Riot Games released Friday the group draw for the summer split of the European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS).
Defending champion G2 Esports headlines Group A, which will also include Fnatic, Misfits, ROCCAT and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The Unicorns of Love headline Group B with H2K, Splyce, Vitality and the Mysterious Monkeys.
The summer split will be the second under the new format for the European LCS. The top two teams from the previous split, in this case G2 and Unicorns of Love, take the first spot in each group and draft and select via snake draft teams to go into the opposing group. G2 selected H2K first, and that resulted in Fnatic and Misfits, the third and fourth place teams, ending up in Group A with G2.
Teams play two best-of-three matches against the teams in their group and one best-of-three against teams in the other group. The top three teams in each group make the playoffs at the end of the regular season.
The new LCS format has received mixed reviews to this point. Splyce co-owner Marty Strenczewilk told Slingshot last week that the current format doesn’t do much to cater to storylines and rivalries — much like the one his team started to develop at the end of 2016. (G2 and Splyce are again in separate groups for the summer).
“One of the things we lack in esports is really good rivalries,” Strenczewilk said. “G2 and us started building up one a bit last year at the end, and guess what? We don’t play them (as much) this year because we’re not in the same group. So how do you continue building that same rivalry that culminated in us meeting in the European finals when we play each other once over the course of the split and it maybe doesn’t have the weight because G2 at that point, their record was so far ahead it wasn’t an important game? For us it was, but if it’s not for both sides, it’s not nearly as exciting a game.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games