Photo: Riot Games

The European playstyle that has been developed over the year wasn’t as successful as many hoped. With each passing day, Rift Rivals was the perfect opportunity for every League fan to see just how outmatched Europe was in comparison to their North American counterparts.

North America had a far greater understanding of the meta and macro game. They were cleaner in their executions, more focused in what they wanted to accomplish and how they wanted to do it. Europe was outgunned and outnumbered in almost every stage of the tournament, and other than a couple of standout UOL games, Europe didn’t stand a chance.

Looking ahead, Europe has the second half of the Summer Split to regroup and to see what actually went wrong.

Let’s take a closer look at Week 6 of the EU LCS:

Team Vitality vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas & Fnatic

While it is still to early too say anything positive for sure, Vitality does seem to have figured out some kind of a playstyle for themselves. They managed to make their Week 4 match against Misfits very close, and even managed to take down Roccat without much trouble. Nukeduck was the MVP for sure, as his Corki and Kog’Maw plays completely picked Roccat apart. They showed signs of life and completely outdrafted Roccat.

Ninjas in Pyjamas on the other hand showed little to warrant any kind of support or praise. Their series against Mysterious Monkeys was sloppy, and even though they did some thing right, they still lost and rightfully so. They’re entering Week 6 without a single win behind their belt.

They don’t have what it takes to contend against Vitality.

Winner: Team Vitality, 1.36 (odds @ Bet365)

Betting against Fnatic, even though their performance at Rift Rivals was abysmal is still not advisable. While their weaknesses were on full display just a week ago, there hasn’t been a European team that has managed to deconstruct them as NA teams did. Will they be able to? Seems like they will, however probably not in a week’s time. While Vitality is coming off a strong showing against Roccat, they probably won’t be able to do much.

They always drafted predictably, played losing lanes in hope of winning late and never really contested any objective on the map. Their individual play was highly questionable, with Caps and Broxah underperforming, and their bottom lane being incredibly lacklustre. They were expecting on Rekkles to carry however that simply never came to fruition. His eagerness to play Kennen – a pick that simply doesn’t do as much as it once did for them – is quite mind boggling. Paired with sOAZ on tank frontline duty, they didn’t show anything worth mentioning.

Still, with Fnatic’s performance one has to be doubting their ability to continue their dominance, so expect this series to be closely fought.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.12 (odds @ Bet365)

Roccat vs. H2K & Mysterious Monkeys

With a 2W-4L record, Roccat seems to be a solid middle-of-the-pack team. They have ups and downs, and you can never really know what awaits in the upcoming week. When they come to play they can tango with the absolute best. Problem is, they don’t come to play that often. They were completely picked apart by Vitality in Week 5, and with some glaring issues they probably won’t come into Week 6 with any momentum.

H2K is coming off a big win against Misfits, and much like Vitality have shown a hunger that wasn’t present at the beginning of the split. They outfought Misfits and made fantastic split-second decisions that showcased why everyone expected more from them. Their veteran status finally showed, as Misfits weren’t prepared to answer. Expect even better things from H2K, and Roccat is just a small, miniscule block on their road to playoffs.

Winner: H2K, 1.22 (odds @ Bet365)

As for Mysterious Monkeys, they seem to be on an upward trajectory. The addition of Kikis and Amazing is an incredible boost in experience and in-game shotcalling, and it showed the second they stepped on the LCS stage. They managed to take their first win against NiP just two weeks ago and now have a chance to get their second one as well.

Betting on Mysterious Monkeys would be a bit better idea, however be prepared for a fiesta as both teams struggle with late-game shotcalling.

Winner: Mysterious Monkeys, 3.00 (odds @ Bet365)

Splyce vs. G2 eSports

A tough match to predict. While Splyce lost decisively against Fnatic’s aggressive macro and teamfighting, they showcased incredible potential in every week prior. Looking at this series specifically, G2 don’t look too hot at the moment. Their Rift Rivals showing was disappointing even though no one expected much, however they do have the ability to pop-off in a game or two every series. When that happens, they’re pure, vintage G2 that dominated the scene for so long. They know that they’re playing beneath their level and are looking to fix it, however they need more time.

Betting on Splyce would be a bit better, however expect it to be a very close series as G2 don’t plan on going down without a fight.

Winner: Splyce, 3.40 (odds @ Bet365)

Misfits vs. Unicorns of Love

After a lackluster showing in Week 5, Misfits are surely looking to come in strong. Sadly for them, they have arguably the best European team at the moment standing in front of them.

They completely choked when it mattered the most, which is excusable to be fair. They’re a young team with inexperienced players that lost to a very strong H2K. The only thing that was expect was from them to put up a bigger fight.

The Unicorns seems to have fixed their Week 5 problems heading into Rift Rivals, and are looking as strong as ever. While Misfits pack quite the punch with their current roster, it shouldn’t be enough to take down the Unicorns of Love.

They have carries in all positions, and even though Exileh is the worst midlaner in the EU LCS at the moment, they still have too many strengths for Misfits to handle. With their superior late game teamfighting, Misfits shouldn’t stand a chance.

Expect it to be an extremely fun series ending 2-1 in UoL’s favor.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.57 (odds @ Bet365)