After finishing in last place in the Summer Split and struggling to an unconvincing 3-2 victory over Millenium in the first round of the Promotion Series, expectations weren’t exactly high for Team ROCCAT going into Friday’s match against eighth-place FC Schalke 04. But led by more star performances from mid laner Felix “Betsy” Edling’s Vladimir and AD Carry Pierre “Steeelback” Medjaldi’s Jhin and a terrific day for jungler Jonas “Memento” Elmarghichi, ROCCAT earned a spot in the 2017 EU LCS Spring Split by beating Schalke 04 3-1.
Schalke 04 will now face the loser of Friday’s Misfits vs. Origen series on Sunday for the final LCS spot.
ROCCAT picked up an early lead in Game 1 thanks to proactive ganks from Memento. Every ROCCAT player picked up at least one kill in the early game, and it was a swift 13-1, 29-minute route, with four kills apiece for Betsy and Steeelback.
Memento built an early lead for ROCCAT in Game 2 as well, netting his team the first two kills of the game with a proactive gank mid. Soon after, the team started grouping, winning a three-for-1 trade before an even bigger fight broke out mid.
Schalke 04 was able to strike back in this game, winning a 5-1 fight and taking Baron 26 minutes in. But ROCCAT was able to pick up two kills after the Baron was taken, and won the next two fights to win the game 19-9 in just a slightly longer game than the first one. Of ROCCAT’s 19 kills, Betsy (6/1/9 on Vladimir) and Steeelback (7/1/6 on Jhin) combined for 13 of them.
Betsy and Steeelback were able to secure Vladimir and Jhin once again for Game 3, and ROCCAT jumped out to another early lead after a 14-minute dive in the bottom lane netted Steeelback a triple kill. But Schalke 04 mid laner Hampus “Fox” Myhre’s Malzahar helped his team pick up three kills in a fight at 25 minutes, picking up Baron and taking the gold lead.
A 31-minute team fight started with Steeelback picking off enemy AD Carry Rasmus “MrRalleZ” Skinneholm, but Schalke 04 collapsed on ROCCAT thanks to an excellent Ekko stun from top laner Etienne “Steve” Michels and tons of damage from Fox’s Malzahar, earning the ace.
The next fight at 36 minutes went 4-0 in Schalke 04’s favor, including a triple kill for Steve, securing an 18-10 win to stay alive in the series. Steve finished the game 8/2/6 on Ekko, while Fox was 6/0/7 on Malzahar and support Hampus “sprattel” Abrahamsson went 0/3/15 on Taric.
Game 4 saw Betsy back on Vladimir again but Steeelback move to Lucian. The game started close, with the two teams trading kills back and forth, but ROCCAT gained the game’s first real advantage by killing Fox’s Kassadin five times in the first 25 minutes.
Already with a 5k gold lead at 26 minutes, ROCCAT completed a clean 5-0 ace near Baron, gaining a massive lead.
ROCCAT was able to transition that into the victory, winning the game 14-3 in 29 minutes to take the series 3-1. Memento finished the game 4/0/9 on Hecarim, while Betsy was 3/1/3 on Vladimir and Steeelback 2/0/4 on Lucian.
Formerly known as Elements, FC Schalke 04 was purchased by the German football club before the start of this split. After a strong start saw them in fourth place after Week 5, Schalke 04 went 0-4-4 down the stretch to finish in eighth.
Team ROCCAT has been in the EU LCS since Spring 2014, finishing 3rd that split and fourth that summer. Fortunes haven’t looked quite so well since then: the team has finished 8th, 5th/6th, 9th and 10th in the splits that have followed.