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Europe LCS Week Five Matchup Previews

Eglogo std.pngEvil Geniuses vs. DragonBornsDragonbornlogo std.png
Week 5 kicks off with a monster battle between Evil Geniuses and DragonBorns at 16:00 CET/7:00 AM PDT on March 3. This all-out war will be the third time these teams face each other in the EU LCS. They will both be “going to the mattresses” as DB looks to repeat their recent victory with finesse, and EG hopes to put DB in their place for their apparent insolence.

EG moves into Week 5 with some bones to pick as they strive to re-establish themselves as the top team in Europe. Their first match of this week may serve as a harbinger to indicate whether they are up to the task. Leading up to Week 4, EG was a formidable wall which few could make a mark on, let alone break down. However, something was in the water in Week 4, when EG lost to against All authority, DragonBorns, and GIANTS! Gaming – three relative newbies in the tournament world. This made them tumble from an overall 5W-2L to an overall 6W-6L. For EG, Week 5 offers a chance to rise from the ashes of Week 4, and it all starts with their match against DB.

The DragonBorns will do their best to rain on EG’s parade. Shushei was certainly correct when he said his team would not always be an underdog. It seems, in their growth, DB have learned how to use their opponent's knowledge and experience against them -- even versus the illustrious EG. Despite their 4W-5L ratio going into Week 5, DB have leveled up. They are no longer just another new team; they are now a contender to keep an eye on. For DB, this match is a chance to show that they are no one-hit-wonder and that there is truly method in their madness.

In the top lane, DB's Spontexx will compete against the infamous Wickd. Or will he? Based on EG’s performance in their two victorious group stage games at the IEM Season VII World Championship, Spontexx may actually be squaring off with Froggen. If he faces Wickd, Spontexx may have the knowledge advantage, because Wickd's most commonly played champs in the EU LCS are an open book --
, and
. His comparatively aggressive playstyle (in terms of EG norms) is also well-known. However, if Spontexx faces Froggen, he will be mostly in the dark – which would perhaps give EG an advantage. It’s hard to say what champs Froggen might pick for top lane, but his
came out to play up top in Hannover. The mystery of “Whose Lane Is It, Anyway?” will leave Spontexx with a sizeable obstacle to overcome in order to prepare his strategy. Meanwhile, Wickd and Froggen might be doing double research duty by checking out the data on both Spontexx and Shushei so that they can be prepared no matter where they end up on the map. The face-off between Spontexx and whichever EG member steps to the plate will be one to keep a close eye on.

After HosaN's epic plays Week 4, bot will be another lane to watch. HosaN displayed immense versatility with his effective play of an AP Nidalee. So effective, in fact, that EG may grant HosaN’s Nidalee a respect ban this week. However, Yellowpete will have a tough time should DB's roster decide to throw EG in a loop again (whether via an unchecked AP Nidalee or another secret weapon). In the past, observers likely would have remarked that as long as EG's bot lane can stabilize and farm as per their average game, they could pull the late game out from under DB - regardless of HosaN's divergent champion picks. However, even Froggen acknowledges that EG’s style of play “may be over”. Thus, in Week 5, EG may offer up some surprising champs or strategies of their own. Bot lane may turn into a race to see which team can unsettle the other most effectively. HosaN has the advantage of precedence, and EG still have the advantage of experience –- even if it cannot be directly applied. It is unknown as to which advantage will be more profitable.

The head-to-head record of DB and EG reflects a tie of one win each, and only one team can walk away with a win in this marvelous tie breaker. Without a doubt, the team who takes this victory will gain a serious boost in confidence: either because the cheeky winner defeated the experienced veterans (again) or because the winner stomped out the zesty up-and-comers proving that, despite Season 3 changes, they still have relevancy.

Fnaticlogo std.pngFnatic vs. Copenhagen WolvesCHWLogo std.png
On Sunday, March 17 at 17:00 CET/9:00 AM PDT, Copenhagen Wolves and Fnatic will duke it out in a bigger-than-life rematch. After a Week 3 beat down at the hands of Fnatic, last place NeeGodbro and friends pulled out an unanticipated Week 4 victory over first place sOAZ and crew . Week 5’s matchup will unbalance their currently even head-to-head record.

The Wolves found a new gear in Week 4 and finally added some marks in the positive column of their win-loss record. However, this week’s clash with Fnatic is their only chance to show that they still have the Week 4 magic. Although CW currently sit at 3W-10L, they could climb up the ranks if they can pull out another win over Fnatic and if against All authority fail to net a Week 5 win. To fulfill their part of the deal, the wolf pack will be hoping for a Super Week déjà vu, when they took advantage of Fnatic's end game mistakes like true predators.

Presently, Fnatic is looking to regain the penthouse of the EU LCS rankings after falling to second place. Fnatic’s match against CW is their last of Week 5, so it may be make or break – depending on the outcomes of their matches against Evil Geniuses and SK Gaming on Saturday and early Sunday. Fnatic will likely try to tame the former “puppies” by shutting down CW early in the game. If that does not work out, Fnatic will have to rely on xPeke’s clutch playstyle to get them out of any tight spots and prevent Fnatic from becoming the Wolves’ prey in Week 5.

Bot lane will be an important area to watch should Deficio snag
again. Deficio has helped CW pull away a kill or two ahead in many teamfights. However, if YellOwStaR and nRated see Thresh banned, or even pick it themselves, the bottom could look grim for the Wolves. When it comes to team battles, Thresh is great for taking the fight directly to specific targets and focusing them. Skillful use of Thresh could turn the game in the favour of the team who possesses him. However, if Thresh is banned, it will be anyone's game.

"Don't Blink": that is the advice for fans who are watching mid lane matchup in this game. Week 4's meeting was a very big deal as the young upstart, Bjergsen, stood toe-to-toe with one of the best EU assassin mids, xPeke, as revealed by their KDAs: Bjerg's 11/4/4 was very on par with xPeke's 9/5/4. Despite being about two apples tall and having no whiskers, Bjerg carried his team harder than xPeke and got the win to prove it. If Bjerg can keep up with the Spaniard again this week, he will have proven himself a formidable foe and may very well come out on top once more However, if xPeke and CyanideFI can communicate better to engineer ganks, then xPeke will likely snowball to win the lane.

Whose momentum will be crushed in this match: the Wolves who finally got out of their rut during Week 4, or Fnatic who have been full steam ahead for a top berth since Week 1? After seeing amazing performances by both teams in their previous battle, anything could happen in the penultimate game of Week 5.

Written by Keith Roland
Contribution by Matt Faw from Leaguepedia Fantasy.
Edited by Marissa Moody Kuo.

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