With the 10 weeks of the LCS regular season wrapped up, it’s time to move onto playoffs this weekend. It all begins in Europe, with a pair of games this weekend — one between expected teams and one very much not so.
The Sunday game is the more conventional matchup, pitting H2K against Fnatic. Two long-time European powers who faced off in the third-place game last split, they’re also trending in opposite directions. Fnatic had a miserable finish to the split and head coach Deilor stepped down as a result, while H2K had a red-hot final week, going a perfect 5-0 (including a tiebreaker win over Fnatic).
The other first round matchup is between teams many expected to be fighting just to stay out of relegation when the split started. Giants Gaming, previously a staple for a low-table finish, surprised everyone with a 8-3-7 record, good for third place. They’ll go up against the Unicorns of Love, a team that made some questionable offseason decisions that ended up working out just fine.
It was the first split of the new best-of-two format for Europe, so these teams enter the playoffs having played twice as many games as in previous splits. The top two teams -- defending champions G2 Esports and surprise second-place finishers Splyce — get automatic byes to the semifinal rounds.
G2 is the definite favorite after going 10-8-0 during the regular season and with arguably the region’s best players at four different positions, but Splyce was able to take a draw off of them earlier in the split and has looked significantly better than in the Spring.
The winner of this tournament will gain the region’s No. 1 seed at Worlds. For more on how Worlds qualifying works and the current standings, click here.
All series are best-of-five. All games can be watched on the EULCS1 Twitch stream.
Saturday, August 13
11 a.m. ET: 3. Giants Gaming vs. 6. Unicorns of Love
Sunday, August 14
11 a.m. ET: 4. H2K vs. 5. Fnatic
Saturday, August 20
11 a.m. ET: 2. Splyce vs. highest-ranked quarterfinal winner
Sunday, August 21
11 a.m. ET: 1. G2 vs. lowest-ranked quarterfinal winner
Saturday, August 27
11 a.m. ET: Semifinal loser vs. semifinal loser
Sunday, August 28
11 a.m. ET: Semifinal winner vs. semifinal winner