European LCS – 2017 Summer Split – Playoffs Semifinals Preview, Betting Tips & Odds
August 26, 2017
The quartefinals were filled with surprises. Misfits managed to upset the Unicorns of Love, and Splyce were just a single game away from doing the same go G2 eSports.
Let’s take a closer look at the matches that await us this weekend.
Fnatic vs. Misfits
After their last week’s performance Misfits should be getting nothing but praise. While the Unicorns do have a fairly one-dimensional playstyle, they’re still a force to be reckoned with. They have the 2017 Spring MVP in the top lane – Vizicsacsi, the 2017 Spring Rookie of the Split jungler – Xerxe – a man that is proficient on any almost jungle pick and a bottom lane that is extremely deadly and potent in almost every stage of the game. (and Exileh in the midlane…)
With all of that going in their favor, they still managed to get clean swept by a team that was heavily underperforming during the second half of the Summer Split. To be fair, UOL sort of outplayed themselves. They drafted horribly and always put themselves in a corner. They went for late game comfort and thus allowed Misfits to take whatever they wanted. They were never a strong early game team, but taking losing matchups in every single game is pushing it to an all new level.
As for Misfits, they always had winning lanes. PoE destroyed Exileh (which doesn’t go for much these days), Alphari had an amazing couple of games and their bottom lane managed to perform extremely well too. Hans Sama finally stepped up, even getting a stylish pentakill on Tristana in game one of the series. (and then was able to repeat the same performance in the next two games as UOL never banned Tristana out for some illogical reason)
They were always faster on the map, with the manned advantage when it mattered the most.
However things are getting a lot more complicated, very quickly.
They’re up against the most dominant team in the region, and also a team that only managed to lose two meaningless fluke matches. (against ROCCAT and NiP) They don’t have a skill advantage, and they don’t have better team cohesion than Fnatic either. This will essentially be a rematch of the third place match in 2017 Spring Split when Fnatic dominated in 3-0 fashion.
The only difference is Misfits’ jungler – Maxlore. He seems right at home with the current meta and it’s fun seeing him perform at a high level, however he had it easy against UOL as he always had three winning lanes.
- Misfits won’t have that same kind of comfort against Fnatic. They won’t have an immobile Trundle support that they can pick on and will have to be on the defensive. With that in mind, they won’t be able to dominate early as they did against the Unicorns and that will make all the difference.
- Broxah is also an incredibly sound jungler that is a lot more impactful than Xerxe at the moment. As a player he spends a lot less time powerfarming, as he prefers to influence all lens and get his allies ahead.
- Rekkles and Jesiz are arguably the best bottom lane duo in the region at the moment. They won’t make the same mistakes Samux and Hylissang made.
It is simply impossible to bet against Fnatic. They are in prime form, and they’re bound to play in the Finals regardless of the opponent. Misfits might come in with renewed vigor but it won’t be enough.
Expect this one to go 3-1 in Fnatic’s favor.
Winner: Fnatic, 1.22 (odds @ Betway)
G2 eSports vs. H2K
No matter how you put it, predicting this match is a tough one. Both teams showcased fantastic League of Legends over the last couple of weeks, but they also have serious ups and downs. This is also a key moment for both teams. If G2 manage to perform up to expectations and defeat H2K, they will secure themselves a seed at this year’s World Championship in China. It is within their reach and they can finally complete their redemption story.
H2K on the other hand has a lot to prove… overall. They are a team that is notorious for underperforming when it mattered the most. They’re known for choking in playoffs. They’re known for their bad drafts and slow adaptation mid-series. Could this split be the difference? Will they actually be able to perform up to their level and represent Europe at Worlds? We cannot know for certain, however they are looking like a Top 3 team at the moment. Much better than any team ranked beneath them, and never strong enough to take down a team above.
G2 eSports had an insanely close series against Splyce. They played better in clutch moments, and paired with their experience were able to emerge victorious. They’re still a phenomenal team, they’re just having trouble finding their identity post-MSI, and to be fair it’s taking them longer than most expected.
H2K had the opportunity to enter the playoffs with a lot of hype, however it all went through the windows after they got dismantled by the Unicorns of Love in the very last week of the regular season. It wasn’t a pretty sight, so looking ahead we simply can’t know for certain what to expect from them. If anything they looked extremely focused and eager to play at the highest level. They too, much like G2 eSports, know that a seed at Worlds is within their reach.
Regardless, G2 eSports simply have a phenomenal track record in Best of 5 series, and this time that sentiment should ring true as well. They adapt too fast, and they only have a single opponent to prepare for. They know H2K’s playstyle inside and out, and seeing how neither team changed much over the regular season, this series shouldn’t bring anything new or surprising.
It won’t be easy, and it probably won’t look good but G2 eSports should be able to take it in the end.
Winner: G2 eSports, 1.80 (odds @ Betway)