The European League of Legends Championship Series has returned for the 2016 Summer Split, with a whole-new format and plenty of new rosters seeking to challenge G2 Esports' place on top of the pack. EU is moving from a best-of-one format in the regular season to best-of-twos, meaning it is one of the only regions in the world that will allow ties to be possible.
The season starts off with some intriguing matchups, led by the very first: a finals rematch between G2 and Origen. Last time these two teams met, G2 won three games to one, and since then G2 has 1) put on an embarrassing performance at MSI 2) taken away Origen's star-studded bottom lane. Origen will certainly be looking for revenge Thursday, but on paper it certainly looks like G2's the most talented team in the region.
FC Schalke 04 (formerly Elements) will also play its first series since being purchased by the German soccer club in what should be a close matchup against Unicorns of Love. Keep an eye on Splyce vs. Vitality, as well, and listen to our interview with Splyce head coach Jakob "YamatoCannon" Mebdi where he breaks down the matchup.
Below, we will keep this post updated with the VODs for each game, as well as results, box scores and observations. If you are hoping to avoid spoilers, do not click the "show/hide series results" button below each set of VODs. If you do want to know the results, click away!
Origen vs. G2 Esports
Result: G2 win (2-0)
Game 1 (Origen blue side, G2 red side)
Win: G2 Esports (9-2)
Player of the game: Perkz (5/0/2 on Fizz)
Bans: Zed, LeBlanc, Ryze; Braum, Lucian, Bard
|Soaz (Maokai) 2||0/1/1||Kikis (Ekko) 1||3/0/3|
|Amazing (Nidalee) 1||0/2/2||Trick (Kindred) 2||1/1/6|
|PowerOfEvil (Varus) 3||1/3/1||Perkz (Fizz) 3||5/0/2|
|FORG1VEN (Corki) 2||1/0/0||Zven (Caitlyn) 1||0/0/5|
|Hybrid (Janna) 3||0/3/0||Mithy (Soraka) 2||0/1/6|
Origen elected for a poke composition, surprisingly picking FORG1VEN's signature Corki despite it being a champion not seen at the pro level for a while. With Varus against Fizz, Janna in the bottom lane and pressure from Nidalee, that should have been enough to give Origen an early advantage against the defending European champions.
It did not work out that way, however: aggressive play by Trick gave Perkz a big lead in the mid lane, and Origen was never able to come back. By 11 minutes, Perkz was 4/0/1. By 20 minutes, G2 had a gold lead exceeding 5k. By 30 minutes, G2 had a Baron buff and was able to push into Origen's base nearly uncontested, winning a final fight and taking the game in clinical fashion.
Game 2 (G2 blue side, Origen red side)
Win: G2 Esports (14-7)
Player of the game: Mithy (0/3/4 on Tahm Kench)
Bans: Braum, Bard, Rek'Sai; Ryze, Nidalee, Trundle
|Kikis (Maokai) 2||0/5/3||Soaz (Fizz) 1||7/1/4|
|Trick (Kindred) 1||0/2/4||Amazing (Elise) 2||1/3/7|
|Perkz (Azir) 3||4/2/1||PowerOfEvil (Viktor) 3||4/0/4|
|Zven (Caitlyn) 2||3/2/2||FORG1VEN (Lucian) 1||2/0/6|
|Mithy (Tahm Kench) 3||0/3/4||Hybrid (Alistar) 2||0/3/8|
The two teams essentially reversed team composition strategies from the first game, as G2 picked up a siege/poke composition led by Azir and Caitlyn and Origen chose a pick composition led by Elise, Fizz and Alistar. A surprise Tahm Kench pick by Mithy helped give G2 some extra tools to deal with Origen's composition, as he repeatedly devoured teammates caught out by roaming Origen members.
As expected when drafting Elise, Origen held an early game advantage thanks to some key ganks from Amazing, giving Soaz a lead. This didn't hurt, either: Soaz followed that up by winning a miracle 1 vs. 1 against Kikis, teleporting away just in time to avoid a charging Trick.
