At the end of Week 2 of the European League of Legends Championship Series, five teams are 3–1. Today’s games were more action packed than Thursday, and the overall upsets and evolution of the metagame has been awesome in Europe. Here are the most important developments this afternoon.
Europe is wide open
Just looking at the standings you can see how wide open Europe is. That’s even more clear after watching the games.
Origen is easily the best example of this. It should be sitting with a 2–2 record instead of 1–3. Origen was ahead the whole entire game against Unicorns of Love and made two giant blunders that any seasoned team shouldn’t be making. Multiple members or Origen even posted on social media how they were actually very happy with the game today, even though they didn’t come out with the win.
Fnatic, despite a tough loss, should not be counted out for a top-three contender. Remember, there has only been four games total for each team to play. That’s such a small number of times being together and playing on stage. Fnatic has a lot of talent and in a lot of instances overlooked small parts of the game. Although the Poppy pick was very questionable, Fnatic’s game play was not, and some of the team fights could have easily swung in its favor. (Steelback should have died in the team fight around baron, but Noxiac flubbed an Alistar combo). Don’t take anything away from UOL, though, as it played very well.
Right now, H2K is the talk of the league. The best part about its win against G2 Esports today was that it was against a good team. G2 is underlooked right now and played well against what many believe is the best team in Europe. The draft from G2 was somewhat experimental with the Udyr pick, and its team comp might be a little questionable, but it was worth the shot. G2 knew going into the draft it was facing a powerful team, and I’m glad it tried to pull out off meta picks. G2 definitely had a specific plan going into the game, which is a good sign.
It is time to abandon Corki in bottom lane and diversify the ADC role
There has been a huge resurgence of Kalista lately, but the reason for this is how powerful she makes her support. No one is picking champions that do particularly well against her. Corki is an example of one of these picks, as he doesn’t do that great against her in lane and is a much worse late-game AD carry. Corki is a great flex pick when it comes to the draft, but he isn’t that powerful as an ADC. It’s difficult to understand the same ADCs being picked over and over. We haven’t seen Tristana, Vayne, or any other champion that scales much better than the popular picks in Lucian, Ezreal, Kalista, and Corki.
Corki is not popular in solo queue, and there’s a reason for it: he is not a powerful ADC. (Corki’s popularity in January ranges from about 5 to 8 percent, whereas popular ADCs such as Lucian and Ezreal are in the upper 20s lower 30s) The mid Corki pick is much better when you can draft a team around it, something you don’t see in solo queue, but we should be seeing the value of the champion fall as a flex draft pick.
Graves Jungle has reached Europe and is here to stay
Seeing Graves picked today was good because when put in the right hands, he can be very devastating. Having yet another marksman jungler opens up the metagame even further. The double and triple AD comp is super effective when there is good support champs put around them, such as Alistar and Tahm Kench. (The best example today being the comp that Splyce had against ROCCAT).
Overall it was a great week in Europe and I’m excited to see that the metagame is already evolving from day to day.
Photos courtesy of Riot Games.