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Europe LCS Week 9 Matchup Previews
The end of the LCS Spring Season is nigh, and the EU teams are gearing up for Week 9 of the tournament. Gambit Gaming and Fnatic find themselves sitting at the top, but the other teams must fight for their placement in the Spring Playoffs. SK Gaming and Evil Geniuses seem secure in place, but nothing is certain--especially with another Super Week following Week 9. The next four places fluctuate week by week, as Copenhagen Wolves, against All authority, GIANTS! Gaming, and DragonBorns pit tooth and nail against each other to secure placement in the playoffs.
Evil Geniuses acquire a third try at taking down Fnatic in the second match this week. EG left Week 8 with 1W-2L and likely hope to pick themselves back up again. However, GG defeated EG and Fnatic last week, and Fnatic will not want to be shown up more than once. Each team has much riding on the line, be it scores, pride, or both.
Fnatic and EG are not the only teams of the top four to face off in Week 9; Gambit Gaming and SK Gaming are also matched up. GG remain in second place, behind Fnatic by only one win. Every game matters at this point if they want to reach the top. SK will not make things easy for GG; they are in third for a reason.
Week 9 matches begin on Saturday, April 13, at 18:00 CEST. Whether in desperation or in confidence, the EU teams will shake up the Rift in these final two weeks of the LCS Spring Season.
Evil Geniuses vs. Fnatic
On Saturday, April 13, at 19:00 CEST, Evil Geniuses and Fnatic battle each other in the second-to-last week of EU LCS Spring Season. EG sit in fourth place, and Fnatic is in first. Fnatic have clinched a berth for placement in the playoffs, but EG have not. Therefore, every EG victory counts.
Seven games in the next two weeks means that EG's nearly balanced score of 11W-10L has the potential for significant change in either direction. A victory over Fnatic would go a long way toward indicating which side of the win-loss ratio EG intend to add to. A win would also further boost their recovering confidence. EG's creative champ selections (Snoopeh's jungle Malzahar and Froggen's top lane Akali) against Gambit Gaming in Week 8 may have only been the tip of the iceberg. Despite the varying degrees of success of such innovations, EG's unique playstyles and their willingness to take risks showed an increasing versatility and assurance that could come full circle in a riveting match against the number one ranked team, Fnatic.
Fnatic cannot sit too comfortably on their throne because Gambit Gaming are rubbing their hands together, waiting for the chance to swipe away first place. However, Fnatic's confidence shines through in many of their matches up to this point. The team showcased their experience when they utilized underplayed champions like Rumble and Twisted Fate to a devastating effect. FNC have lost only one match since Week 4. They are currently 17W-4L. In their first matchup, sOAZ and crew outplayed EG without much (or any) trouble, but the second matchup was a close one. Fnatic may have to apply maximum effort to maintain their winning streak against the Geniuses.
The Jungle may explode with action in this upcoming match. EG recently devised some creative picks, and Fnatic used a Season 3 favorite, Nasus, to wreck the competition. Of course, Snoopeh may revert to the tried and true for a deadly foe like CyanideFI. Snoopeh provided great map control and good warding throughout the laning phase in the previous match between EG and FNC. When the time for the team battles arrived, EG had better map awareness. This time around, Cyanide could buffer EG's awareness with some well-placed vision wards as he traverses the jungle.
The Mid Laners will duel for dominance, although they may not actually be in the mid lane. xPeke created a major shift in his team's favor during their prior match against EG. However, if Froggen can assert control over his opponent, EG could pull out a win.
If Evil Geniuses want to rejoin the top three, they need this victory. If Fnatic want to keep their top spot, they need this victory, too. However, only one team can steam ahead as the other becomes derailed.
Gambit Gaming vs. SK Gaming
On Sunday, April 14, 21:00 CEST Gambit Gaming and SK Gaming round off Week 9 with an epic battle between second and third place. In the second-to-last week of the EU LCS Spring Season, neither team can afford to slip up. As playoffs draw nearer, GG and SK hold delicate positions--the slightest miscalculation could put either team between a rock and a hard place.
Gambit Gaming sit one win behind Fnatic at 16W-4L. With one more game than Fnatic in Week 9, GG can possibly catch up to or even surpass their Season 3 enemy. Their final match this weekend will be the deciding factor as to where the team stands before the start of Week 10. GG have three wins out of three games against SK so far. Despite Gambit’s loss to GIANTS! Gaming in Week 7, their resolve has been unshaken. The Russians have defeated all other teams in their path, including Fnatic and Evil Geniuses.
In Week 8, SK defeated EG as well. They also beat GIANTS!, who took their second win against GG in Week 7. SK reside at 13W-9L before the start of Week 9. hyrqBot and company have the experience to stand toe-to-toe against GG and pull out a win if they play cohesively. SK’s matches this week will mean the difference between a secured third place overall in the Spring Season or a questionable place amongst the competition. With EG nipping at their heels, SK cannot let any matches go--especially against the second place team, Gambit. They will have to keep a keen eye on Alex Ich, who troubled them in their previous matchups.
Watch the mid lane to see how ocelote deals with Alex Ich. The battle will begin in the picks and bans phase. Obviously, allowing Alex to rampage with Kha'Zix is out of the question, but his Kassadin plays are top notch, too. SK could go all out and ban several of Alex’s favorites, but GG have five players to worry about, not just one.
CandyPanda and Nyph will deal with Genja and EDward in the bot lane. Genja utilized Miss Fortune and her Bullet Time to rend asunder SK at Baron in their previous match and win. However, Candy and Nyph could pick off the enemy ADC and Support before team battles come into play.
With the possibility for first place on the line, Gambit Gaming need all the wins they can gather. However, SK Gaming also have their eyes on the prize and will not let it slide so easily through their fingers. Only two weeks remain in Spring Season. The team who takes home this final victory of Week 9 will have bragging rights going into Week 10.
- Written by Keith Roland
- Edited by Irena Pencheva and Marissa Moody Kuo
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