Photo: Riot Games

You could have expected upsets for the last week of the regular season. You could have expected top teams to slack off a bit as those matches didn’t really matter. However the amount of surprises that last week had in store for us was mindblowing.

G2 eSports losing to ROCCAT. Unicorns of Love losing to Team Vitality. Fnatic losing to… Ninjas in Pyjamas, of all teams. To be fair, these lower ranked teams upped their games as the split came to an end, however the results are unexpected and shocking nonetheless.

As a silver lining, the matches we had the opportunity to watch were amazing, filled with fan service and solo queue picks. We rarely get the opportunity to watch pros have this much fun on the big stage.

However the playoffs are upon us and the first two matches will take place in just a couple of days time.

Let’s take a closer look.

Unicorns of Love vs. Misfits, August 19th

Last week was a mixed bag for the Unicorns. They suffered a heartbreaking 2:0 defeat at the hands of Team Vitality. Losing is one thing, but losing in this fashion is downright embarrassing.

It was a shellacking. To their credit, Vitality played some phenomenal League of Legends.

A perfect game one. Zero turrets, zero drakes, zero Barons and zero kills on the side of UOL. It wasn’t pretty. Game two was more of the same, however the Unicorns did manage to put up a better offensive.

Now, UOL was never known for their early game, but handing over a 10k gold lead at the twenty minute mark is still a bit extreme.

Luckily for them, their win over H2K was almost enough to erase any and all memory of their abysmal play just a day or two earlier. While they started slow, they managed to dominate and outplay H2K on almost all fronts for the last two games of the series.

It was a fun sight to see. All other teams picking random, off-meta champions and having fun, and H2K and UOL playing like it’s the most important match of their lives. H2K had a lot to prove, after all they lost every match against the Unicorns in 2017. They were unable to win once again.

UOL looked good, they looked comfortable on the stage and on the Rift as well. Samux was able to do his thing even though H2K tried their hardest to stop him with a strong, seemingly unkillable frontline. UOL’s teamfighting prevailed in the end, as it almost always does.

As for Misfits, they have yet to show anything worthwhile on the Rift. In a span of six weeks they have managed to win only two matches that were against two teams that are now in the promotion tournament. They have too many holes in their game and even if you ignore that aspect, they’re not playing that well individually.

Hans Sama failed to live up to the hype that was put on his shoulders, and Maxlore didn’t positively impact the team as most predicted. While they seem to understand the meta to a solid degree, they never succeed in realizing their gameplan and that is a shame.

To make matters even worse, nearly every mage that PowerOfEvil plays will be getting nerfed on patch 7.16. Cassiopeia, LeBlanc, Taliyah, Syndra.

Their run for Worlds ends here. While it’s a hard blow to anyone sporting a Misfits jersey, it should be noted that they’ve come a long way from the challenger series. After all, this is only their second split in the LCS, and they look like a great team in the making. Will they be able to make a run for 2018 Worlds? Not impossible, with the right staff/player changes.

As for the Unicorns of Love, while their success further down the road remains unclear, they have a relatively easy test right now and they should by all means pass it with flying colors.

Expect the Unicorns of Love to take the series 3-1 and advance into the semifinals in Paris.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.45 (odds @ Betway)

G2 eSports vs. Splyce, August 20th

Photo: Riot Games

Much like the first quarterfinals match-up, this one is fairly one sided as well. G2 eSports played a somewhat competitive series against Fnatic last week, and even though they didn’t manage to win, they showed some good stuff on the Rift.

Sadly for everyone expecting fireworks, it wasn’t much of an El Classico. G2 got outdrafted and outplayed in almost every stage of the game. While Fnatic had their fair share of misplays as well, they always managed to win the teamfights that mattered.

G2 also faltered in the draft in both games, drafting either comps that lacked damage or going for Perkz’s Lucian. While he is a highly talented player, he is without a doubt the worst Lucian in the scene and almost singlehandedly killed all of the Lucian mid hype from a couple of week back.

Regardless, they are a top tier team that will improve, and now that they have ample time to prepare just for a single opponent, they’re set up to dominate and prove their worth.

Splyce on the other hand still have no coach, and have yet to truly show that they’re an elite EU team. They have the potential, but it’s not possible for them to achieve it in time for playoffs. They always manage to fall short of expectations. They are capable of upsetting any team, however in a Best of 5 series things get a lot more complicated.

Much like Misfits, they are a highly talented bunch. In fact, the parallels are very strong. Both teams have a toplaner with a lot of potential that crumbles under the pressure of performing against top tier teams, a jungler that while very solid fails to have a big impact on the game, a very talented midlaner and a strong bottom lane that doesn’t always pop off.

Sadly for Splyce, this is where the road stops. Even on a good day they don’t have the tools to take on an uprising G2 eSports. While we’re not witnessing the G2 of old, they’re pretty close. Close enough to contest for the number one spot for sure.

Expect this series to go 3-1 in G2’s favor. However don’t be surprised if Splyce put up a much bigger fight than most expect.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.28 (odds @ Betway)