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LEC Week 7: The possible Vitality miracle run and three teams locked for playoffs

With teams locking in playoffs, the race becomes tighter and tighter. Every week counts and in this seventh week of the LEC we saw a lot of different things.

While Team Vitality looks to start their miracle run, we see both SK Gaming and EXCEL losing two important games and missing out on locking playoffs. On the top side of the rankings, we see MAD Lions locking in playoffs and joining G2 Esports and Rogue’s ranks, although the latter one had quite a rough week.

The Vitality miracle run?

Not everyone had their best week but Team Vitality looked stronger than ever this year. With the abysmal start to the spring split, they were in for quite a rough time and even making it into playoffs would be considered a fine achievement. They were to face both SK Gaming and EXCEL, teams that are part of the middle-pack in the LEC standings and are most likely to make it to the playoffs. Winning against them would for sure mean that they had at least a shot at making it, even though it would still be a rough road ahead. That is exactly what they did. Beating both teams is Vitality’s first step towards a miracle run, recreating Schalke 04’s story from last year.

On the flipside we have SK Gaming and EXCEL who now lost two games in quick succession and are endangering their playoff dreams. They looked very shaky and sometimes completely dropped the ball in their games. Especially SK Gaming in their game versus Fnatic, where they had zero impact after a failed bot play. Their draft left little room to make mistakes and Fnatic quickly punished it by getting Upset so far ahead in the game that it was a steamroll. EXCEL experimented with a Lulu support but could not quite get it to work. Besides Vitality, Fnatic also had a good week but are not yet sure of a spot in the playoffs.

Going Rogue

One of the teams who had the hardest week was Rogue. They faced G2 Esports and MAD Lions, two teams who have dominated the top of the standings from the start. Especially a rematch between G2 Esports and Rogue was an anticipated one since they form the top two in Europe. However, what we got was a quick stomp from G2 Esports who drafted poorly but executed masterfully. Rogue had a good late-game scaling composition that could not be punished too harshly in the early game.

Nevertheless, the only thing they could not afford to do was Larssen on Azir dying in lane. That is where it all fell apart for Rogue, because Larssen died multiple times against a Nidalee and Lucian duo in the jungle and midlane. This was G2 Esports’ only way to win the game, by snowballing the two and they got it to work. So we ask ourselves, how can G2 get away with drafting so poorly? Is it their superior execution or does their opponent make too many mistakes?

G2 Esports was not Rogue’s only opponent as they looked to bounce back against MAD Lions on the second day. They faced each other in the last match of the week in what was a battle of the top two teams from last summer split. The start looked great for MAD Lions as they got their hands on an ocean soul, one of the best ones to win teamfights and close games out with. We only see teams win against ocean souls when they play the top of their game, like G2 Esports against Suning Gaming in Worlds last year. It requires good item builds, strong executed teamfights and good coordination. That is exactly what Rogue did and they took away all doubt when they won against an ocean soul. MAD Lions went 1-1 overall and locked in the playoffs.

Three teams locked in, one locked out

With MAD Lions joining G2 Esports and Rogue in the playoffs, we already know three of our six teams. That means only three spots remain and six teams are still fighting over it. With Fnatic looking most likely to lock a spot, Team Vitality as mentioned before are doing great things as well. Schalke 04 finally broke their loss-streak and are also a legitimate contender since they are a part of the middle-pack. SK Gaming and EXCEL did a poor job this week but are still strong teams eyeing up a spot in play-offs and the same counts for Misfits as they went 1-1. Only Astralis are locked out of playoff contention but they can play spoiler and take some games off the middle-pack teams.

Next week we have a super-week in the LEC where every team plays three matches. With Fnatic facing Rogue, G2 Esports facing MAD Lions and SK Gaming taking on Rogue, we are packed for quite a bit of action.

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Image credit: G2 Esports

 

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