Winning early means nothing: Joe’s LCS blog

For anyone trying to make any predictions about the rest of the spring European League of Legends Championship Series split, this was an important week. The two teams that are probably on the top of everyone’s list faced off today, and none of the preseason favorites is 3–0. Here are some quick takeaways after today’s five matches:

Winning the early game doesn’t mean that much

Just because a team has a gold lead at any point of the game, that doesn’t it’s going to win the game. None of today’s games featured a gigantic blunder (as Reddit might want you to believe), but there were many swings in gold leads.

G2 Esports came out of the lane swap with a early gold lead, but quickly lost it. Luckily enough, G2 would win the game after back-and-forth mistakes by both teams.

Unicorns of Love had a good early start, with great counter ganks made by Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov, securing two early kills. Diamond couldn’t keep the pressure on, and while UOL attempted to push its advantage with a tower dive, Origen perfectly predicted the move and swiftly took the gold lead after securing multiple kills.

H2K also came out of the early game lane swap with a gold lead. The gold difference constantly hovered around the 500 mark, eventually reaching 900, which lasted for only a minute. A 500 gold lead is good for an individual player, but 500 gold is hardly anything collectively. You could argue that they had superior map control, and there’s some truth to that. But Fnatic made very minimal mistakes, and H2K really couldn’t force its advantage, finally losing a team fight by a great engagement from Fnatic. There was a bad call at Baron by Fnatic, which ultimately resulted in multiple deaths by the Fnatic players, but that hardly was a throw either as the gold lead was still in favor of Fnatic.

Teams need to start looking at Baron as an earlier objective

There were many points throughout the day where a team had an advantage that couldn’t punch through. The best example of this was during the Vitality/Splyce match. Vitality had a gold lead and had its middle turret still standing, yet still couldn’t force a team fight in its advantage. Eventually Ilyas “Shook” Hartsema caught out Splyce’s AD carry, Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup, with an “Insec”, but teams shouldn’t be relying on the mistakes of their opponents. Instead, they need to force mistakes, and the Baron Pit is the perfect place. It’s still early, so eventually teams will catch on, but Baron needs to be contested early on as it was last season.

The Cream will always rise to the top

It might be surprising to see G2 as the only 3–0 team, and Origen at 1–2, but don’t be fooled: G2 has had the easiest schedule so far, and by looking at the sloppy win it had today, the undefeated run won’t last.

It seems as though Origen finally is starting to catch stride, as it pretty much decimated UOL after an early hiccup. With great map and vision control alongside mechanical superiority, expect Origen to live up to the hype.

The same can be said about Fnatic, which had a huge win against H2K today. While losing the early game lane swap, Fnatic was able to make good engages to finally get ahead. It seemed to be on the right track understanding how to play with this new roster.

And lastly, H2K. Going into this game, H2K was the favorites, but I would hesitate to call it a huge upset. Fnatic is still a good team, and is going to be a contender for the top three when the dust settles. With that being said, H2K looked like the superior team in the early phase of the game. The gold lead wasn’t as huge as it appeared. H2K simply was in the wrong place at the wrong time on the map, and Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten and Lewis “Noxiak” Felix capitalized in created a good engage for Fnatic, swinging the gold lead into Fnatic’s favor. H2K fans have nothing to worry about.

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