- 1 Origen starts out strong but can’t close out games
- 2 Fnatic surprises and goes the distance
- 3 SKT proves they’re still a powerhouse
- 4 eSports betting predictions – EU LCS Week 8 / Day 1
- 5 eSports betting predictions – EU LCS Week 8 / Day 2
We’re here to cover how those two teams did before jumping into our week 8 matchup preview with esports betting picks for those of you planning to do a bit of wagering this week.
Origen starts out strong but can’t close out games
Origen’s first game of the tournament was against China’s Royal Never Give Up. RNG were strong favorites against Origen, but that didn’t seem to intimidate the struggling European squad.
Origen started out strong, securing the first two towers of the game as well as the first Dragon and Rift Herald. After securing an early 2,000 gold lead, Origen struggled to capitalize on any more objectives. RNG was fine stalling out the game, relying on their late game team composition the shine through.
After winning some small skirmishes, RNG captured their first gold lead at 25 minutes in the game. Unlike Origen, RNG was able to turn their gold lead into objective after objective, ending the game five minutes later.
After their loss to RNG, Origen’s next matchup was against TSM in a win or go home series. This would be a best of three series that went the distance, with the first two games both nearly going 50 minutes. In game one, TSM’s Bjergsen was the star, going 8-0-5 on Leblanc. Origen had no answer for him, and it resulted in a game one loss.
Game two was another close affair, but this time Origen played with an edge we haven’t really seen from them all year in the EU LCS. With Bjergsen looking to carry again like he did in game 1, Origen’s Zven would have none of it. He hard-carried the game on Kalista, going a ridiculous 13-2-6 and pushing the series to a deciding game three.
Game three was a thrilling cap to this exciting series. It all started in the pick and ban phase, when Origen’s PowerOfEvil chose Talon. In the early game, it looked like a great choice, as Origen ran out to a 5,000 gold lead in the first 23 minutes. However, just like their first game of the tournament against RNG, Origen failed to close out the game.
A huge team fight a few minutes later was won by TSM, who consequently captured Baron, erasing Origen’s gold lead. The momentum now also belonged to TSM, and they were able to close out the game shortly thereafter. The loss meant Origen would be the first team knocked out of IEM Katowice.
For Origen, they can look at their early game leads as successful, but their inability to close out games after securing gold leads is really troubling. It’s something we’ve seen them struggle with all year in the EU LCS and it was no different during their first international tournament of the year.
They’ve never been a team that has excelled at team fighting, but this weakness has become even more pronounced this year. I’m not sure what Origen can do to fix this with their current roster, but if the team fails to qualify for MSI we could see numerous changes before the Summer Split begins.
Fnatic surprises and goes the distance
Entering IEM Katowice, Fnatic was tied with Origen as having the worst esports betting odds of winning the entire tournament. Their first matchup was against China’s Qiao Gu Reapers, one of the favorites of this tournament and also labeled as one of the strongest teams in the world. QG is known for their team-fighting prowess but can be lackluster in the early game.
For QG though, they started the game out strong, building a quick gold lead. Just a few minutes into the game QG sent four members down to bottom lane, leading to Uzi’s first kill of the game. He would subsequently score two more kills in the next few minutes.
QG was never in jeopardy of losing this game, and 40 minutes into the matchup they were able to secure a huge team fight victory and push into Fnatic’s base to secure the win.
Fnatic overcomes a sloppy CLG team
Fnatic’s next matchup was against North America’s Counter Logic Gaming. This was a best of three series that went all three games.
We’ve detailed this matchup more in-depth with our North American week 8 coverage and predictions article, but it was a great matchup that saw some interesting picks (such as Rekkles playing Jhin twice and Darshan playing Vladimir twice). Focusing mainly on Fnatic here, this matchup was a great insight into what Fnatic can do mid-to-late game, despite having early gold deficits in all three games.
Did Fnatic just grow up before our eyes in this matchup? It sure looked like the team was starting to play better after early struggles in the EU LCS led to the team replacing Noxiak in the support position with Klaj.
After taking down favored CLG, Fnatic’s next matchup was against Chinese powerhouse QG, who had already beaten Fnatic on day one.
Fnatic takes down LPL’s number one team
Game one of this best of three series went a lot like Fnatic’s first game against QG, as the Chinese team for the most part bullied them. QG had a 4,000 gold lead 20 minutes into the game and was able to push down all of Fnatic inhibitors in the next 12 minutes, securing a 34-minute win.
Entering game 2, Fnatic was in win or go home mode. QG attempted an early dive in the top lane against Fnatic’s Gamsu and Spirit. While they were able to secure both kills, they juggled the tower agro poorly and lost two members as well as a multitude of summoner spells. Fnatic capitalized a minute later by finding QG’s jungler, Swift, and taking him down.
