The EU LCS Summer Split has come to an end, and it’s time once again for playoffs. But this split, things look a little different for EU. For the first time in two years, the consensus best team, headed into the EU LCS Playoffs will be Fnatic. Not only that, but the previously dominant G2 Esports enters the tournament as the second seed from their group: the first time in their history they will have to play a quarterfinal match in the EU LCS Playoffs.
Add into those surprises the fact that both H2K and Unicorns of Love, the constant second and third seeds in Europe, both enter this tournament looking as strong as they have in the last year. Add in the fact that each of these teams is competing to secure their spot at the World Championship, and this could be one of Europe’s most exciting playoff tournaments ever.
The EU LCS Summer Split Playoffs will follow the standard LCS format. The tournament will start with two quarterfinal match ups, one between the second place finishers from one group will play the third place finishers from the other.
The winners of those matches will move on to play against the group stage winners from the regular season who each earned byes into that round. Those teams will then advance either to the Finals or have to play in the third place match in a competition for a few more Championship Points to earn their way to Worlds.
Each series will be a best-of-five.
Coming into the 2017 Summer Split Playoffs, one team looms largest over the EU LCS. Fnatic have returned to the top of the table after two years of struggles. Returning to the Summer Split with the same roster that helped them secure third last split, Fnatic have looked dominant, entering the playoffs with an 11-2 record and the KDA-leading players in Top, Jungle and AD Carry. The best-of-five format for series should help some of the other teams to stand a little more of a chance, but Fnatic will enter playoffs as the heavy favorites.
H2K have not minced words over the last several weeks; the reason they are succeeding is because they play well as a team and this roster works better together than the one they had last year. And that’s no small claim to make about a roster that made the Semi-Finals at Worlds last year. The combination play of H2K’s bottom lane and the successful roam heavy style of Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten end up making for a team based strategy that thrives on strong communication and has made H2K incredibly successful so far this year.
Perhaps the EU LCS’s most consistent team over the last three splits, Unicorns of Love enter the Summer Split Playoffs in third place, and certainly have a strong case to make it to the finals. Their off-kilter style and habit of picking out of meta champions, and winning on them, make them a dangerous opponent in best-of-five series, even if some of their opponents seem to have an advantage.
G2 Esports haven’t had the most graceful fall from the top. Since placing second at the Mid-Season Invitational, G2 has struggled to win domestically, ending the Summer Split at 8-5, making this the first split that didn’t result in a first-place finish. But their success wasn’t so long ago that they should be written off. After all, they have still won the last three EU LCS titles and with the meta solidifying just before Worlds, this could be the perfect place for G2 to regain their previous EU LCS glory.
The best word to describe Splyce during the 2017 Summer Split was solid. They aren’t a great team, and aren’t likely to set the world on fire, but they have strong objective focus, know how to play around the strengths of their champions and are consistently good a choosing team fights. The bad news for Splyce is that none of this makes for an impressive sell heading into playoffs, but if any team should slip up, Splyce should be right there to capitalize on it.
Misfits had a strange off-season heading into the Summer Split. In a decision that was met with something between apathy and praise, they chose to drop Korean jungler Lee “KaKao” Byung-kwon in favor of current jungler Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian. While the decision seemed smart in the first couple weeks, it’s become clear that Misfits simply isn’t the same team that looked dominant during the Spring Split. Limping into Playoffs with a 6-7 record, the only team under .500, their primary hope will be to right the ship and get back into a consistent groove before the Worlds Qualification Gauntlet.
All Times Eastern
Saturday, August 19
Unicorns of Love vs Misfits, 11 A.M., 3-0
Sunday, August 20
G2 Esports vs Splyce, 11 A.M., 3-2
Saturday, August 26
Fnatic vs Misfits, 11 A.M., 3-1
Sunday, August 27
H2K vs G2 Esports, 11 A.M., 3-0
Saturday, September 2
H2K vs Fnatic, 3-2
Sunday, September 3
Misfits vs G2 Esports, 3-0