Photo: Riot Games

Teams fully embraced all the chaos and uncertainty that came with patch 7.14, and we saw it almost immediately in their priority with the likes of Cho’Gath, Maokai and Sejuani. These jungle picks heavily impact the way teams play the game, and paired with some Lethality and support changes, we’re on the verge of a refreshing new meta.

After a very tumultuous week of action-packed matches and a couple of upsets, we take a closer look at this week’s schedule.

Mysterious Monkeys vs. Team Vitality & Unicorns of Love

In essence, there isn’t anything earth-shatteringly new to say about Mysterious Monkeys. For every good move they make, they make two or more bad ones. As the weeks go by, the Monkeys seem like a sure lock for relegation, along with Ninjas in Pyjamas. Even though they’re still stronger than their relegation brethren, it’s not by much. It’s complicated predicting their next move as they often show some improvement, followed by a total collapse. Their 0-2 loss to Misfits last week wasn’t a good sight as they were outclassed and outgunned whenever they tried to make a move.

Yuuki and Dreams heavily lost lane to Hans Sama and IgNar (Yuuki even went for Tristana in order to attain a safer laning phase – and still managed to die 2v2 at level 3), Amazing is fairly inconsistent and CozQ is often completely outclassed. His questionable positioning and tendency to die with Flash up multiple times in a row is not something that you would expect at the highest level of professional play.

That leaves us with Kikis who seems to be their only beacon of light. While he isn’t a top 3 player he is fairly consistent, can carry and has a fantastic champion pool.

Even if you would focus on their strengths we’re on a verge of a new meta, and they aren’t a team that will adapt fast. If anything, they should find solace in the fact that they often go even with the opposing team, deep into the mid game. It’s hard seeing this team getting any higher, as they are currently only looking to survive relegations and re-enter the LCS in 2018, possibly with some roster changes.

Beating Vitality and UOL is a tall task, especially for a team that is struggling as the Monkeys are.

vs. Vitality

Vitality is finally coming together as a unit. While it’s still too early to predict anything higher than a 7-8th ranking, it’s still refreshing to see. That fact also brings insecurity to anyone betting for or against Vitality as they actually pack a punch. Last week they took a game off G2 eSports, drafting a perfect 7.14 team comp that had insane engage and teamfight potential. Pairing both Maokai and Cho’Gath allowed them to have an impenetrable frontline that G2 simply couldn’t handle.

Still, they’re prone to making serious mistakes and misplays come mid-game and that is the area they need to improve the most on. When they don’t draft well, and when they don’t get a strong start they often get demolished, as was demonstrated in their 12-3 loss the very next game against G2. They’re still indecisive in key moments, too afraid to make a concrete move on the map – go for an objective, set up a play. While individual members started playing a lot better – like Steelback who showed noticeable improvement – they’re still far from being a force to be reckoned with.

They shouldn’t have too big of a problem taking down Mysterious Monkeys as they have both the tools and a good enough grasp on the meta to take the series 2-1.

Winner: Vitality, 1.50 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Unicorns of Love

They were a team that thrived on mid-game skirmishes and messy teamfights. They are famous for their twenty minute mark mental switch as well as phenomenal late game team fighting. Why after so much success with a very singular playstyle are they trying to adapt and change it? Their intentions are admirable, however they are mind-boggling as the current meta is favoring their original playstyle. Team comps with tons of engage and teamfighting tools became the norm with the new patch. They shouldn’t try to fix what gave them arguably the only concrete edge they had against other teams.

It seems as though that after Rift Rivals they simply wanted to try something new and different. There is no time for that at the moment, as there are only three weeks left of regular season play and every single win counts.

Expect them to take the series against Mysterious Monkeys 2-0, as no matter how much they experiment they will still have the upper hand both individually and as a team.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.06 (odds @ Bet365)

Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. G2 eSports & ROCCAT

Much like the Mysterious Monkeys, NiP has a tendency to do something well from time to time, however those well thought-out moments are so sparse that you cannot really count on them. So much so that they’ve failed to secure even a single win during their 2017 Summer Split run. Last week’s match against Splyce wasn’t an easy one to watch as they got absolutely demolished. They were outdrafted to begin with, and fairly soon outscaled in-game. Looking ahead, avoid betting on NiP at all costs as they simply don’t have what it takes to compete at the absolute highest level.

vs. G2 eSports

The last two weeks were very crucial to G2’s return to form, as they have succeeded in beating Splyce, Vitality and even H2K without much trouble two weeks back to back. As illogical as it might seem, they’re a shoe-in for the second best EU team at the moment, and while their play doesn’t always speak that message, they’re slowly but surely getting there.

G2 are strongest when they set up plays as a unit, and the current meta fully enables them to do so. While they’re insanely talented individuals, they weren’t always in-sync during Summer 2017. Now that they’ve adapted to the meta and fixed their horrendous drafting issues, things are looking good for the “Kings of Europe”.

Expect them to outclass NiP in relatively swift 2-0 fashion. G2 are looking to further build on their momentum and NiP are a negligible block on the road.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.03 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. ROCCAT

As for ROCCAT, they remain an enigma. After losing both to H2K and Mysterious Monkeys in Week 6, they ended Week 7 with a very important upset against the Unicorns of Love. Betsy started performing like his Spring Split self, and Pridestalker did a ton of work from the jungle, almost hardcarrying a couple of games on the likes on Kha’Zix and Warwick.

Luckily for ROCCAT, NiP isn’t a team that will challenge them on a lot of fronts. Betting on ROCCAT would be the more logical choice.

Winner: ROCCAT, 1.25 (odds @ Bet365)

Splyce vs. H2K

The toughest match to predict for sure, however the most fun one as well. Both teams are tied for first in their group, with the same win and loss record at 6W and 3L.

Historically, H2K have the tendency to beat Splyce. However something that became apparent over the last couple of weeks is the fact that Splyce are aware of the holes in their game and, more importantly, have shown constant improvement in their weakest areas. That essentially isn’t something that you could say for H2K. Choking when it matters? Still not fixed. Slow to adapt mid series? Still not fixed. Not always being on the same page in clutch moments? Still not fixed.

You get the gist.

Splyce’s proactive approach to the game allowed them to turn the tides against a very game Misfits squad last week and take the series in 2-1 fashion. They adapted, they realized their mistakes and fixed them as best as they could before entering another game. That isn’t something that H2K does well. Or at all even.

Essentially, it would be best if you simply skip this match. It’s too close for comfort. However if you do want to test your luck, bet on H2K.

They look amazing against mediocre teams, however against stronger opposition they mostly manage to put it together for a single win and they stop at that. Expect this series to be incredibly close and bloody, going 2-1 in H2K’s favor.

Winner: H2K, 1.50 (odds @ Bet365)

Misfits vs. Fnatic

Last week was a smaller debacle for Misfits. They came out swinging against Splyce, winning the first game in incredibly dominant fashion. They capitalized on one mistake Splyce made and the game was over. Their second game was much of the same, until they lost in a foolish base race. When the third game started, it was obvious they were too tilted to function properly, which allowed Splyce – a team with much more experience to turn the tides and close out the series. Fans should have cause for optimism however as these are problems that can be fixed. Not in a week, but not in a whole split either.

They are prone to enter playoffs as a dark horse, however they probably would have liked to have an easier Week 8 after their Splyce match. That isn’t happening as they will fight the best European team at the moment – Fnatic. The former “Kings of Europe” are coming in hot after a strong victory against the Unicorns of Love.

Expect it to be somewhat close, with Fnatic closing it out 2-1 with confidence.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.30 (odds @ Bet365)