After Fnatic lost three members 13 minutes into the game due to poor positioning, the game really started to heat up. A crazy team fight in the mid game led to a QG ace, and then another team fight two minutes later saw QG lose four members to Fnatic’s two. QG looked to be in disarray after that, getting aced again 22 minutes in the game and giving Fnatic Baron.
Four minutes later, Fnatic scored yet another ace and put the game to rest. Rekkles new favorite champion, Jhin, went 7-1-12 with Febiven going 8-1-11 on Quinn.
Given how Rekkles had been playing Jhin at IEM Katowice, and how he essentially dominated game two, one would think QG would target ban that champion in a decisive game three. That didn’t happen though, and Rekkles was once again gifted Jhin for the fifth straight time this tournament.
Coming off a huge win in game two to even the series, Fnatic took that momentum in the very early onset of game three. Fnatic was the early aggressor, taking down two QG members at the start of the game and then three more kills six minutes later.
Twelve minutes into the game, Fnatic had built a 3,000 gold lead. As Fnatic continued to play aggressively, the team was able to build their gold lead to an unsurmountable 9,000 gold just 24 minutes into the game. After Fnatic aced QG at 32 minutes, they were able to end the game and move on to the semifinals.
Fnatic surprises everyone and makes it to the Finals
In the semifinals, Fnatic would face the lesser of the two Chinese teams, RNG. Fnatic dominated game one, nearly acing RNG before 20 minutes and securing an early Baron kill. The game was over before 30 minutes.
In game two, RNG banned Jhin and then picked Ezreal mid. This was a game where RNG punished any aggression from Fnatic. The game was pretty passive through the first 15 minutes before RNG found their opening and took down two Fnatic members. RNG caught out Fnatic again 20 minutes into the game, taking a few towers and the first Dragon. Five minutes later, Fnatic inexplicitly decided to try an early Baron. RNG was ready though, and they were able to pick up two more kills and another tower. With RNG now having a comfortable gold lead, they were able to secure the first Baron of the game at 31 minutes and then proceeded with the winning push.
Well this seems to be a reoccurring theme – another decisive game three. Fnatic played the early game much better in game three than RNG did, running out to a quick 2,000 gold lead. An ace at 22 minutes in the game extended Fnatic’s gold lead to 5,000.
Two minutes later, Fnatic picked up three more kills and a Baron. Fnatic dominated from there, winning the game 10 minutes later and moving on to the finals to play tournament favorite SKT.
SKT proves they’re still a powerhouse
Entering this tournament, SKT had really played a lackluster Spring Split in the LCK. Many prognosticators questioned if this SKT team, who lost two key members to the LPL during the offseason, could have the same success at international tournaments after winning Worlds last year. I would do a game by game analysis of this matchup, but there wouldn’t be much to say. SKT put the doubters to rest with a dominating performance. Even Fnatic knew they were outmatched after falling behind 0-2 in a best of five series, calling a rare surrender vote in game three.
For Fnatic, this was a widely successful international tournament for them. More importantly, we saw a team grow stronger and stronger as each game played out. Fnatic played more games during the weekend at IEM Katowice then they have played all year in the EU LCS, giving them much-needed experience against quality teams.
Yes, Fnatic was essentially annihilated by SKT in the finals, but up to that point they played extremely well. Now they must take this momentum and hit the EU LCS with a fervor. I expect a much more polished and cohesive team now, and this experience will prove to be invaluable.
Now on to our week 8 picks.
eSports betting predictions – EU LCS Week 8 / Day 1
Fnatic (1.13) vs. Giants Gaming (6.05)
After their success at IEM Katowice, Fnatic enters week 8 with a new breath of life. They currently sit in fifth place, but they have a chance to improve their seeding in the next few weeks. They likely can’t catch any of the top three teams currently tied for first place, but this is a game they should easily win.
The Giants are 2-12 this year and are solely in last place. They need to pull off some major upsets if they want to avoid relegations.
I don’t see it happening here, and Fnatic are strong favorites.
H2K Gaming (1.20) vs. ROCCAT (4.67)
Before H2K even enters this game they’ve already scored a huge victory. The team just announced that their superstar ADC, FORG1VEN, has been granted a temporary deferment of military service by his home country, Greece. That means we’ll see him at ADC this week, which is bad news for a struggling ROCCAT team.
ROCCAT currently sits in ninth place at 3-11, but are just one game behind both Elements and Splyce. They’re going to be in desperation mode, as seventh place is guaranteed a spot in the EU LCS Summer Split.
I’d give them a decent chance of pulling off the upset here if FORG1VEN was not starting, but as such, H2K will remain a top tier team this year. Pick H2K with confidence.
