EU LCS Week 5
EU LCS Week 5
Amid the tumult of Super Week at the European League of Legends Championship Series, ambition triumphed over experience as several LCS Qualifier teams triumphed over Europe’s Season 2 veterans. Evil Geniuses lost to the scrappy heroes of Dragonborns and Against All Authority, while the struggling Copenhagen Wolves shocked the entire scene with an upset victory over Fnatic on their way to a 3-2 Super Week record. As the EU LCS enters Week 5, the coveted Top 4 positions are no longer secure.
This week, Evil Geniuses, SK Gaming and Fnatic will compete in 7 of the 8 matches. All prizewinners in Seasons 1 or 2, these longstanding teams need to play to the historical levels as they face newly-threatening competition from the Wolves, aAa and DB.
EG has the most to lose in the upcoming matches. If their poor performance during Super Week and IEM Hannover extends to Week 5, they risk being the first of the Season 2 veterans in both EU and NA to drop into the bottom half of the leaderboard. Conversely, Dragonborns stand to profit from Evil Geniuses’ loss – if they can successfully fight their way through their Week 5 gauntlet of EG, SK and aAa, they could slide into the 4th-place slot.
The Enemy of My Enemy
Against All Authority may be lower in the ranks than Dragonborns, but their thirst and ambition are not poorer for it. The Week 5 schedule pairs them up with Dragonborns as each challenges both Evil Geniuses and SK Gaming, allowing the LCS Qualifier teams to scout desperately needed information for their own matches.
That partnership comes to an abrupt end in their face-off match. Even as both teams are eager to displace EG and SK, aAa is eager to shake free of their seventh place rank and can tie DB with a victory in their head-to-head contest. One of these challengers will be slightly derailed in their quest to surpass EG and SK, with the victor picking up a significant lead heading into the second half of the split.
Meanwhile, Fnatic has its own problems. Not only did they perform far below their own expectations at IEM Hannover, going a disappointing 1-4 in their group stage matches, but their return to the LCS schedule is already fraught with peril. Both Evil Geniuses and SK Gaming are gunning for Fnatic, starting on Saturday, March 16. But, perhaps more importantly, Week 5 is also the third match between Fnatic and the Copenhagen Wolves, a series tied at one win apiece after the Wolves stole victory in the instant classic during Super Week.
The Scent of Blood
For those who missed the Super Week Saturday matches, the VOD of the game between EU LCS pack leaders Fnatic and the last place Copenhagen Wolves is a must-see. The Wolves had struggled mightily in the preceding weeks to no avail, their frustrations stemming from the initial absence of AP Carry Bjergsen, but continuing even after his LCS debut. Fnatic, having looked nigh unbeatable during a five-game victory streak, was heavily favored to win the match.
In the veteran’s favor, they nearly did, as most of the game went according to plan. Near the end, the Wolves’ nexus was exposed and damaged, and everything seemed set for yet another Fnatic victory. But one crucial error in judgment later, the tide had turned upon the Season 1 World Champions, as the Copenhagen Wolves tore through a defenseless mid lane after securing an ace at minimal expense. When the smoke cleared, the Wolves stood triumphant and Fnatic was left as shocked as the many victims of xPeke’s frequent backdoor victories.
Fnatic appeared to still be reeling when time came for the IEM World Champions in Hannover, Germany. They suffered through a litany of defeats at the hands of everybody in Group A, only salvaging their pride with a single victory over paiN, the Brazilian newcomers to the international scene. With wins against all three of their Week 5 opponents under their belt, Fnatic will need to recreate past successes to get back on the path to catching LCS leaders Gambit BenQ.
Will the eighth-place team finish off Fnatic on Week Five? Or will the cornered former world champions bare their own fangs as the Wolves circle upon them? Both teams go for the jugular on Sunday, March 17, in a rubber match not to be missed.