The 2018 EU LCS Gauntlet is coming to its conclusion! The final match between FC Schalke 04 and G2 Esports will take place on September 16. Will G2 manage to live up to their legacy of attending every single World Championship since their inception? Or will Schalke crush their hopes and dreams? Let’s find out in our EU LCS Gauntlet predictions!
FC Schalke 04 vs G2 Esports
In the playoffs, FC Schalke 04 proved themselves as the second-best team in Europe. The main reason behind this is their monstrous teamfighting as their carries seamlessly dominate 5v5s. However, that’s far from their only strength, and Schalke deserve a lot of props for their macro prowess and rock-solid early game.
G2 Esports enter the series after a hard-earned victory against Splyce. Their solo laners exert a lot of pressure in the laning phase, making it easy to secure early leads. That being said, snowballing seems to be a tall order for this lineup, and it’s common to see G2 getting caught out in the side lanes or the enemy jungle. Still, their veteran players are naturally adept at teamfighting, so they always have a chance of mounting a comeback.
Top Lane Matchup
The top lane will be a clash of playstyles. With a 2.5 KDA and 8.5 CS per minute, S04 Vizicsacsi is the unwavering tank player that spends most of his time on low-maintenance champions. Even so, he makes his presence known in teamfights, and unlike most tanks players, he’s also a very capable laner that can—and will—go for solo kills if an opportunity presents itself.
But the spotlight will be on Wunder. Sporting a 3.2 KDA and 9.1 CS per minute, G2’s top laner is a carry in every sense of the word. His champion pool is vast and his razor-sharp mechanics allow him to take over the laning phase. And even though Vizicsacsi is more resilient than most European top laners, he will still have a hard time standing up to Wunder’s aggression.
VERDICT: G2 Wunder claims the top lane as his own.
A different narrative takes place in the jungle. With a 3.4 KDA and 4.4 CS per minute, Amazing is a tried and trusted veteran that always seems to find creative routes to blindside his enemies. Granted, his mechanics aren’t exactly top-tier, but it doesn’t stop him from being the main playmaker of the FC Schalke 04 roster.
Luckily for G2, they also have a strong presence in the jungle. Holding a 4.3 KDA and 4.5 CS per minute, Jankos is a great early game jungler, and his ganks are instrumental to empowering G2’s solo laners. Still, he’s very hit-or-miss, and it’s common to see him pop off in one game only to be completely invisible in the other. And that sort of inconsistency is a big problem in a Bo5 setting.
VERDICT: S04 Amazing secures an edge in the jungle.
Mid Lane Matchup
2018 is as close as we’ve ever gotten to the year of Nukeduck. Sporting a 3.3 KDA and 9.6 CS per minute, he is an immovable object with a champion pool akin to a champion ocean. On top of that, his vast competitive experience makes it easy to counter pick the enemy mid laner, turning him into the centerpiece of Schalke’s early game.
However, even Nukeduck will struggle against a player of Perkz’s caliber. With a 5.7 KDA and 10.4 CS per minute, he is a mid lane prodigy that overwhelms his foes in lane and out of it. And even though Perkz doesn’t have as many pocket picks as Nukeduck, his raw mechanical talent makes him very difficult to contain.
VERDICT: G2 Perkz outmuscles Nukeduck in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup
If there’s one lane that’s been vital to Schalke’s success, it’s the bot lane. With a 6.7 KDA and 9.9 CS per minute, Upset is a rising star that finally lived up to its immense potential. Granted, he might not seem that impressive in lane, but it’s an absolute joy to watch him take over teamfights. Combine that with a solid playmaker in Vander (5.4 KDA), and Schalke have a very explosive duo on their hands.
Of course, G2’s Hjarnan and Wadid are no pushovers either. Holding a 5.0 KDA and 9.6 CS per minute, Hjarnan is excellent on mages and utility AD carries while Wadid (3.6 KDA) does well to cover for him on a wide range of defensive champions. However, they don’t seem to be able to play meta picks like Kai’sa and Varus. And in the end, this will make teamfights a constant challenge for G2 Esports.
VERDICT: S04 Upset and Vander take over the bot lane matchup.
G2 definitely have an edge in the early game. That said, they aren’t consistent enough to snowball their solo lane advantages, which means the series will be decided through late game teamfights. And that’s exactly what FC Schalke 04 want. Their AD carry completely outclasses his G2 counterpart, so as long as they don’t get crushed in the laning phase, Schalke will win the series with a 3-2 score!
Editorial Credit: Riot Games