Unicorns of Love (1.95) vs. Origen (1.86)
Barring some sort of upset in the first two games, the rest of day one’s games should be extremely close matchups, starting with this one. Both teams are currently on the cusp of a playoff spot. Unicorns of Love current sits in fourth place at 9-5 while Origen is in the sixth and final playoff spot at 7-7.
Origen demolished Unicorns of Love in their first meeting way back in week 2, but that was before Steeelback started playing out of his mind. I expect a much closer matchup this time, and given how Origen played at IEM Katowice (most notably their inability to close out games), I’m slightly leaning towards Unicorns of Love here.
As mentioned previously, this should be a really close game that can go either way, but I just like the way Steeelback is playing right now. Take the minor upset here with Unicorns of Love, but Origen will get plenty of play as well.
Team Vitality (1.82) vs. G2 eSports (2.00)
This is your matchup of the week. Two teams tied for first place, battling it out for seeding. The winner gains a decisive edge towards a bye week when the Spring Split Playoffs start. These two played a close match in week 5, with G2 gaining an early gold lead but Vitality ultimately pulling out the win.
Vitality’s Cabochard and Nukeduck ended up being huge in this game, combining to go 9-0-9 in a game that didn’t see many kills.
I expect another low kill affair, with a slight edge to Vitality for a few specific reasons. Vitality is 7-1 in the last four weeks (including that week 5 win again G2) and are winners of six straight. G2 has done a great job of beating the lesser teams this year, but are currently 0-3 against the two teams they’re tied with for first place, H2K and Vitality.
For that reason, I’m picking Vitality in this matchup of top teams.
Splyce (1.90) vs. Elements (1.90)
This is a huge game for both of these teams. Both are currently tied in seventh place at 4-10, three games outside of that sixth and final playoff spot. I don’t think either team has a realistic shot of catching Origen for the final spot, but they both are looking to avoid relegations (as mentioned before, seventh place is guaranteed a spot in the Summer Split).
This is the first time these two teams have played each other since week 1, with Elements eking out a close win. That was the day Steeeeeeve became a phenom in the EU crowd, grouping with Eika to secure 12 of Elements 15 kills.
Both teams had disappointing showings in week 7, but Splyce has been playing better as of late (they pulled off the upset in week 6 against Fnatic). Take Splyce here.
eSports betting predictions – EU LCS Week 8 / Day 2
G2 eSports (1.13) vs. Giants Gaming (6.10)
This is a really tough week for Giants. Not only do they have to play a revitalized Fnatic squad, but they follow that up by playing against one of the Big 3.
The Giants actually played G2 very closely in their week 2 matchup, losing 12-15 in kills. Since then though, the wheels have really come off for Giants. Take G2 here with confidence.
Unicorns of Love (1.30) vs. Elements (3.57)
Elements is in must win mode, which will make them play desperately in this game.
Unfortunately, they haven’t play particularly well as of late. In their first matchup against Unicorns of Love in week 3, they were completely decimated, losing 2-14.
I don’t see it being that one side again, but I also don’t see them beating a Unicorns of Love squad that is looking to stay in their current 4th place position. Take Unicorns of Love here.
Team Vitality (1.84) vs. Fnatic (1.98)
Now we find out how much Fnatic has really improved since IEM Katowice. Can they take down one of the big three here? They have a great shot, and I expect another low kill, objective control type game (much like their week 1 game that only saw 13 kills between the two of them).
Above all else, Vitality should be banning Jhin here. Rekkles showed his affinity to playing that champion very well during IEM Katowice. In my upset pick of the week, I’m looking for Fnatic to build off their momentum and pull out a win against Vitality.
Regardless, it should be a close game and a great one to watch.
H2K Gaming (1.20) vs. Splyce (4.67)
Even if FORG1VEN didn’t start this game, they’d still be huge favorites against Splyce. H2K has proven they’re a top tier team this year, and well, Splyce hasn’t. These two played each other four weeks ago, and while there were only 14 kills between the two of them, H2K ran away with the gold leader after 10 minutes.
Yes, Splyce will be looking to desperately pull off the upset here. All guns will be blazing, but unless H2K decides to take the day off, I expect them to dominate lanes and objective control. Take H2K with confidence here.
Origen (1.38) vs. ROCCAT (3.05)
If one of the bottom four teams can pull off an upset over a top six team this week, it’s most likely this game. Despite all of ROCCAT’s issues (and there are plenty of them), they can compete in the early stages of the game with Origen. And don’t you know it, both teams have lackluster mid-to-late games.
Either team could throw it away on an ill-conceived all in play and lose the game, which just so happens to be exactly how Origen won their first game against ROCCAT in week 3. ROCCAT had a slight gold advantage through 30 minutes before Zven got a triple kill near Baron.
Origen is still individually more talented then ROCCAT, and I’m still going to pick them here because I ultimately think they are the better team. But ROCCAT provides plenty of upset potential here. Hesitantly pick Origen here.