Photo: Riot Games

Unicorns of Love vs. ROCCAT & Fnatic

The Unicorns managed to put a very important win on the board last week, as they managed to take down Misfits in a close 2-1 series. The Unicorns that we will watch in a couple of days time are no different than the Unicorns pre-Rift Rivals. They’re still wildly tenacious and hectic. They still show all their strengths and weaknesses in just a single series. Exileh is still feeding at times, and Vizicsacsi is the casualty of insane jungle pressure for two weeks in a row now. Unfortunately, he rarely comes out alive as he is always the aggressor. However if there is one thing that became apparent last week, it is just how consistent Samux is. He is without a doubt their biggest asset at the moment, as no matter how bad the game starts, they can always count on him to pull through in the late game.

vs. ROCCAT

As predicted, ROCCAT failed to put a win on the board last week. It is somewhat strange watching them play. For every good step, they often make two or three awful ones. If we take a look at the team on an individual level, almost every member is underperforming to a degree. Betsy and Phaxi are the main suspects, as their play often leaves a lot to be desired. Hjarnan and Wadid are hit and miss and Pridestalker, while a good player in his own right, has a disgustingly exploitable champion pool. When all is said and done, ROCCAT is no longer a team that poses a threat. They have pop off games from time to time but they’re too few and far between. When they’re behind they look lost, and when ahead – they rarely rarely do anything well enough to keep their lead.

Against UoL, that simply isn’t going to work.

Winner: Unicorns of Love, 1.16 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Fnatic

After a heartbreaking showing at this year’s Rift Rivals, the former Kings of Europe came back into Week 6 swinging. Against Team Vitality, it was like another day at the office. Broxah was the early aggressor, being at the right place at the right time, enabling his laners to create small but eventually noticeable advantages.  As the twenty minute mark came, they accumulated quite the gold lead. Eventually it all ended by the book.

However the most important thing we saw was their willingness to play different strategies. While it is still too early to tell for sure, it seems like their Rift Rivals losses affected them in the best possible way.

Rekkles was a target of heavy online scrutiny for his single-minded approach to the ADC meta, always reaching for Kennen even though the champion went through multiple nerfs. The meta changed enough so that his pocket picks no longer packed a punch. That seems to have changed. His solo queue account is filled with meta champions, and he played Sivir and Varus in his two games against Vitality. We all know he has the depth and the skill to play anything, it seemed like his approach was the only thing that needed to change.

Caps had two amazing games on Syndra and Taliyah, always on the verge of danger but retaining the ability to dish out tons of damage and disrupt with his CC. It was good seeing him get back to form after heavily underperforming just a week earlier. He is surely one of the best mids Europe can offer and with time has the potential to do some great things.

This clash between Fnatic and UoL will surely be a spectacular one. Both teams are fighting for regional dominance. This will be the first time they will meet so far in the Summer Split and expect fireworks to ensue.

No matter how strong the Unicorns are when the late game comes, Fnatic have the tools to counter it. Expect this to be an insanely close 2-1 series, ending in Fnatic’s favor.

Winner: Fnatic, 1.66 (odds @ Bet365)

G2 eSports vs. H2K & Team Vitality

It seems like the Kings of Europe finally returned to form last week against Splyce, as they looked and played like vintage G2, the team that dominated the region for so long. Looking ahead, they still have to prove their worth, and this week’s match is the place to start.

vs. H2K

H2K had one of their best showings so far last week against ROCCAT. Fans can finally be cautiously optimistic for H2K. While they have often found a way to disappoint, one can still expect good things to come. They needed just a bit over 50 minutes (that’s for two games) to completely dismantle ROCCAT. We saw the return of the First Blood King – Jankos, and Febiven still retains his spot as one of the most consistent mid laners in Europe.

As for their series against G2 eSports, it’s incredibly difficult to predict. These teams are so inconsistent that you never really know what will happen. H2K however had an additional weeks time to prepare for the patch since they didn’t go to Rift Rivals and are looking in peak form at the moment. It’s hard seeing G2 beating a game H2K – right this moment. While it’s far from impossible, they still made tons of uncharacteristic mistakes last week which means H2K will, in theory, be able to exploit enough weaknesses to swing the games in their favor.

Expect it to be incredibly close, ending 2-1 in H2K’s favor.

