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EU League Championship Series: Week 4 Day 1

EU League Championship Series: Week 4 Day 1


So I have been snowed under with college work and other commitments, but now they’re gone and we’re back with more coverage from the EU LCS. We’re back with four games today and four more tomorrow where the table is likely to start showing signs of separation and some clear favourites emerge. Since week one, there have been some intense plays and some surprise upsets. Let’s take a quick look at the standings heading into week 4

  1. Fnatic (7-1)
  2. Gambit Gaming (6-2)
  3. ROCCAT (5-3)
  4. SK Gaming (4-5)
  5. Copenhagen Wolves (3-5)
  6. SUPA HOT CREW (3-5)
  7. Millennium (2-5)
  8. Alliance (2-6)

Game 1 – Fnatic (1) vs Alliance (8)

Alliance have been nothing short of disappointing this season so far, having come in with high expectations of being real contenders for the split, so a win here could change their fortunes against a Fnatic team coming off a loss versus Gambit. Alliance needed to pick up the win or start facing some serious doubts about contending in the second half of the split. In the champion select, Fnatic once again decided to risk a double AP composition with top laner sOAZ picking up LeBlanc with xPeke on mid Orianna.
Some attempted early aggression by Fnatic turned on them and while they didn’t give away any kills, it let Alliance know that the early game from Fnatic would be weak and could be capitalised on. After a very farm heavy and slow start to the game, Alliance decided to try and capitalise on the early game advantage and jumped onto xPeke in mid lane with a Pantheon/Gragas ultimate combo for the kill. Alliance didn’t take their foot off the accelerator here and went aggressive in every lane. Froggen, confident in his early game started roaming into the Fnatic jungle and down to bottom lane, picking up another kill. Two takedowns followed, despite giving a dragon over to Fnatic. 
Fnatic, feeling the pressure, dived top lane trying to pick up the kill on Wickd’s Trundle, however they took more damage than expected and while they took the tower and kill, a counter gank from Shook evened it out a bit. Meanwhile, Froggen continued to bully xPeke’s Orianna picking up a kill to leave the score 1-4 in Alliance’s favour. Fnatic’s luck did not improve as they tried to steal a dragon from Alliance, but were caught and turned on, losing two, although sOAZ managed to pick up a return kill. Fnatic remained as aggressive as they could, and a messy teamfight broke out in mid lane. While Fnatic drew the first blood, picking up kills on Nyph and Shook, they were unable to capitalise on it and Alliance picked up three kills in return. Fnatic were starting to lose their grip on this game. Alliance picked up Baron with a one for one trade, and were now firmly in the driver’s seat. Alliance were winning every engagement, and Fnatic’s cocky, gambit team composition didn’t work as planned. The upset no one was expecting was on the verge of becoming reality. A second Baron and a decisive teamfight later, Alliance shut down the first place team and picked up the big win against all odds. This wasn’t the epic duel of mid laners we were hoping for and we witnessed more complete domination from Froggen, something we haven’t seen in a while. I for one am glad he’s returned.

Final Score: FNC 8 – 17 ALL (Winner: Alliance)
MVP: ALL Froggen (Gragas)

Game 2 – Millennium (7) vs ROCCAT (3)

