The monsters from Team ROCCAT did raise eyebrows during the regular season with their excellent teamplay and merciless execution of strategy. However, yesterday they made history. The Poles became the first team to deny Gambit Gaming a top four finish with their original line-up and thus eliminating them from the EU LCS. Furthermore, the Russians are now in danger of potentially losing their LCS spot.
The Poles are the ultimate test for our boys.
Below we will see each match-up and try to bring out the best in today's clash. Hopefully, both squads have renewed their strength and will bring on their A-game.
Top lane: Fredy122 versus Xaxus
The first clash we will see is the top lane duel between Fredy122 and Xaxus. Between sOAZ's dominance, Wickd's return and Darien's shenanigans, the aforementioned pair received less attention than they deserved. Despite this, their performance has been excellent as both have been the pillars of their respective teams. Demonstrating a mastery of both tank or anti-tank champions (Mundo, Trundle) the pair is comfortable on either picks. With the shift in meta, however, they have showcased excellent play in more offensive champions such as Aatrox and Jax.
Despite not having the deep champion pool Xaxus has, Fredy122 is a more dominant and less jungle-reliant laner as seen time and time again during the regular season.
Jungle: Svenskeren versus Jankos
The key battle of this match will be fought in the jungle. Despite not having Overpow's KDA, Jankos has been instrumental in ROCCAT's victories throughout their debut. The Lee Sin maestro always seems to be in the right place at the right time and showcases an ability to punish mistakes like non-other. He was the main dynamo behind their impressive Gambit win and with his Elise pick absolutely destroyed the Russian opposition.
Sven will be key in the match today.
On the other hand we have Svenskeren who has had the season of his life. Since the start of the split, Sven has shown us great ability in almost every meta jungler out there - Lee Sin, Pantheon, Elise and Evelynn among others. Having a stable performance throughout the season, he has no intention of stopping now. The key here will be to either counter-act the direct enemy - Jankos or not give ROCCAT a chance to breathe with non-stop aggression.
Mid lane: Jesiz versus Overpow
The clash on mid also holds great significance. On the Polish side we have one of the most aggressive and merciless players in Europe. Overpow is not only deadly, but also unpredictable. Backed by an excellent jungler and a team that is ready to help in the blink of an eye, the Pole has already made a name for himself in Europe. Annihilating Gambit yesterday was only another sign of this player's strength, something our lads should take into account.
On the SK side we have the most improved player in the split. Now, Jessie is a confident mid laner who can deliver regardless of pressure or situation. We saw that clearly during his magnificent Ziggs play during the Super Week match against Fnatic. Backs against the wall at one point, SK set up opportunity after opportunity which the Dane turned into a scary lead and consequently, landed the Fnatics a sound defeat.
Bot lane: CandyPanda & nRated versus Celaver & Vander
The battle of the bot lanes is definitely the most interesting aspect of this match. Both duos are have demonstrated different aspects of excellence and mastery of certain champions. For the Poles, Vander has established himself as the undisputed king of Thresh for this split. His hooks and ability to create opportunities has left casters and spectators in awe not once or twice. Paired with an experienced AD Carry in Celvaer, the duo will be looking to shut down the German efficiency.
Speaking of the devil, CandyPanda and nRated have been largely neglected despite being one of the most successful bot lanes this split. Our AD Carry has shown multiple picks - Lucian, Twitch, Jinx and Vayne among others. Taking into account the innovative picks (Galio, Kayle) from his Support, our bot lane can not only take pride in its successful endeavor, but also its flexibility. As for nRated, he has undoubtedly proved himself as an invaluable addition to the team.
The first semi-final begins today at 16:00 CEST with the clash between Alliance and Fnatic. Right after, we face the Polish powerhouse at 18:00 CEST. Tune into lolesports.com and cheer for SK Gaming!
Former lead editor and interviewer for SK Gaming
Follow me on twitter - @Adddler or LINK
iNNERFiRE - multi-game journalist and Editor-in-Chief: 2012
onGamers - League of Legends Feature Producer: 01.2014 - 02.2015
SK-Gaming - League of Legends Lead Editor: 11.2012 - 08.2015
My journey into eSports started in 2004 when I accidentally caught a small video on TV from the WarCraft 3 WCG 2004 final. I opened up the SK Gaming website from my father's laptop and never stopped reading to this day. In early 2010 I started writing at a Bulgarian news website simply because I disliked how the current editor was handling his job and with time, I got to be Editor-In-Chief. My main writing interests back then were StarCraft 2, QuakeLive and League of Legends.
Fast-forward to 2012, after a small hiatus and moving to England to attend university, I decided to start writing news posts again, inspired by a couple of industry figures who have taken their turns taking eSports writing to a new level. With the beginning of IPL5, I was given a trial with SK Gaming which was successful and I never looked back.
In early 2014, onGamers presented me with an incredible opportunity to join their ranks which I took. Although I believe my 2014 was rather poor (in terms of work ethic and results), I have made changes during the winter break to ensure that sufficient effort will be made to repair that. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of the team, the project was at a stand still which marked the end of my stint with the oG crew.
I continued producing 1 on 1 interviews with SK members until July 2015. After that, other commitments arose and I figured I could not provide the flow of content I promised my superiors and took a step back, leaving SK.
If you are an eSports fan who is looking to get into writing or simply want to chat about eSports across the years, you can always find me on my twitter - @Adddler . Below you can find some trivia about me.
BroodWar / StarCraft 2
BW pro: sAvi0r and Flash (for different reasons)
BW race: Terran
BW series: Hana Daetoo MSL
SC2 pro: Creator and Stephano (different reasons)
SC2 race: Terran
SC2 series: ThorZain vs Polt at DreamHack Open 2012 and any big final played by King MvP
StarCraft related article: God of the Battlefield
Pro: Alexey 'Cypher' Yanushevski
Map: Aerowalk, BloodRun (100% Eastern European choices)
Series: Cooller vs Cypher. Especially the brilliant defensive Cypher game on Aero (game 4).
Rivalry: Rapha vs Cypher
Quake related articled: The Quadra Interview and the one and only Cypher PoV
League of Legends
Pro(s): FORG1VEN, Faker, WeiXiao, NaMei and Mata.
Position: AD Carry
Series: All the World Elite games at IPL5, KT Bullets versus SK Telecom T1 K OGN Summer 2013 Final and LPL Summer Final between StarHorn Royal Club and EDG (The perfect Jinx game by Namei).
League related article: Most of TeamLiquid.net's takes on the 2012 and 2013 OGN tournaments.
Team: Fnatic (2008-2009)
Series: AGAiN vs Fnatic at WCG 2009. Literally broke a cup after the game. One of the most emotional series for me as a spectator.
Gfinity League of Legends - August 2013 (SK Gaming)
EU LCS Week 5 London - June 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
GamesCom 2014 Cologne - August 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
EU LCS 2015 Week 7 Spring Split - March 2015 (SK Gaming)
Intel Extreme Masters Season IX Katowice - March 2015 (SK-Gaming)
SK Prime vs Gambit Gaming: Preview
One last step: EU LCS playoffs
A song of Mechanics and Rotations: SK's LCS W11
SK Prime win the Challenger League #2 finals
A song of Mechanics and Rotations: SK in LCS W9
THE NEW JERSEY