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Splyce advances to EU LCS finals after star performance from Wunder

Riot Games

Two splits ago, Splyce was playing in the Challenger Series as Dignitas EU. Last split, Splyce finished in eighth place and had to fight their way out of the promotion tournament.

This split, they’re going to the EU LCS finals.

The second-seeded team came back from a 2-1 series deficit to defeat No. 4 H2K 3-2 in the semifinals Saturday. Splyce will face the winner of G2 Esports vs. Unicorns of Love in the final in Krakow.

H2K can still clinch an automatic spot at Worlds by winning the third-place game, as long as G2 repeats as European champions. Splyce can clinch a spot by winning the final or if H2K loses in the third-place game.

It was an excellent series for Splyce top laner Wunder who put together a string of dominating performances on Gnar, using the champion in all five games and going 22/14/17 on the champion. Splyce also showed more flexibility in the pick-and-ban phase, while H2K picked pretty much the same team for the last three games of the series.

This series saw a clash of styles: H2K largely depended on Jankos to build early leads for his laners, while Splyce’s advantage in the mid-to-late game often gave them the advantage in otherwise even skirmishes.

In Game 1, H2K’s game plan worked to perfection. Despite Splyce picking up First Blood, H2K built up a massive early lead thanks to a huge early mistake from Wunder that caused him to die twice in a row at his own tower. Jankos helped Odoamne snowball that lane, and by 11 minutes H2K had a 3.5k gold lead.

Splyce almost fought back with a pair of picks in the mid game, but an H2K ace at Baron thanks to some fantastic Taric play by Vander secured the victory.

H2K won this game 13-4 in 36 minutes. Jankos finished the game 0/0/11 on Rek’Sai.

Game 2 saw Splyce respond, grabbing Taliyah in the draft and using her roaming potential to great effect. Despite messing up early on a delayed lane swap, Splyce was able to keep the early game close enough to build a huge lead in the mid- to late-game thanks to superior 5 vs. 5 play.

At 34 minutes, Splyce really locked up the game, turning a double kill from Kobbe into a Baron, which turned into another double kill from Kobbe, which turned into an ace. Splyce won 13-2 in 41 minutes, with final scores of 5/0/6 for Sencux’s Taliyah and 6/0/4 for Kobbe’s Jhin.

H2K altered its strategy in Game 3, leaning into a solution for its weakness rather than further into its strength. The team picked Gangplank and Vladimir into losing lanes, counting on the champions’ hyper-scaling to help counter Splyce’s impressive mid- and late-game play. It worked: the game was over 40 minutes long, and H2K won to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Baron helped, too.

With H2K holding a lead and waiting for the late game and Splyce too far behind to really do anything, both teams ended up stalling out the game until a very quick team fight in Splyce’s base netted H2K a clean 5-0 ace and the 13-3 win at 42 minutes.

H2K went with the exact same team composition in Game 4, pairing the hyper-carry duo of Vladimir and Gangplank with three globals, but Splyce answered. In particular, Wunder had a, well, wunderful game on Gnar, routinely outplaying multiple H2K players.

Splyce was able to build a lead off of Wunder’s play, and later won a 5-2 team fight when he basically took on the entire H2K team by himself.

For his piece de resistance, Wunder miraculously avoided an H2K collapse at 37 minutes, allowing his teammates to counter collapse and Kobbe to pick up a triple kill. The game ended 22-11 at 38 minutes, with Wunder finishing 9/3/6 on Gnar and Kobbe 8/2/9 on Sivir.

Splyce got the Sivir-Gnar combination once again in Game 5, and made H2K pay. Wunder picked up First Blood at 14 minutes, and after an ensuing fight pushed Splyce away Trashy returned to steal dragon.

Further picks for Splyce extended their advantage, and H2K was fully broken after a bizarre sequence of events. At 29 minutes, Splyce went for an early Baron but overstayed, causing H2K to win a 3-2 fight. Wunder and Mikyx miraculously ran away:

H2K went for Baron, and the two remaining Splyce members returned due with Tahm Kench’s ult, picking up a double kill for Wunder and the 13-4 win in 32 minutes. Wunder finished the game 8/0/2