Winner: H2K, 2.25 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Vitality

Over the course of last week, Vitality showed a good idea of what they wanted to do on the Rift. Problem was, when facing Fnatic they were outnumbered and outrotated in almost every stage of the game. That was expected, as they were playing against arguably the best European team at the moment.

In their second game against Fnatic, they went even for a good portion of the game. Small midgame decisions and map movements eventually swung the game in Fnatic’s favor. However they’re playing better with each passing week. So much so, that we cannot realistically gauge their skill level at the moment. They took down Ninjas in Pyjamas without much trouble. Djoko’s top priority paid off fairly quickly as they accrued a lead at the top side of the map first. As the game went on, they acted without hesitation whenever they smelt blood, which is not something that you could say for Vitality just a few weeks prior. In their third game against NiP we saw a glimpse of the potential that this team has. It was over in just a bit over 25 minutes, ending with a pentakill for Nukeduck on Corki, with 15 kills to 2.

The question still looms in the air – will they be able to win against G2 eSports? No. If G2 come in prepared as they did last week, they will surely steamroll through Vitality. They make too many mistakes in every stage of the game that it would be impossible for G2 not to capitalize on them.

Expect this one to be fairly one-sided, however Vitality surely won’t go down without a fight, and after all – Nukeduck is one of the best performing midlaners at the moment. At least they have that going in their favor.

Winner: G2 eSports, 1.08 (odds @ Bet365)

Misfits vs. Splyce & Mysterious Monkeys

Misfits are a team that has fantastic potential. To be fair they had the chance to win against the Unicorns, they’re just not ready yet – in terms of team cohesion and experience. But one day they will be, and when that they comes they will be a force in the region. If we take a look at them on an individual level, most members are shining bright. It cannot be overstated how well PowerOfEvil played last week. Whether it’s his 10/0/4 Orianna game, or his 7/4/6 Syndra game, he is almost always at the right place at the right time. Hans Sama and IgNar are still an incredibly formidable duo, with Maxlore being a clear upgrade in comparison to KaKAO. However Alphari, even though he had a couple of good games last week is heavily underperforming. He will wear a heavy target on his back for the rest of the Split, as teams look to capitalize on Misfits’ weakness in the top lane.

vs. Splyce

Splyce looked lost last week. They were dumbfounded by the speed G2 reacted and made in-game decisions. Even though they put up a good fight, they were almost always on the back foot, responding instead of being proactive. While they have the tools to make this a very close 2-1 series, it will most likely go in Misfits’ favor.

Winner: Misfits, 1.53 (odds @ Bet365)

vs. Mysterious Monkeys

While the Mysterious Monkeys don’t look like world beaters by any stretch of the imagination, they’re finally playing like a somewhat cohesive team. They have a basic grasp on the meta and they pack a punch at unexpected moments. It won’t be enough though as Misfits are coming in strong. They have the edge in every stage of the game, so expect this one to go in their favor. However don’t be surprised if the Mysterious Monkeys put up a better offensive than expected.

Winner: Misfits, 1.20 (odds @ Bet365)

Splyce vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

Regardless of how bad Splyce played last week, they are still leaps and bounds ahead of NiP in almost every element of the game. It isn’t fair to bash on Splyce too much as they had an incredibly tough schedule for Weeks 5 and 6. However the thing is – this is a team that has always shown tons of potential. Whenever they look good they seem like a Top 3 team, however that hype doesn’t last for too long – often for reasons unknown. Their teamwork and team cohesion fluctuates for some reason, which is the main reason why they weren’t able to crack Top 5 in Spring. A similar thing happened this time around. They got a new coach and started beating teams left and right, until they faced harder opposition.

As for NiP, they’re still as mediocre and lost as they were for the entirety of the split. While they did have a couple of standout moments in their series against Vitalty, it was too infrequent. When they do manage to look good or even take a game, it’s mostly off the back of Shook’s early game influence and Nagne’s strong play. Regardless, their good games are so few and far between that you simply cannot count on them doing well – in general. They are dead last in Group A, with 0 wins and 8 losses. It seems like they might even end the split without a single win.

Betting on Splyce to win this 2-0 is the only logical choice.

Winner: Splyce, 1.20 (odds @ Bet365)