be up for relegation; Ninjas in Pyjamas only just registered their first match win, after a 10 match losing streak, against Roccat. I think Fnatic must have been wondering how on earth they lost to Roccat after that.
Meanwhile in Group B, both H2k and Unicorns of Love have gone 7 wins to 3 losses. This will certainly be a close group to call as with Splyce hot on their heels on 6-4 it is too early to predict a winner. The Unicorns have had a very tough time of late after their very positive performance at Rift Rivals, representing Europe in the final. I almost wonder if they are now becoming too predictable or overly eager aggressively with their tactics and team fight comps. Despite winning 3 of their last 5, they have been incredibly lucky in some of those matches I feel and could easily have lost if it weren’t for big mistakes from other teams also.
With week 9 beginning on Thursday (August 3rd) teams will be looking to ensure they are in the best position possible to help qualification for Worlds. Week 9 on paper looks to be a fairly predictable weekend of matches. Two games to look out for though are Fnatic vs Roccat in which Fnatic will obviously be out for payback, and Unicorns vs Splyce, the result of which could be pivotal for the top of Group B.
Week 10 looks set to be a cracker however, with Fnatic taking on G2 once again (although Group A may already be settled by this point) and the Unicorns facing H2k in what could end up as a showdown for who finishes top of Group B, where the winner would be catapulted straight into the Semi-Finals of the play-offs.
Although it is of course early to be directly speaking of the World Championships later this year, if Rift Rivals is anything to go by, Europe need to improve. Rift Rivals has shown us that EU is behind North America at the moment and whichever teams head to Worlds will need to step up their game. For this to be decided, though, we of course need to see the results of week 9 and 10 before the EU LCS finals in Paris which are just around the corner on the 2nd and 3rd of September.
For match schedule, league tables and highlights see https://eu.lolesports.com/en