Article:Season 3 European LCS Summer Split - Week 9 Super Preview
|Season 3 European LCS Summer Split - Week 9 Super Preview|
|It’s time for the European LCS Season 3 Summer Split to come to an end and for the eight teams that took part in it to know where they will be headed, whether that be Gamescom for the European Playoffs or go home empty-handed and into relegation.
The qualified teams will fight for a chance to be one of the three teams to represent the European region in the Season 3 World Championship. The top two will be guaranteed a seed in the Season 4 Spring Split and would secure their jobs until the end of that split.
All teams can still qualify for the playoffs. Additionally, all but Lemondogs could drop out of playoff contention. To make things more complicated, some teams may have wanted to keep some strategies secret, but will have to display them just to have a shot at playoff contention. We will be taking a look at every team and see their playoff objectives.
For our numbers, we have simulated all possible (1048576) outcomes on a computer and made them readily digestible in percentage form.
This team is one of the three teams that got promoted to the LCS during the LCS Summer Promotion Qualifiers and the road was somewhat bumpy for them early on. Before mithy joined, they held a respectable, yet insufficient 4-6 record. Since then, things have changed.
The Lemondogs took time to gel, and gel they did. Not only do they have their own playstyle (focused around engaging no matter what) but they also boast one of the best team chemistries in the European LCS. Their hard work paid off, but signs of tiredness were at full display during their Week 8 game against SK Gaming.
Their aim is clearly to finish first. They only have to beat both Fnatic and Team Alternate to secure that first place, regardless of the outcome of the other games. Winning only one of those matchups, combined with another win out of the three remaining games, would net them the second place seed.
They cannot be eliminated out of playoff contention given their record against SK Gaming (3W-1L) and given that the worst-case scenario would put them in a four-way tie with five other teams. As such, they only need to win 2 of their games.
Week 9 Schedule: Fnatic*, NiP, ATN*, EG, MYM (asterisks denote important matchups)
By the numbers:
Team ALTERNATE: 13W-10L (12W-6L with Creaton playing)
Team Alternate almost got into the LCS during the Spring Promotion Qualifiers. They would stick together and secure their ticket to the Summer Split upon beating GIANTS! Gaming 3-2 (after being down 0-2).
This team's strength lies within the players' chemistry, especially when Creaton is involved. Their record with him playing is 12-6. However, due to an injury in his wrist, he had to sit out 3 weeks of competition. His replacement, Whiteknight had a decent showing, but the lineup change allowed the other LCS teams to catch up.
This team's goal is to secure the Top 2 seed and job security until the end of the Season 4 Spring Split. To achieve that goal, they could either win all of this week's games or win four of them (and have either Lemondogs or Fnatic stumble).
Week 9 Schedule: SK*, Gambit, LD*, NiP, EG
By the numbers:
Fnatic has been the only team that remained at the top (or close to it) between the last split and this one. Consistency has not been an issue ever since last year, when they were denied the opportunity to go to the Season 2 World Championship.
Things looked shaky at first. Fnatic struggled to live to their Spring Split standards, until the acquisition of puszu and YellOwStaR's reassignment to the support position, a role that was tailored for him.
With a sharpshooter to assist the ever strong core (xPeke, Cyanide and sOAZ), the team soared through the rankings and are a legitimate contender for second place. Their fate is in their hands. given that a 5-0 Super Week would guarantee them a first round bye in the playoffs (and job security).
Week 9 Schedule: LD*, SK*, NiP, MYM*, Gambit
By the numbers:
Ninjas in Pyjamas: 12W-11L (10W-5L since breaking up the PanDan core)
Things have never been easy for the Ninjas in Pyjamas. The once-Copenhagen Wolves are adept at starting a season in the shakiest of ways and then recovering from the deficits they created. Their incredible run for fifth place during the Spring Split brought them a lot of fans, but the changes altered the team completely.
Due to the Summer Split's slow start, three members of the PanDan roster were benched in favor of three players from Heimerdinger's Colossi. The recovery was in full effect and nothing seemed to halt the Ninja freight train until extinkt announced his retirement from professional League of Legends.
Mimer's skill and playstyle saved NiP from being knocked out of playoff contention by the rough schedule. They are alone at fourth place, but only one game separates them from both 5th and 2nd place.
Their fate is in their hands as far as staying in the Top 6, as they need to win four games (or three if they win their game against SK Gaming). Not the same can be said about their chances of clinching a Top 2 finish, as they would have to have a perfect week and hope that ATN, Fnatic and Lemondogs crumble (losing two to three games each).
