After a week riddled with visa issues, the European League of Legends Championship Series entered Week 3 with a few teams short-handed. Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov and Yoo “Ryu” Sang-ook weren’t allowed to play on their respective teams, but at the end of the day, it seemed like their absences didn’t matter much, as each team played without missing a beat.
Fnatic is not a top 4 team in Europe. Possibly not even top 6
Fnatic played probably its worst game in years today. Martin “Rekkles” Larsson has the worst overall stats in the EU LCS, and he was constantly behind in minion kills all game. Granted, he was on Ezreal, who takes some time to get going, and playing against a Lucian, but it is still disappointing. Rekkles doesn’t seem like the real problem, though it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is. Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten isn’t doing much in mid, having even some uncharacteristic mechanical mistakes. Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon had many questionable deaths, and not affecting his lanes or the opposite junglers as he should be. There’s a definite lack of a shot-caller. In many interviews, Rekkles has said the shot-calling is somewhat split among the team, himself included. Fnatic looks sloppy and noncommittal a lot of the time. And though Rekkles is an experienced player, shot-calling should not be the job of an AD carry, no matter how seasoned he is.
Don’t Count out Origen
Record-wise, Origen is not in the top four, but it looks better each week. It took time to get going today against ROCCAT, but Origen became dominant by mid game. When on the same page, Origen looks like it can be the best team in Europe, but the team has been maddeningly inconsistent. No one should count out Origen, and once given the opportunity versus one of the top 4 teams, Origen will come out on top.
The bottom two teams look lost
Starting out the season, ROCCAT didn’t look to be in ninth place on Week 3. Through the last two weeks, it didn’t look that bad, with some small glimpses of hope. But the struggles have persisted. Simon “Fredy122” Payne looked decent in the first two weeks, with some small mistakes when engaging or using teleport. I was actually quite impressed with Karim “Aïrwaks” Benghalia’s play in Week 1, despite the loss, but the rest of the team isn’t there. I was happy to finally see Vayne coming through today, but after seeing Mohammad “Safir” Tokhi amount to pretty much nothing, I regret my expectations. Simply put, Safir looks like the worst ADC in the LCS. I’m not sure there’s hope of a turnaround.
As for Giants, nothing looks good. Isaac “Xpepii” Flores gained some recognition last year for having some potential, but the reason he was dominant on some games last summer was because he was playing champions he should have never been on. Xpepii’s most memorable games were when he was on Runeglaive Ezreal, which was so broken, Riot had to totally change the item thanks to Ezreal alone. This season, Xpepii has looked terrible, and today he wasn’t able to do anything to stop his lane opponent, Chres “Sencux” Laursen, who dominated the map with his 10–0–5 Leblanc. It was some great overall play by Sencux, knowing how to abuse Leblanc’s strengths, but there is no way any good team in the LCS should let anyone get 10 kills.
Overall, there’s plenty of room for league-wide improvement. The top teams, such as H2K and G2 look good, but the region looks bad as a whole. As a spectator, most of the games are boring, and as analyst, most games are very sloppy. Over and over, lane swaps are being botched when teams are not executing the minion wave bounce correctly. This will never hold up against top teams on an international level, even against North America, who have always been the worst out of the major regions. Maybe the spring split is just a rebuilding time, and Europe can improve with the best-of-two format once the summer split rolls around. But who knows?