Even with a kill lead at 20 minutes, Origen only held a 1k gold advantage due to G2 keeping pace on objectives. G2 was able to turn that into a 2k gold lead by 28 minutes despite being down two kills, and went for a Baron to press their advantage. Amazing stole the objective away, however, keeping Origen firmly in the game despite dying after. G2 grouped up to try and press for more turrets anyway, but Origen picked off Trick and Mithy to take the gold lead.
The next Baron went to G2 at 35 minutes (three Mountain Drakes helped), allowing the defending champions to siege up for more turrets, but a massive flank by Hybrid and soaZ at 38 minutes killed four G2 members and allowed Origen to take the Elder Drake.
G2 took the next Baron with ease at 43 minutes, but Origen was able to hold them off once again. At 28 minutes, G2 picked off Amazing and used that to take Elder Drake uncontested, pushing into the base and winning the game and series.
H2K vs. Roccat
Game 1 (H2K blue side, Roccat red)
Win: Roccat (15-9)
Player of the game: Betsy (3/2/5 on Swain)
Bans: Vladimir, Lucian, Jayce; Azir, Bard, Trundle
|Odoamne (Gnar) 3||3/2/4||Parang (Ekko) 1||3/1/6|
|Jankos (Nidalee) 3||3/2/6||Airwaks (Kindred) 1||6/4/6|
|Ryu (Ryze) 1||1/3/6||Betsy (Swain) 2||3/2/5|
|Freeze (Caitlyn) 2||2/4/2||Steelback (Jhin) 2||3/0/10|
|Vander (Braum) 2||1/3/4||Raise (Thresh)3||0/2/8|
Game one was off to a rocky start for H2K, with Jankos getting caught out in the mid-lane by Airwaks and Betsy, giving first blood to the former. Airwaks tried to ride out his gold lead, but ended up overconfident, giving kills away in the enemy jungle twice after while trying to invade.
H2K kept a consistent gold lead throughout the game, despite the fact that Steelback was destroying Freeze in CS and Roccat was able to sneak Baron and keep up with objectives.
Freeze was then picked off in the mid-lane and Roccat was able to score an ace, thanks to Steelback's ability to tuck away in the the jungle and pull off an amazing Curtain Call, chunking out H2K for easy clean-up. Again after this, Roccat showed their synergy and impressive team focus by chasing H2K back and scoring another ace, with the help of Airwaks getting in an impressive flank.
Game 2 (ROCCAT blue side, H2K red)
Win: H2K (22-5)
Player of the game: Jankos (6/1/15 on Lee Sin)
Bans: Azir, Ryze, Maokai; Vladimir, Kindred, Jayce
|Parang (Nautilus) 3||1/8/2||Odoamne (Ekko) 1||3/0/14|
|Airwaks (Nidalee) 1||3/2/2||Jankos (Lee Sin) 2||6/1/15|
|Betsy (Swain) 2||0/4/4||Ryu (Viktor) 3||7/1/9|
|Steelback (Caitlyn) 3||1/4/0||Freeze (Lucian) 1||4/0/6|
|Raise (Bard) 2||0/4/5||Vander (Braum) 2||2/3/14|
H2K snapped back in game two, thanks to Jankos' frequent early assassinations on Lee Sin. He was able to zip in and out and though Roccat tried to catch them, he was just too slippery.
He was able to make all these assassinations because of the extreme ward coverage that H2K had over Roccat. When H2K had wards just about everywhere, Roccat only had them in the top blue-side jungle, since they were unable to push much further than that.
After getting double inhibitors and returning back to base to play it safe, H2K was able to bring it home by acing Roccat. Ryu showed how powerful he could be on Viktor, grabbing a quadrakill before the match ended.
