Photo: Riot Games

We are on the verge of the final week of the 2017 Spring Split regular season. The standings are mostly locked and teams already know their fate. Some are headed to the promotion tournament (Mysterious Monkeys and Ninjas in Pyjamas) in hopes to defend their LCS spots, while six other teams are headed to playoffs. The only uncertainty at the moment is who will end up first in Group B and get that very important playoff bye.

Teams are entering week 10 with a somewhat relaxed demeanour. Teams that are placed lower in the standings are playing spoiler, while teams that are fighting for the top spot are looking to dominate and have a couple of statement games.

We will also have the chance to watch two insanely promising matches – Fnatic vs. G2 eSports and H2K vs. Unicorns of Love. These matches will surely provide fireworks.

Let’s take a closer look.

Fnatic vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas & G2 eSports

While it’s still too early to say for sure, it seems like the former kings of Europe are back. There is only one road block ahead of them before they can rightfully say so – G2 eSports. Problem is, they’re not playing extremely well nor clean. Against ROCCAT they were sloppy, and a lot of individual members made tons of mistakes. Their backs were against the wall in both games, and while it’s not that fair to criticize them after a 2-0 win, it’s not the level of play that you’d expect from the team that arguably has the biggest chance to win the split. It’s never a promising sign when a team this good has to come back from a deficit twice in a row against a team that is ranked nine in the standings.

That said, there is no doubt that they can fix these things in time for playoffs.

vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

It’s a shame NiP didn’t have more time to nurture and develop. We’ve seeing some fun things from them over the last couple of weeks, as they were finally able to translate their early leads into a formidable mid game. They’re still prone to making mistakes left and right, but it’s a big improvement. They managed to take Misfits to three games, and if it wasn’t for that abysmall, tilting blast cone invade at the very beginning, they might have very well taken Misfits down.

As for their match against Fnatic, they shouldn’t be able to do much. That do have flashes of brilliance, so they might be able to take a single game, but anything over that is simply wishful thinking.

That said, do expect them to put up a solid fight in the promotion tournament. While it’s incredibly tough to predict whether or not they will manage to win and get back into the LCS, they have the potential to do so.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.04 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. G2 eSports

The match everyone is talking about. Former, versus the current kings of Europe. All members of G2 have been stepping up, and it’s tough to say whether or not they’re finally back to form. They have been looking dominant however. Expect went from being the weakest link to one of the best performing top laners in Europe, Trick is finally at home with the current tank jungler meta, Perkz is back to his confident playmaking self and their bottom lane is as solid as it ever was. With every member performing at the highest level, G2 becomes a very tough beast to tackle.

As illogical as it might seem, it might be best to just skip betting on this match. Both teams are locked in for playoffs and their seeding is also fixed, so they might pull out some crazy picks to satisfy the fans. When that happen, all odds and tips become nullified.

Regardless, one team must come out victorious, and for the time being betting on G2 would be a good idea. The odds are against them, and they have a lot to prove. If Fnatic come unprepared as they did last week, this might be your chance to win big. That said, expect it to be unnervingly close.

Winner: G2 eSports, 2.10 (odds @ Bet365)

ROCCAT vs. G2 eSports & Misfits

When ROCCAT plays, logic goes out the window. They have the uncanny ability to play to their opponents standards. That means they’re able to “degrade” their play to the level of Ninjas in Pyjamas, but also put the gear into overdrive and give Fnatic an extremely hard time.

Communication is one of the biggest problems that ROCCAT has, and it’s apparent any time they step foot on the Rift. To their credit, they had good set-ups, and had the better early game in every way, shape and form – against a top tier team to boot. However when it came to translating those leads into something concrete they were unable to do it correctly. Other than a single sneaky Baron, they didn’t show too much.

vs. G2 eSports

They simply don’t have what it takes to take G2 down. It’s a complete mismatch, especially on an individual level. The way G2 play won’t allow ROCCAT to skirmish. They will have a strong hold on the series, eventually using their leads to close out the series 2-0.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.25 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Misfits

This is where things get very complicated. While both teams are locked in the standings, Misfits are surely looking to dominate and get into playoffs with some much needed momentum. They’re not playing well, in fact – their play is almost embarrassing for a team so heavily hyped and touted to be a dark horse in the playoffs. They have shown very little improvement over the last couple of weeks, and have in fact managed to lose five out of their last six matches. That is an awful statistic no matter how you look at it.

Against ROCCAT they have a chance. They should be the better team and they have the tools to defeat them. However they probably won’t. If ROCCAT comes in the same form as they did last week against Fnatic, Misfits will probably crumble and fall in a close 2-1 series.

Winner: ROCCAT, 3.00 (odds @ Bet365)

H2K vs. Mysterious Monkeys & Unicorns of Love

H2K have continued their dominance with their clean 2-0 win against Team Vitality last week.

They’re extremely focused and hungry to prove themselves, and they will finally have their big test to determine who gets first place in group B.

vs. Unicorns of Love

If G2 vs. FNC wasn’t enough, we get to witness this madness as well! Both teams are coming in extremely strong, with a great understanding of the meta. Individually they’re all playing super well, with Exileh managing to die an astonishingly small number of times. Xerxe managed to channel his 2017 Spring self and dominate Splyce in their 2-0 win. With that said, their weakest areas are exactly what H2K does best. Over the last couple of weeks, it seems like H2K finally fixed some of the issues that have been plaguing them for a long, long time.

You simply have to give H2K the edge. They’re very much in sync, and they’ve all been stomping individually. That said, UOL won’t go down without a fight, so expect this one to be a very, very close 2-1 series going in H2K’s favor.

Winner: H2K, 2.00 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Mysterious Monkeys

Sadly, Mysterious Monkeys lost so fast and so decisively against Splyce that there isn’t anything concrete that you could say about their play other than that it was pretty uninspiring. They were destroyed early on, with Trashy focusing down CozQ and getting Sencux ahead from the very start.

They simply don’t have any team cohesion, and if it wasn’t enough against Splyce, it absolutely won’t be enough to fight off H2K.

Expect this one to be very swift and violent, with H2K coming out on top.

Winner: H2K, 1.06 (odds @ Bet365)

Unicorns of Love vs. Team Vitality

After a very strong showing last week, the Unicorns are looking to make another statement before clashing with H2K on Sunday. Unluckily for Vitality, they will be on the receiving end of a very strong Unicorns of Love squad. They’re playing well, they’re playing meta and they want that playoff bye. Vitality weren’t able to get anything off the ground against H2K last week, and while UOL has a pretty awful early game, they more than make up for it in the mid and late game.

Expect this series to go 2-0 in UOL’s favor.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.14 (odds @ Bet365)

Splyce vs. Team Vitality

Watching Splyce play is a mixed bag. They’re a strong team overall, and when they’re against a lower ranked team they are capable of showing off their skill and team cohesion. However whenever they went against a top tier team, they failed to do much. They are a proactive team and they are capable of building their advantages very quickly, however it never comes through against better teams. This week was no different, as they completely fell pray to UOL’s strategy. They failed to realize their own win condition, and instead opted to fight mid with the Unicorns thus allowing them to do what they do best – skirmish.

Things are not looking too hot for Splyce, however their last week is somewhat forgiving as they’re fighting against Team Vitality. No matter how slow and uninspiring Splyce was last week, Vitality was even worse. They were completely demolished by H2K. Other than a couple of good early game plays, they failed to do anything else for the entirety of the series. Even though they improved quite a bit over the regular season, they don’t have the tools to fight against Splyce.

That said, don’t be surprised if Vitality manages to take a single game.

Winner: Splyce, 1.25 (odds @ Bet365)