The LEC playoffs kick off on March 29. We’re in for two thrilling best-of-five quarterfinals in Fnatic vs. Team Vitality and SK Gaming vs. Splyce.
All teams have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it can get difficult to separate the underdogs from the favorites. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a number of quick-fire LoL LEC playoffs predictions to help you make sense of the upcoming matches. Let’s get to it!
Fnatic vs. Team Vitality
It wouldn’t be an understatement to call Fnatic the best team in the quarterfinals. Their 11-7 record is deceptive, as they’re currently on a massive eight-game winning streak. The main reason behind this is synergy. Fnatic started the split with no idea how to work together, but they gradually refined their teamwork to the point where they’re one of the most coordinated teams in the region. They also moved away from outdated scaling comps toward power picks and lane-dominant matchups.
Fnatic’s players deserve some credit as well. Rekkles and Hylissang employed a very reactionary playstyle during the first few weeks of the 2019 Spring Split. But now they’re constantly looking for openings in lane and outside of it. Bwipo and Nemesis also shored up the holes in their early game, so Fnatic enjoy the benefit of playing most of their matches with three winning lanes.
But the most improved player here is Broxah. Fnatic’s jungler turned up his aggression to 11, and it’s common to see him secure massive gold leads and pull off clutch smite steals to set his team up for success.
In theory, Vitality have the firepower to match this. Their roster is stacked with talent, and you can count on players like Jiizuke and Cabochard to tear through their lane opponents. Combine that with an explosive playmaker in Mowgli, and Vitality have a potent three-man core.
A weak point
Unfortunately, their bot lane isn’t up to the LoL LEC playoffs standards. Atilla leaves a lot to be desired in the AD carry position, as he frequently gets caught out in lane and picked off in teamfights. And while Jactroll does a decent job on defensive supports, he doesn’t have the mechanics to show up on playmakers.
Yet the worst thing about this team is its playstyle. Vitality are all about non-stop aggression, so they start forcing fights and making plays from the first minutes of the game. Granted, this playstyle looks great when Vitality manage to get into the driver’s seat, but it falls flat on its face the moment they meet some pushback.
PREDICTION: Fnatic have all the tools to win this LoL LEC playoffs match, so we’re predicting a 3-1 victory in their favor.
SK Gaming vs. Splyce
We’ll be honest: we didn’t expect SK Gaming to qualify for the LoL LEC playoffs. They have a lot of momentum in the early game, as they can snowball even the slightest of leads into a game-winning advantage. However, SK roll with a very young roster. They don’t have the macro prowess of some of the best European lineups and often jump head-first into haphazard teamfights or make questionable Baron calls. Granted, they can make this playstyle work through sheer individual talent.
The young guns
Selfmade is one of the best junglers in the LoL LEC playoffs, and his presence alone allowed SK Gaming to take over countless regional season games. And even though Pirean isn’t as explosive as a jungler, his veteran experience and flexible champion pool still provide a solid foundation for this roster. Unfortunately, SK’s side lanes lag behind their mid/jungle duo. Werlyb is a mess in the top lane. He tends to fall behind in CS and gives away free kills in 1v1 matchups. And even though Crownshot and Dreams show promise in the bot lane, they’re not reliable carry threats.
Splyce are a different beast altogether. Their mid game is riddled with holes, and they don’t seem to have the slightest clue of how to siege turrets and trade objectives. Yet they make up for it with some of the best front-to-back teamfighting in the league, and it’s all too common to see Splyce win their games with a single decisive 5v5.
Splyce runs deep
That’s not their only strength. Splyce’s early game is surprisingly potent, and players like Xerxe, Kobbe, and Norskeren know exactly what they need to do to set themselves up for success during the first 15 minutes of the game. With that, Splyce are more than capable of matching SK in the laning phase, and as long as they don’t lose the quarterfinals series in the mid game, they’ll be sure to seal the deal with their teamfighting.
PREDICTION: Splyce have a much more rounded playstyle for a Bo5 setting, so we’re predicting a 3-1 victory in their favor.
Image credit: LoL Esports/Riot Games