FC Schalke 04 vs. Unicorns of Love
Game 1 (Schalke blue side, UOL red)
Win: FC Schalke 04 (16-4)
Player of the game: Fox (8/2/4 on Vladimir)
Bans: Braum, Swain, Ryze; Fizz, Trundle, Bard
|FC Schalke 04||K/D/A||Unicorns of Love||K/D/A|
|Steve (Maokai) 2||2/0/13||Vizicsacsi (Ekko) 1||1/2/0|
|Gilius (Nidalee) 1||1/2/11||Move (Kindred) 1||1/4/1|
|Fox (Vladimir) 3||8/2/4||Exileh (Viktor) 2||1/5/1|
|MrRallez (Lucian) 2||5/0/6||Veritas (Twitch) 3||1/2/2|
|Sprattel (Alistar) 3||0/0/14||Hylissang (Taric) 2||0/3/3|
FC Schalke 04 welcomed themselves into the LCS scene by smacking up the Unicorns of Love. Fox led the team to victory, demolishing just about everyone as Vladimir. He started off with a solid solo-kill against Exileh in the mid-lane, and though UOL tried to shut him down, they couldn't keep him down.
Vladimir just has too much sustain and health and UOL didn't have enough burst damage to blow him up immediately. They also didn't know who to focus first, with both Fox and MrRalleZ both stacking kills and becoming major threats.
S04 continued to farm dragons (ending with five total) and pick off players until they eventually were able to wreck the rest of UOL's base.
Game 2 (UOL blue side, Schalke red)
Win: FC Schalke 04 (25-2)
Player of the game: Gilius (8/0/8 on Elise)
Bans: Fizz, Vladimir, Ekko; Nidalee, Ryze, Bard
|Unicorns of Love||K/D/A||FC Schalke 04||K/D/A|
|Vizicsacsi (Maokai) 2||0/4/2||Steve (Poppy) 3||3/0/7|
|Move (Kindred) 1||0/9/1||Gilius (Elise) 2||8/0/8|
|Exileh (Azir) 3||0/7/1||Fox (Viktor) 2||10/2/9|
|Veritas (Ezreal) 3||2/4/0||MrRallez (Lucian) 1||3/0/7|
|Hylissang (Trundle) 2||0/1/2||Sprattel (Braum) 1||1/0/12|
Schalke 04 managed to clean out Unicorns of Love in their second match, taking all that they could and racking up plenty of Fantasy LCS points. This time, Gilius led the way for the team, getting first blood on Move after forcing him to use flash shortly after spawn.
Gilius looked like he was everywhere, and had major map presence throughout the match. UOL tried their best to get their hands on any kills they could, but they could only manage to grab two on Fox.
Schalke was so dominant that towards the end, the match turned into a half-joke about how Steve couldn't get many kills. Casters laughed as even Sprattel was taking kills from what (apparently) should have been Steve's.
Splyce vs. Vitality
Game 1 (Splyce blue side, Vitality red)
Win: Splyce (9-1)
Player of the game: Kobbe (6/0/3 on Lucian)
Bans: Trundle, Kindred, Graves; Ryze, Nidalee, Fizz
|Wunder (Ekko) 2||0/0/4||Cabochard (Maokai) 1||0/1/1|
|Trashy (Gragas) 2||1/0/7||Mightybear (Rek'Sai) 1||0/3/1|
|Sencux (Vladimir) 3||1/0/2||Nukeduck (LeBlanc) 3||1/2/0|
|Kobbe (Lucian) 1||6/0/3||Police (Caitlyn) 2||0/2/0|
|Mikyx (Bard) 3||1/1/8||KaSing (Braum) 2||0/1/1|
Splyce controlled the early game thanks to three excellent ganks mid lane by Trashy. At 11 minutes, he picked up First Blood by killing Nukeduck, and two minutes later he returned with a beautiful ultimate, giving a kill to Kobbe. At 18 minutes, Trashy returned again, hitting another tremendous ultimate (this time on Police) and giving a kill to Mikyx.
At 25 minutes, Splyce secured Baron, killing Mightybear immediately after to further its advantage and take its fifth turret of the game. A minute later, Kobbe picked up a triple kill right outside Vitality's base, and Splyce pushed in to win the game in swift fashion.
