| Tags: League of Legends
| Author Manny Gomez
League European Championship Playoff Preview: Splyce vs. SK Gaming
On Saturday we have the second of the two quarterfinals in the LEC. With the winner of this game going up against Fnatic in the second round of playoffs. Splyce has had SK gaming's number from the beginning of the season. Granted these two teams have had some different experiences they will want to show their best in this match. The match is set to start at 11:00 AM ET.
Top Lane: Werlyb
Mid Lane: Pirean
Coach: Brokenshard / Realistik
How they got here
SK Gaming finished the regular season at 9-9. For most of the split, it was unclear if the German side would be able to make the playoffs. SK did come out of the gates swinging as they were able to demolish Fnatic in the first game of the season. After a strong start, they were not able to pick up consistent wins, finishing the first half 4-5.
During the second half, they were able to become the most recent team to take down Fnatic. Things seemed to be going well for SK until week seven. Week seven was going to be the week that SK would need to beat Excel and most likely suffer defeat by the hands of a strong G2 team. SK ended up losing to Excel and seemed to have fallen out of the playoff race. Luckily, G2 started dropping games and was not able to hold their own against a determined SK lineup. By the end of week nine, SK tied Schalke for 6th place and had to play a tiebreaker that they ended up winning.
SK's playstyle has been hard to pinpoint at times since they have played inconsistently at times. The main man for the German side is Selfmade. He is without a doubt the most impactful member in the LEC and is almost a shoo-in for Rookie of the Split. It feels that SK does have the chance to reinvent themselves and execute on some early game plays.
SK also has to focus on getting Crownshot in a good carry that can punish Kobbe throughout the laning phase. Additionally, Pirean has to show his dominance throughout the early game. Pirean will also have to prove his veteran status while going up against Humanoid, that way he and Selfmade can help Werlyb in any possible matchups that he encounters against Vizicsacsi.
Top Lane: Vizicsaci
Mid Lane: Humanoid
How they got here
Splyce has been one of the “underrated” teams of the LEC. When the preseason ended, most people believed that Splyce didn't have enough in the tank. While Splyce has proven a lot of the doubters wrong, they were still not able to consistently beat top teams throughout the split. This is an issue that caused them to drop towards the 4th place spot after a revitalizing second half from Fnatic and Origen.
Splyce had no choice in their opponent due to Fnatic securing the 3rd place spot. They do have a 2-0 over SK, but when it gets to the playoffs, previous history does not matter much. Splyce favors this matchup, but many are predicting this game will be going the distance with a full five-game set.
Late Game Team Fights! Memes aside, it is quite clear that Splyce love to play a more late-game focused playstyle. This could be because Kobbe has been on an absolute tear on many late-game oriented picks. Vizicsacsi should be able to handle Werlyb on the top side and show his veteran status when the team needs it most.
This does not mean that Splyce is unable to play well during the early phases of the game. They actually have shown both styles. Their big downfall seems to come in the mid-game. With two weeks of prep, we hope to see them perform much better and find a way to stop Selfmade. Xerxe will be crucial in controlling the map until the carries come online.
Matchup to Watch
Xerxe vs. Selfmade
The jungle matchup will be the decider between Splyce and SK. Selfmade was chosen as the second All-Pro jungler and will be facing Xerxe. Xerxe has led the league in KDA, CD @15, EXP @15, and Gold @15, while still having the lowest amount of deaths. These two have been integral parts of their team's success and will be crucial factors in finding the right leads in the early portions of the game.
Xerxe is known for bringing unconventional picks into the jungle, and that can be a boost for Splyce when it comes to drafting. Xerxe has also found a way to always impact the map to get his lanes ahead. If Selfmade is able to stop this, then there is a chance that SK can snowball the game in their favor.
Selfmade is an extremely talented player with a high ceiling and will be looking to apply pressure across the board to help the rest of his team. In the previous weeks, we have seen Selfmade put an emphasis on helping Pirean and the bot lane.
Who do you think will take this match? Let us know via Twitter. Also, be on the lookout for other playoff previews coming up soon.