Millennium picked up a win at IEM in Sao Paulo last weekend and were hoping to turn that success into LCS success as they sat in 7th place following Alliance’s win. They needed to change something big in their gameplay to start turning this season around. ROCCAT had two hard losses last week, but are still the strongest of the new contenders in the EU LCS and looked, up to this point, to have the potential to contest for first and second place. Having seen Fnatic drop what should have been an easy win, ROCCAT might have felt this was their opportunity to capitalise on the chance to close the gap to a single win.
An aggressive start from ROCCAT proved fruitless in the bottom lane as they burned everything on very little and failed to pick up a kill. The first blood came out in mid lane as a dive from Kerp in mid lane with some help from Aranae in the jungle and a misclick stun from Overpow’s team-mate Jankos allowed Millennium to pick up first blood without any return from ROCCAT. An attempted two man dive on Xazus in top lane almost dropped both Kev1n and Aranae as Xazus outplayed his attackers just managing to stay alive after the last ignite tick. However, Millenium later returned with backup in the form of Kerp’s Gragas, and while Xazus bought enough time for the rest of his team to take a free dragon, he fell and the scores set at 2-0. Needing to pick up a kill, ROCCAT went heavy on bottom lane catching out Jree and taking the tower but a swift counter attack from Millennium, and a perfectly timed ultimate from Gragas, cut off their retreat, taking down two of the three fleeing players. A testament, however, to ROCCAT farming skills as despite being 4-1 down, they actually had a minor gold advantage meaning all was still to be played for.
Attempting to further their lead, a confident Millennium tried to counter jungle and catch out Jankos at the red buff, but some excellent positioning by the members of ROCCAT who came to his aid meant that Aranae and his counter jungle assistant Kev1n fell to the team while Jankos walked away on a sliver of health. ROCCAT, refusing to go down easy, picked up a third unanswered kill on a brave Kerp with Vander’s Thresh locking him under the tower and giving the kill over to Overpow. The action didn’t let up as a fight broke out at dragon while MIllenium took it, and the teams traded one for one in the following fight, with two members of Millenium just managing to escape. As the game seemed to be moving into a lull, Aranae got caught lurking around Baron and ROCCAT quickly turned on it with the danger of a smite steal removed. Doing their best to harass them off the Baron or pick up a steal, Millenium weren’t able to fully commit and while they picked up a kill on Celaver, Kev1n fell and ROCCAT secured the Baron. However, ROCCAT did very little with the buff duration other than scare Millennium, slowing the game down, and extend their gold lead. ROCCAT seemed to want Millennium to engage on them and as soon as Baron respawned they got their wish. Jankos caught a cocoon from Elise and Millennium dived in on it but ROCCAT turned on them splitting them up and melting them, turning for their second Baron in a row.
ROCCAT began a systematic end to this game picking up objective after objective. For their last 12 kills, Millennium had only managed to secure three. ROCCAT picked up a third Baron, this time completely without harassment from Millennium. ROCCAT were completely in control but needed to make a move closing the game out for sure. A dive onto the top lane inhibitor of Millenium traded two for one and ROCCAT picked up the inhibitor but still the game went on. However, some tech difficulties cut the game short, giving the win over to ROCCAT. ROCCAT move on up solidifying their position in the top half of the table. Millenium’s nightmare season continues.

Final Score: MIL 8 – 16 ROC (Winner: ROCCAT)
MVP: ROC VandeR (Thresh)

Game 3 – Copenhagen Wolves (5) vs Gambit Gaming (2)