Week 9 Schedule: EG*, LD, FNC, ATN, SK*
By the numbers:
Evil Geniuses: 11W-12L (5W-3L after the roster changes)
One of the most successful teams in Season 2, Evil Geniuses, has struggled to recapture their magic ever since the start of Season 3. Fans expected them to dominate given their status as a Season 2 World Championship semi-finalist, but the meta changes between seasons made it difficult for the team.
A shaky Spring Split (where they struggled to place third) was only the harbinger of things to come. Their struggles carried over to the Summer Split, but they chose to stand put and believe in their growth. They were waiting for the right people to trust with coaching and substituting.
Enter nRated, the recently released support from Fnatic, and Shacker, an extremely aggressive jungler. Their addition to the team fueled the turnaround of Evil Geniuses, to the tune of an 5-3 record (3-0 with a revitalized Snoopeh playing in the starting lineup).
The team's goal is to qualify to the playoffs and avoid being tied with SK Gaming, as such a tie would mean that both teams would play a tiebreaker. They can do so by either having a perfect 5-0 week, winning 4 (and have lose one), winning 3 (among them the game vs MYM) with SK losing two, or relying on either MYM, SK or Gambit Gaming to crumble.
Week 9 Schedule: NiP, MYM*, Gambit*, LD, ATN
By the numbers:
Gambit Gaming: 11W-12L (10W-8L with Darker in the lineup)
The Russian powerhouse is another very successful team from Season 2, reaching the semifinals in Worlds only to be defeated by the eventual World Champions, Taipei Assassins. Unlike Evil Geniuses, they had no trouble transitioning to the Season 3 meta and were in the Top 2 during the Spring Split. Since then, things have changed.
The shocking news of Edward's departure still resonates within Gambit and it is as if the era of Russian domination has ended with that single change. The impact of that decision was felt throughout the season as the comrades struggled to keep up with the pace of the new teams and the ever consistent Fnatic.
Darker filled the void Edward left behind for as long as he could, but Gambit Gaming's management, as well as the team, felt that they would do better with another support. They brought in Voidle to sub during Week 7 as Darker had health issues, but they elected to keep him. That gambit did not pay off.
How will Gambit Gaming react to being on the brink of elimination? That remains to be seen. The team has been practicing arduously in Kiev where they are holding their boot camp. The team's objective is to secure their ticket to Gamescom. Their fate is within their hands as either of these possibilities would do the trick: winning four games regardless of their opponents, or winning three (with one of the wins being against SK Gaming and the other one being against MeetYourMakers). Other favorable outcomes depend on SK Gaming, MYM and Evil Geniuses doing poorly.
Week 9 Schedule: MYM*, ATN, EG*, SK*, Fnatic
By the numbers:
SK Gaming: 10W-13L (2W-6L in the first two weeks)
SK Gaming's presence in the LCS is no fluke. The team had previously upset Counter Logic Gaming Europe at Gamescom, finishing second at the Season 2 European Regionals. They kept at it in the earlier stages of Season 3, as they trailed Fnatic and Gambit Gaming during the Spring Split.
Enter the Summer Split. SK Gaming struggled to adjust to the meta changes brought along with the patches and the level of competition imposed by the new teams. SK's management truly believes in its players and their growth as shown by the lack of roster changes. They are the only team that has not made a roster change between the Spring Split and now.
Will that pay off? Ultimately, they hold their fates in their own hands and a perfect week would guarantee an SK Gaming berth in the playoffs. Anything less would leave them at the mercy of the other teams. Nevertheless, they can always focus on tying with Evil Geniuses for sixth place and forcing a tiebreaker with them.
Week 9 Schedule: ATN, Fnatic, MYM*, Gambit*, NiP
By the numbers:
MeetYourMakers: 8W-15L (4-12 since Week 1 at DreamHack)
The team has been together ever since July 31st 2012 and has not changed a single player since then, due in part to the brotherhood the players have formed. The events have tested the limits of their friendship, only to reinforce it.
Their elimination in the Season 3 Spring Split Qualifiers at the hands of DragonBorns only drove them to work harder. They were an early entry into the Summer Split Qualifiers and had their revenge on Shushei and his teammates.
If there is one thing one needs to learn from life, it is that first impressions do not mean everything. MeetYourMakers made everyone recognize their pontential with their 4-1 start at DreamHack. Since then, the competition adapted to their strategies and abused their flaws. The result was a 4-12 downward spiral that dragged the Polish squad to an undesirable last place.
They are the only team that does not hold its fate in its hands. To get into the playoffs, they would not only have to win all of their games, but they would also need Gambit, Evil Geniuses, SK Gaming, and Ninjas in Pyjamas to have a no-show. A far more attainable goal is the 7th place spot, as it would allow them to choose their opponent from the pool of Challenger teams looking for a spot.
Week 9 Schedule: Gambit*, EG*, SK*, Fnatic, LD
By the numbers: