The first round robin within each group is over, and cross-group play looms. The next four weeks will tell us a lot about where teams stand in the overall hierarchy of the EU LCS. Going in, G2 Esports and the Unicorns of Love have the most to live up to, with matching 4-0 series records. Preseason contenders like H2K, Splyce, and the Misfits are entering an important proving ground as they try to keep pace with the leaders. Others like Fnatic and Vitality are struggling to perform as well as their level of talent implies they should be.
Here are my EU LCS power rankings at the one-third mark of the spring split. You can compare to my preseason rankings from my blog.
For complete team statistics from the EU LCS, see the league’s team stats page.
1. G2 Esports
The scariest thing about G2’s 4-0 series record (#-# games record) may be the fact that they’re doing it in a meta that minimizes the value of Zven and mithy, who are the best players in their positions in the entire league.
It’s encouraging to see Pr0lly intentionally drafting team compositions that force his team to play for win conditions that have traditionally been hard for them to execute (specifically team fighting), but I’ll be that much happier with them once the players start actually improving that execution.
3. Unicorns of Love
UOL’s stock is definitely rising in Europe, as Samux performs above expectations and Vizicsacsi continues to assert himself as arguably the region’s best top laner.
I shared some criticisms of the Misfits recently, and while they clearly have lots of skill to work with and a comeback win over Fnatic was a sign of progress, I still think there’s a lot of room for improvement in their macro play.
This was never expected to be Splyce’s meta, given their weakness in standard lanes throughout 2016 and how much more difficult it made things for them in the summer postseason and Worlds, but they’re coming around and should be fine, with a chance to rejoin the top four if the meta swings in their favour.
The decision to play Broxah in the next two weeks is encouragingly proactive and could pay off big, because a more effective jungler might be all Caps needs to start taking over games more consistently.
Across the board, individual players have had very inconsistent performance, so while they definitely have the ability to beat teams two or three spots ahead of them, they’re throwing away too many games to reliably climb the standings.
I badly misread Vitality, putting too much weight on the balance of their roster on paper and misjudging how likely they were to find synergy, and news that Hachani is leaving mid-split doesn’t boost my confidence.
It’s hard to win when you can’t count on any of your three lanes to get individual advantages consistently, so it’s been the Maxlore one-man show far too often.
Moments of individual competence unfortunately can’t disguise the new Elements tier.