Copenhagen Wolves got off to a strong start and had a good start to the split, but like ROCCAT had a rough week three and this was not a great start to week four. A win here and a loss for SK later meant the Copenhagen Wolves could push up into the top half of the table. Gambit Gaming have, as always, looked dominating, and their losses this split were quickly followed by decisive wins. This was their opportunity to draw level with Fnatic and put pressure on the team that has been in first since game one.
 Gambit went for two unconventional picks with Alex Ich taking Lulu into the mid lane and Genja taking Varus, an AD Carry we haven’t seen much of in a while. Copenhagen Wolves gave us our first 2 v 1 laneswap top today, and put the pressure on hard early game. Gambit however drew first blood utilising Evelynn’s stealth passive to creep up on Unlimited and Forgiven, taking down the support and forcing Forgiven to flash away. Copenhagen Wolves swap top paid off allowing them to drop the first tower. Gambit quickly reacted by taking the first dragon of the game while the lanes rotated into their standard positions. Once again in bottom lane, Evelynn’s stealth came into play as a triple ultimate combo onto Forgiven forced the flash in vain as he goes down, and Gambit nearly secure the follow up kill with a three man tower dive but Annie forced them back. Alex Ich picked up a cheeky kill on cowTard as the Wolves mid laner underestimated his lane opponent’s damage. With action in every lane, another fight broke out in bottom lane, and a gank attempt from Copenhagen Wolves let them get caught by Evelynn and they lost both Annie and Amazing on Wukong to Gambit. The game taking no breaks, the bottom lane was the focus yet again as Gambit dropped both laners, seconds later cowTard finally picks up a kill onto Alex Ich. Then again, in a matter of seconds Darien picks a fight with YoungBuck top but didn’t count on Kayle returning from base and cowTard picks up a second kill. Quickly they try and peel for a dragon, but Evelynn was waiting and just as Amazing started it, Evelynn starts the fight and Gambit take two kills for one loss and take the dragon with them. Gambit quickly took a Baron with a teleport into the pit from Darien, before the Wolves could react.
 The lull in play didn’t last long and the first 5v5 team fight of the game breaks out, Gambit dominating despite Genja missing his big team fighting ultimate. Copenhagen Wolves appear to have no answer for Gambit’s magic-heavy burst team. An over-confident Gambit team gets hit by a flash ultimate from Annie and Alex Ich drops in a second. Unfortunately for the Wolves, they aren’t able to follow it up with anything more than an uncontested dragon. Every fight was messy and could have gone either way at any stage, with constant trades. Gambit still had the gold advantage but their objective takedowns had slowed slightly. Another hectic fight broke out at the Baron pit with Copenhagen Wolves taking one kill and trying to split away but after being chased by Gambit they turned and dropped Alex Ich making it a two for zero trade. Now confident they had the upper hand they chased Gambit back up the top lane but it was then Gambit’s turn for the surprise kills, with cowTard and Amazing dropping.
Gambit’s first Baroned-up attempt to push into the base of the Wolves ended with little tower damage and Alex Ich going down for no return kills. Gambit were waiting for Baron to come back up and as soon as it did, they went for it and a risky contest from the Wolves ended with Gambit walking away with Baron and three kills. Quickly they turned for the Wolves bases and there was nothing the Danish team could do but desperately fight for the towers. It was too little, too late and Gambit took down both remaining players and the nexus. A little harder work than the game merited but the Russians walked away with the win, and have now pulled level with Fnatic.

Final Score: CW 8 – 19 GMB (Winner: Gambit Gaming)
MVP: GMB Diamond (Evelynn)

Game 4 – SUPA HOT CREW (6) vs Millenium (7)

SUPA HOT CREW were coming off a big week three and had the opportunity to capitalise on a downtrodden Millennium. Once again, Millennium were in a position of needing a win, if only for morale at this stage. Both teams were in need of the win to start a salvage of the split.
An early facecheck by Kev1n was about as interesting as the level one engages got, and with standard lanes set up, the game got underway. The team compositions set up for a relatively uninteresting early game, with all lanes gunning to out farm their opponent. However, counting on that, the early bottom lane gank from Aranae on Lee Sin helped to secure the first blood on Migxa’s Sona. Millennium got off to a huge start, like their game with ROCCAT, after another Lee Sin gank bottom lane catches Migxa again, every SUPA HOT CREW member who joined was eventually picked off. This was the beginning of a big snowball for Millennium, and after picking up another two kills and a dragon, the score sat at 1-7 to Milennium and a 4k gold deficit at just under 15 minutes into the game. Kerp’s LeBlanc was a terrifying force, with the ability to one shot nearly anyone from SUPA HOT CREW. The first twenty minutes of this game could hardly be classified as anything short of a murder, Millenium picking off anyone who was left alone. At the 20 minute mark Millenium had doubled the gold lead to 8k and the score was a horrifying 3-13. This was the most one sided game seen this season, and Millenium seemed nervous to close it out fully, looking anything but decisive despite their lead. They were picking off easy kills and team fights but weren’t closing out big objectives. Millennium baited SUPA HOT CREW to the Baron pit and turned on them taking 4 members and pushing the mid lane for the first inhibitor. Less than 5 minutes later and the game was over, with Milennium picking up their much needed win. It wasn’t pretty, even though the scoreline was slightly ridiculous. A tougher opponent would have capitalised on Millennium’s patient play and the game may have swung back to an even playing field.

Final Score: SHC 6 – 28 MIL (Winner: Millennium)
MVP: MIL Creaton (Lucian)

Standings at the end of day one:

  1. Fnatic (7-2)
  2. Gambit Gaming (7-2)
  3. ROCCAT (6-3)
  4. SK Gaming (4-5)
  5. Alliance (3-6)
  6. Copenhagen Wolves (3-6)
  7. Millennium (3-6)
  8. SUPA HOT CREW (3-6)