Photo: Riot Games

Other than a single insane upset (Ninjas in Pyjamas clean sweeping ROCCAT), the eight week of the European LCS went exactly as predicted. Those are good news for anyone betting on the EU scene, as things have finally come into place.

We are on the verge of a new patch – 7.15, however things shouldn’t shake up too much. Jungle priority will surely change a bit with Elise and Gragas nerfs, however other than that we just might see some familiar faces like Ekko, Ezreal and Nautiful come back into the meta.

Teams have just two weeks left to try and rank as high as possible in order to qualify for the playoffs/avoid relegation, and the race is somewhat close, especially in Group B.

Let’s take a closer look at the ninth week of the regular season.

Splyce vs. Mysterious Monkeys & Unicorns of Love

What an unexpected end of the road for any and all momentum Splyce had built up over the last couple of weeks. It’s no shame to lose against H2K, after all they are they are the more experienced team with veteran players, but the fashion in which they lost was the biggest surprise. A single mistake at bottom lane in the first game was all H2K needed to heavily snowball their lead and dominate.

Every time Splyce tried to engage they either failed in their execution or simply got destroyed by H2K as the lead they had was insurmountable. The second game was somewhat close until a monstrous teamfight broke out around the thirty minute mark where Kobbe essentially zoned himself out of the entire fight.

They didn’t play well. They were outdrafted and outplayed in almost every stage of the game, and for a clash between two top teams fighting for first place in their group – it wasn’t even remotely close.

Looking ahead to their Week 9 matches, they have the perfect opportunity to rebound and cement themselves as a team that can actually upset the status quo. While their match against the Mysterious Monkeys should go with relative ease, all eyes are set at their clash against the Unicorns of Love who haven’t been performing at the level that is expected from them.

UOL had to sweat in order to win their close 2-1 series against the Mysterious Monkeys last week. They’re still plagued with the exact same problems that they had during the Summer Split. They often forego any macro and strategy and just group mid hoping for the best. While their solid teamfighting can work against lower ranked teams, Splyce have tools to fight against it.

Splyce is looking to get that second spot in group B in order to avoid playing against G2 eSports in the playoffs. They know that this is a must win if they want to have any chance to advance further, and luckily for them they even beat UOL once in Week 3 of the Summer Split. Seeing how UOL is playing worse with each passing weak, now would be the time to bet on Splyce.

Expect an insanely close 2-1 series that can in all fairness go either way.

DISCLAIMER: Splyce have just announced that they have parted ways with their head coach. We cannot know for sure how big of an impact this will make on their play, so do have it in mind. They are an experienced team however so they shouldn’t be phased too much, if at all.

vs. Unicorns of Love

Winner: Splyce, 2.75 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Mysterious Monkeys

Winner: Splyce, 1.22 (odds @ Bet365)

Misfits vs. G2 eSports & Ninjas in Pyjamas

Misfits didn’t have a good time over the last couple of weeks. Not only did they fail to secure any wins, but they also failed to show anything actually worthy of mentioning. They need to be more proactive. They need to have a clearer plan on what they want to accomplish. Their playstyle isn’t going to work against top tier teams from Europe. They are not creating opportunities, they’re are neither punishing nor pushing their opponents. With that approach to the game, they won’t stand a chance against an uprising G2 eSports.

G2 are finally back to form as they have succeeded in stringing a couple of much needed victories. While they still do stumble here and there, they’re looking a lot more like the G2 of old. The current meta is also suiting them to an incredible degree, mostly with Trick and his champion preference. While Misfits are no slouch, they will at best be able to take a single game.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.36 (odds @ Bet365)

As for Ninjas in Pyjamas, they have finally succeeded in putting a win on the board. They always had an extremely strong early game however it was their lack of any macro and strategy that always cost them the game. That seems to have improved – greatly, and over a short period of time which is highly admirable. However it cannot be overstated how badly ROCCAT played, so that should be taken into account as well.

Misfits, as shaky as they might seem right now are the stronger team on every level, so expect them to take this series with relative ease. That said, NiP will surely put up a bigger fight than most people expect.

Winner: Misfits, 1.14 (odds @ Bet365)

H2K vs. Team Vitality

H2K’s match against Splyce was a tough one to watch for anyone sporting a Splyce jersey. Most people expected H2K to take the series, however the sheer aggressiveness and determination they did it with was astounding. They were so in-sync, rotating and making plays as a team. This was the H2K everyone expected to see, confident with strong teamfighting. The most impressive thing however was how well they played once they got a lead through their bottom lane.

It was a demonstration of force, of how good H2K can play when they start off strong, with confidence. When they succeed in this they always enforce their playstyle and manage to look dominant. Problem is, they don’t always manage to do so, however they have the tools – they only need time to work things out.

A big shoutout has to go towards H2K’s bottom lane. While they don’t always perform at the highest level – probably due to the language barrier – they have the potential and have the tendency to play out of their minds.

Looking ahead at their match against Vitality, they are simply too strong for anyone to bet against them. No matter how improved Vitality look with each passing week, they simply don’t have the tools to compete at H2K’s level.

Expect this one to be a strong 2-0 for H2K.

Winner: H2K, 1.10 (odds @ Bet365)

Fnatic vs. ROCCAT

Is it possible for a team to defeat Fnatic, lose to Mysterious Monkeys, defeat the Unicorns of Love and then lose to Ninjas in Pyjamas – a team that has only managed to win two single games over the course of the Summer Split? Turns out it is! ROCCAT retains the crown of “most confusing team” in the LCS. Their inconsistency is mind-boggling, and it reached new heights last week after they got clean swept by the worst team in the LCS.

There isn’t anything particularly nice you could say about their last week’s play either. They were all out of sync, and didn’t have the faintest idea of what to do on the map. They were making bad call after bad call, with Phaxi engaging at the worst possible times.

As for Fnatic, their embrace of the meta really benefited them as a team. Their games against Misfits were slow, but they never really lost control of the game, nor their lead. A good teamfight on Fnatic’s side ended game one, whereas game two was a different beast altogether, with Caps reaching deep in his champion pool for the first EU Kayn in the mid lane. As with most FNC matches, they put the gear into overdrive and outclassed MSF on all fronts.

Looking ahead, they are yet to be challenged, and unfortunately for ROCCAT they aren’t the team to do it, especially not after last week.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.11 (odds @ Bet365)