Game 2 (Vitality blue side, Splyce red)
Win: Vitality (12-4)
Player of the game: Nukeduck (3/0/8 on Lissandra)
Bans: Fizz, Vladimir, Bard; Ryze, Nidalee, Braum
|Cabochard (Maokai) 2||6/1/5||Wunder (Ekko) 1||1/4/2|
|Mightybear (Kindred) 1||2/2/5||Trashy (Graves) 2||0/1/4|
|Nukeduck (Lissandra) 3||3/0/8||Sencux (Viktor) 3||2/2/1|
|Police (Ezreal) 2||0/0/7||Kobbe (Lucian) 1||1/3/3|
|KaSing (Sivir) 3||1/1/7||Mikyx (Trundle) 2||0/2/3|
Unlike in Game 1, Vitality held complete control over this game thanks to a pair of early ganks by Mightybear, killing Wunder twice. The gold was basically even at 20 minutes, but Vitality's map control allowed them to take a 23-minute Baron.
Sencux's Viktor did a ludicrous amount of damage for Splyce, but Vitality was able to keep him at bay with lockdown from Maokai and Lissandra, securing objectives (including three Infernal Drakes and two Barons) and picking up kills (a 9-3 advantage by 30 minutes).
At 32 minutes, Splyce was able to pick off Mightybear to start off a fight, but Vitality responded with three kills to win the game and pick up the draw.
Fnatic vs. Giants
Result: Fnatic win (2-0)
Game 1 (Fnatic blue side, Giants red)
Win: Fnatic (23-9)
Player of the game: YellowStar (0/2/17 on Braum)
Bans: Lucian, Maokai, Vladimir; Ryze, Nidalee, Kindred
|Gamsu (Ekko) 2||5/0/11||Smittyj (Trundle) 1||3/3/2|
|Spirit (Lee Sin) 2||4/3/10||Maxlore (Elise) 2||1/5/7|
|Febiven (LeBlanc) 3||6/2/5||NighT (Azir) 2||3/4/4|
|Rekkles (Kalista) 3||8/2/6||Sonstar (Caitlyn) 1||0/6/6|
|YellowStar (Braum) 1||0/2/17||Hustlin (Nautilus) 3||2/5/5|
This game was reminiscent from many Fnatic games last split without YellowStar: Fnatic gets an early advantage, looks like clearly the better team, but still keeps the other team in it late by getting caught out of position and playing overconfident with a lead.
The game started out miserably for Giants, as Rekkles picked up First Blood in the first minute of the game thanks to a smart invade from Spirit and YellowStar, and Fnatic did not lose the gold lead from that point on. Even with an 11k lead at 33 minutes, however, Giants was still able to get some picks, but by 35 minutes Fnatic closed it out for the win with an ace.
Game 2 (Fnatic red side, Giants blue)
Win: Fnatic (25-3)
Player of the game: Febiven (9/0/10 on Azir)
Bans: Zed, Lucian, Kindred; Ryze, Braum, Nidalee
|Smittyj (Trundle) 2||0/5/2||Gamsu (Ekko) 1||4/0/15|
|Maxlore (Elise) 2||1/6/1||Spirit (Lee Sin) 1||3/1/12|
|NighT (Vladimir) 1||0/4/2||Febiven (Azir) 2||9/0/10|
|Sonstar (Sivir) 3||1/5/1||Rekkles (Kalista) 2||8/2/10|
|Hustlin (Nautilus) 3||1/5/2||YellowStar (Janna) 3||1/0/21|
Giants took an early lead this game when Rekkles gave up First Blood to Hustlin with a little too much aggression in the bottom lane, but Fnatic still put on a much better performance than Game 1. At 13 minutes, Giants' bot lane pushed aggressively for another fight, but as both junglers collapsed, Spirit got there first. With a brief 3 vs. 2 advantage, Rekkles killed Sonstar, and when Febiven arrived from the mid lane seconds later, two kills were picked up for the Azir.
That advantage turned into big one at the first team fight, 18 minutes in. That went 5-0 in Fnatic's favor, and Giants, recognizing its chances of winning were quickly diminshing, tried to rush a surprise Baron directly at 20 minutes. But even that went awry: Spirit hopped into the Baron pit and stole the objective, and Fnatic cleaned up for another ace. Five minutes later, Giants picked off Rekkles, but that too ended poorly: four kills went to Fnatic