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Origen clinches EU LCS spot in 5-game thriller

Misfits will face FC Schalke 04 for the final spot Sunday.

Riot Games

After a miserable Summer Split that eliminated the possibility of a repeat Worlds appearance, Origen can rest easy knowing it has at least punched its ticket for next split. The team relied on the win condition that worked most frequently in the regular season, picking late-game compositions and winning long games to take down Challenger champions Misfits 3-2.

Misfits will play FC Schalke 04 Sunday, with the winner earning the final spot in the LCS for the Spring 2017 split.

Misfits entered the series with a lofty reputation as one of the best EU Challenger teams ever, compared with the likes of G2 Esports and Origen (both teams that made the finals in their first LCS splits). With top regional prospects in the top lane (Barney “Alphari” Morris) and at AD Carry (Steven “Hans Sama” Liv), a support with LCK experience (Dong-geun “IgNar” Lee) and a mid laner with LCS experience (Marcin “Selfie” Wolski), the team was starting to make a name for itself.

Origen dominated Game 1, earning early leads in every lane and swiftly winning 10-1 in 31 minutes. Mid laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage (as Cassiopeia) and AD Carry/team owner Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez (as Ashe) both finished the game 4/0/4, while support Glenn “Hybrid” Doornenbal (as Karma) had a perfect 0/0/10 scoreline with 100 percent kill participation.

Misfits blew a 15-0 lead in Game 2, but still managed to take the win in an incredible contest. Alphari helped set the pace of the game early on for the Challenger squad with a 1 vs. 1 kill against Paul “sOAZ” Boyer.

A fight at Dragon earned a triple kill for Hans Sama, giving Misfits a larger lead than any Origen held in the first game.

Even with a 15-0 kill score and a 7k gold lead, Misfits still allowed Origen to get back in it. An overaggressive Baron call by Misfits was punished by an Origen ace, and after a few more fights jungler Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider was able to steal Baron to start mounting the comeback in earnest.

Another over extension from Misfits resulted in another Origen ace to bring the lead within 2k gold, but Misfits still managed to hold on. Selfie popped PowerOfEvil at the beginning of a Baron fight that erupted at 54 minutes, and Misfits’ resulting collapse clinched them the 30-17 win at 56 minutes. Alphari finished the game 7/2/10 on Gnar, Selfie went 9/2/10 on Vladimir and IgNar was 1/4/25 on Karma.

Origen won a 40-minute Game 3 after capitalizing off Misfits mistakes and winning one late-game team fight. The final score was 11-6, with PowerOfEvil 3/1/7 on Cassiopeia and xPeke 3/1/6 on Sivir.

Game 4 was another dominating performance for Misfits, opening up a 2k gold lead by 12 minutes just from farming in standard lanes. Those small advantages turned into big ones, as Misfits rolled to an 11-0, 32-minute victory, holding Origen to zero kills and just two towers taken. IgNar once again had 100 percent kill participation, with an 0/0/11 score on Trundle.

In Game 5, PowerOfEvil locked in a pick he had hovered all series -- Syndra. With Malzahar, Cassiopeia and Vladimir all banned, he blind-picked it, and ended up getting First Blood. An even bigger early advantage, went to Soaz’s Ekko, as Misfits messed up the lane swap so badly Alphari was three levels and 46 CS behind at 8 minutes.

Alphari ended up being the first three deaths of the game, but Misfits found potential a window back into the game with a pair of kills from picks and a crucial stolen Baron from Lamabear.

The teams traded major objectives 37 minutes in -- Origen took Baron (and an inhibitor) and Misfits took Elder Dragon. Misfits earned a pair of picks by killing PowerOfEvil and sOAZ, and throughout the game could rely on Lamabear’s Gragas ults for favorable engages.

But the lane swap error was ultimately too much for Misfits overcome. Their map movements were limited by the fact that all of Origen’s towers still stood for the first 30 minutes of the game, and even when they picked up small advantages they were unable to meaningfully capitalize on them.

Origen took Baron at 47 minutes, trapping Misfits in their own jungle in the ensuing face, killing four and taking the game. The final score was 11-7 in 48 minutes, with standout performances from sOAZ (2/3/9 on Ekko) and PowerOfEvil (4/2/5 on Syndra).

A former Challenger team founded by xPeke, Origen burst onto the EU LCS scene with back-to-back runner-up performances in its first two LCS splits. The team also made a surprise semifinals appearance at Worlds last season before disaster struck this split. After signing well-regarded players Konstantinos “Forg1ven” Tzortziou and Hybrid to replace the star departed bottom lane of Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez, disaster struck when Forg1ven left the team weeks into the split. xPeke, formerly a mid laner, filled in at AD Carry until Challenger player Augustas “Toaster” Ruplys was signed. That experiment didn’t exactly work out either, however, and xPeke was subbed back in before the final week of the season.

Misfits was once the sister organization of NA LCS team Renegades, making the Challenger Series after winning the pre-split qualifier. After running through the Challenger regular season with a 4-1-0 record, Misfits swept Millenium in the Challenger Finals. Misfits will face FC Schalke 04 in the final promotion match Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.