EU LCS Preview Week 11 – Super Week!
Ten weeks passed just as swiftly as they came. After some incredible turnarounds, slumps, winning streaks, amazing plays, poor calls, tears of defeat and deafening roars of victory, the regular phase of the Spring split comes to an end at Super Week 11. In the most competitive season thus far, six out of the eight teams have sealed their fate and five of them could heave a sigh of relief prior to the final showdown. For the others, now marks the ultimate "step up" moment in their careers as one of two things awaits once Super Week is done - relegation or playoffs, and all of it depends on what happens during the course of those three days. An exhilarating scenario!
A quick look at the table immediately reveals that Millenium is facing relegation. With a rather poor record of 7-17, Kerp's boys were too shaky and out of sync to fight for survival and the disappointing performances during Week 8 and 9 became the final nail in the coffin. This, however does not mean that MIL cannot tamper with the plans of those still in the race. Making the best of a controversial decision, SK Gaming are back on top, tying Fnatic and Alliance with a 14-10 record, while just a win behind await the Russian overlords of Gambit and Poland's pride, ROCCAT. With the title race being so neck-a-neck, we are definitely in for a tie-breaker scenario, so let us see what actually can happen!
Potential outcomes and upsets
The Wolves bite the dust
While Supa Hot Crew are currently sitting in 7th place, this does not necessarily mean that they are out. Only one game away lie the Copenhagen Wolves who went 1-1 in week 10. Both teams have an incredibly tough week, being the underdogs in almost every match up. There is a small detail however. The Wolves are playing Gambit, SK and Alliance, while SHC are pitted against ROCCAT, Millenium and SK. The fourth match is a thriller - they play each other. Now, for Supa Hot Crew to advance, they need a definite win against the Wolves, should the latter lose all of their other fixtures. That would equalize them in the rankings, but with a superior record (potentially 3-1), SHC would take 6th place and go to the playoffs. The Wolves on the other hand, will shut down all hopes of SHC if they win their direct match and upset one of the big names. There is also the possibility of a tie-breaker. If SHC win against Millenium and Forg1ven's team loses all their fixtures, but win in the direct match, the teams will be equal in points and head-to-head record.
The mess on top
The upper part of the table is very densely populated. With Fnatic, SK and Alliance sharing the top (14-10) and Gambit, along with ROCCAT(both 13-11), patiently waiting for a slip-up, we are in for a bizarre scenario. So, which are the potential tie-breaker candidates? First off are the Poles! This week they play SHC, Gambit, Millenium and Fnatic. We could potentially see a tie-breaker if Fnatic lose two games prior to their direct clash with ROCCAT. Then, if the Poles win, the 2-2 head-to-head record and the equal number of points will force them to play again. Alliance will be another thorn in Fnatic's eye. The opener for the week could set the stage for a potential tie-breaker right from the get-go. That will happen only if Rekkles and the lads beat Alliance, but at the end of the day, their points in the table remain the same. Not to mention that SK could also join in on the party given their head-to-head record with Fnatic. A true mess on top of the table. At the end of the day, however, who wouldn't mind more action?
Teams to watch:
As stated earlier, the Wolves have a lot to lose should they fail to perform this week. The team captained by YoungBuck has the chance to remedy the situation only with solid play and merciless disposal of the enemy. Their fixtures this week are Gambit, SK, Alliance and Supa Hot Crew. Unfortunately, they hold negative records against each of their opponents which does not fare good news for the team. Hopefully, Amazing and Forg1ven can rise to the occasion and prove that the Wolves deserve a spot at the playoffs, among Europe's very best.
The Russian Overlords seek blood in week 11. After the decision to remake the game against SK Gaming, Gambit were quite vocal on their social media platforms . Alex Ich stated that his team was demoralized after the decision and the extra game took a toll on his team. Whether that is really the case or not is yet to be seen. As we all know, Gambit can easily turn into end-of-season beasts and completely destroy the opposition, thus securing a better seed coming into the playoffs. The Azubu teams once irritated the Russians, for the sake of Alliance, ROCCAT, Wolves and Fnatic, I hope SK Gaming have not done the same.
The Poles have more or less become the enigma of the EU LCS. One game they are impeccable, taking advantage of every small mistake their opponent does to simply crush him moments later. The next, they struggle to maintain pressure and crumble while trying to properly execute their plan. This is not always the case, however. In a recent interview with our own Travis Gafford, Alliance's AD Carry Tabzz praised ROCCAT's play, saying that despite losing their match they fought very well. The aim for the team this week should be a clean 4-0, ensuring a convenient seed prior to the playoffs.
Players to watch:
Alexey 'Alex Ich' Ichetovkin
Gambit Gaming's heart and soul, Alex Ich, somehow always finds strength and vigor to perform when it counts the most. Now, after the unfortunate events in Weeks 9 and 10, the team needs Commander Ich more than ever. With Diamond by his side, Alex will go above and beyond when Gambit face such strong opposition in a key moment like this. Currently runner-up in Season Total kills with 109, behind xPeke's 114, he will be looking to not only claim first spot in the category, but elevate Gambit's current leader board position in the process.
Maurice 'Amazing' Stuckenschneider
The Wolves' Lee Sin maestro has to step up this week as the team is in a pretty sticky situation. The aforementioned possible relegation scenario is something that I am sure Maurice wishes to avoid, as the squad definitely deserves to be among Europe's finest. Leading the rankings in kill participation with an astounding 7,5 point difference (81.9 to 74.4 for Froggen), Amazing has to do all in his power to turn CowTard, YoungBuck and Forg1ven into monsters via effective ganking, on-point map pressure and exemplary objective control.
Erik 'Tabzz' Van Helvert
The AD Carry of Alliance had a very good time last week. The gradual rise of Alliance over the course of the last ten weeks has been noticed by everyone and with it, the synergy between Tabzz and Nyph has strengthened. Finally finding that "missing piece", the duo which up until week 7 was considered the weak spot of the team, has now become a fully functioning machine of devastation, winning the last 8 games and creating the opportunity to potentially set a new winning streak record for the LCS. With Nyph's MVP title last week, Tabzz will be looking to once again make the best of every chance that his trusty support provides him with and defend the first spot, thus sending Alliance as the number one seed in the European LCS Spring Split playoffs.
Top game to watch:
As luck would have it, this week there are two very interesting games. The first one is the opener - Fnatic versus Alliance. As both are currently tied for first place with a 14-10 record, a potential win here for Fnatic could mean a tie-breaker, but more pieces have to fall into place for that to happen. As of week 10, Alliance hold a 2-1 head-to-head record against Rekkles' team and their current dominant form predicts a win if Fnatic do not have an ace up their sleeve. On the other hand the end-season form of the fanatics should never be underestimated and as we can see below, they also lead in almost every statistic across the board with the minor exception of Minions killed. The two-time EU LCS champions have just regained their composure and their first test is coming very soon.
The second interesting clash is the do or die battle between the Supa Hot Crew and the Copenhagen Wolves. The Crew lead 2-1 in the head-to-head section, but prior to the match, they play a weak Millenium which could easily set the team up for an epic Super Week, should they showcase their A-game. On the other hand, the Copenhagen Wolves are never the ones to tap out and will do all in their power to secure the precious playoff spot. As we can see, apart from the overall KDA ratio, there is little to separate these two teams. An all or nothing, now is the time!
Super Week 11 starts tomorrow at 18:00 CET. Meanwhile do not forget to tune-into onGamers' coverage center for all the content surrounding the European LCS right here on onGamers.com