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Vitality keeps winning, H2k continues its downward spiral in the EU LCS

Mid laner Daniele "Jiizuk√©" di Mauro saw a leap in improvement during Vitality's match against Unicorns of Love. Provided by Riot Games

Vitality 1 -- Splyce 0

Team Vitality kicked off Week 4, Day 2 of the European League of Legends Championship Series in explosive fashion on Saturday, taking down Splyce in Berlin, Germany.

Vitality came into this game with a clear strategy in mind: shut down Splyce by cutting off the head of the snake, AD carry Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup. To do that, Vitality drafted a surprise Ziggs for AD carry Amadeu "Minitroupax" Carvalho, allowing him to completely shut down the bottom lane after picking up first blood just over two minutes in. Taking the fastest first tower in the EU LCS this season around six and a half minutes in, Vitality sprinted ahead of Vitality, applying pressure across the map with a superb 1-3-1 splitpushing style. Splyce picked up what kills it could, but its siege composition could never properly set up in the face of Minitroupax's insane waveclear and tower-destroying potential.

Vitality dominated the objective game, taking three Infernal Drakes, a Mountain Drake, three Barons, and a superpowered late game Elder Dragon. With Vitality cracking open Splyce's base around 30 minutes with a gold lead of over 10,000 gold, Splyce managed to stay alive for a surprising amount of time, repelling Vitality's over-eager attempts to end the game. In the end, though, the aforementioned Elder Dragon proved to be too much for Splyce to deal with, giving Minitroupax and company the explosive power it needed to take down Splyce's base in just under 40 minutes.

Splyce will prepare to take on Giants Gaming on Friday at 12 p.m ET, while Vitality look to take out the reigning kings of Europe, G2 Esports, on Friday at 3 p.m ET.

--Noah Waltzer

FC Schalke 1 -- H2k Gaming 0

FC Schalke 04 looked dominant on Saturday, dismantling a dismal H2k Gaming in just 30 minutes during the second game of the European League of Legends Championship Series in Berlin, Germany.

Coming into this game, H2k Gaming was in complete free fall, only picking up a single kill during this weekend's games. Meanwhile, Schalke 04 looked to escape the middle of the pack, using a hapless H2k as a step ladder to climb out of the bottom of the ranks. Predictably, H2k got rolled by Schalke, claiming one kill and two early tower kills for the entire game. Schalke dominated the game from start to finish, largely due to top laner Tamas "Vizicsacsi" Kiss and jungler Milo "Pride" Wehnes' phenomenal performances on Camille and Sejuani, respectively.

Dominating the early game by bullying H2k's top half of the map, Pride and Vizicsacsi combined for a majority of S04's kills, setting H2k's late game splitpushing composition desperately behind. Whenever Vizicsacsi was in trouble, Pride was never far behind, helping Vizicsacsi become a backline-diving juggernaut en route to Viziczacsi's 6/0/7 KDA (kills/deaths/assists). H2k looked for all the world like a chicken with its head cut off, scrambling around the map and struggling to establish vision control in its own jungle while Schalke did whatever it desired. Pride's teamfighting was on point as well, initiating massacres, such as a 5-for-1 ace at 26 minutes, en route to a perfect 1/0/10 KDA. With little resistance coming out of H2k, Schalke 04 took care of business, knocking down H2k's feeble defenses and closing out a lopsided win in 30 minutes flat.

H2k Gaming will try its hand at taking down ROCCAT on Friday at 1 p.m ET, while FC Schalke 04 prepares for a clash against Fnatic on Friday at 4 p.m ET.

--Noah Waltzer

ROCCAT 1 -- Misfits 0

ROCCAT completely shut out Misfits during the third match of Week 4 Day 2 of the 2018 European League Championship Series Spring Split to lock up a perfect game.

From the get-go, ROCCAT found itself with a multitude of advantages thanks in part to the fact Misfits opted to play aggressively during the early game, despite drafting a late-game scaling composition. The first notable mistake came from support Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle on Alistar. Playing haphazardly, he forced a fight near dragon that his team was not prepared for, allowing ROC to swiftly gain a stranglehold of the game by picking up a pair of kills, the dragon, and several towers.

Misfits panicked, making another poor decision in the midlane. Trying to use Rift Herald to bait the enemy team, MSF put itself in a compromising position, allowing ROC to flank the team and pick up four uncontested kills to pick up sole control of the game.

With Misfits continuing to posture aggressively despite being down over 10,000 gold, a comeback transitioned from hopeless to impossible in an instant; ROCCAT used its lead to methodically whittle down every objective, ROC would easily win the game without giving up a single kill or objective to the enemy team.

With a standout performance from ROCCAT's top laner Kim "Profit" Jun-hyung on Camille, it was no surprise that the team was able to claim such a convincing victory. After finding two kills for himself early on, Profit was able to push his lead across the map. Drawing pressure by split pushing, he quickly joined his team for skirmishes, setting up flanks that proved fatal to Misfits' carries. Participating in over half of his team's kills while dealing the most damage, Profit was instrumental to his team's success.

After posting an 0-2 record this week, Misfits will use the ensuing days to review its strategy. The team will need to make changes to prepare for its upcoming match against Unicorns of Love on Friday at 2:00 p.m. ET. ROCCAT will look to repeat its Saturday performance as it takes on Splyce to kickoff Week 5 on Friday at 12:00 p.m. ET.

--Chase Geddes

Fnatic 1 -- Giants Gaming 0

It might have taken a bit for the action to begin, but when the dust settled it was Fnatic who would manage to secure a victory Saturday over Giants Gaming in the EU LCS.

The plan was clear from the get go for both teams, as Fnatic was content on playing it safe across the Rift early, patiently waiting for its team composition built around AD carry Martin "Rekkles" Larrson's Tristana to scale, while Giants attempted to play around a split push threat in the top lane. Giants sent multiple ganks top side, but the first attempt was a complete failure. With the Giants top laner Kim "Ruin" Heyong-min's Gnar starting the skirmish well before jungler Charly "Djoko" Guillard's Sejuani arrived, Fnatic easily escaped and picked up the first two kills of the game. The early kill was all that top laner Paul "sOAZ" Boyer's Ornn needed to hold his own in the side lane matchup, which nullified Giants' split push threat and allowed the rest of Fnatic to be proactive in pushing for objectives.

Giants weren't entirely helpless as it managed to find some picks in the mid game but it wasn't nearly enough. None of the kills opened up objectives and were mainly punishing Fnatic for overstaying during a siege. The late game quickly became dire for Giants as Fnatics grouped up and dominated the teamfights. Giants fell so far behind that after losing another teamfight, the beleaguered remaining members tried to stick around in lane to clean up some CS. The decision cost the team terribly, Fnatic were waiting in a bush near the river, watching for its chance to pounce. With Giants committing to collecting the CS, Fnatic quickly rushed into lane and picked up three more kills. The 4-for-0 extended teamfight victory gave Fnatic an easy Baron kill that it used to push and finish off Giants' Nexus.

Giants hope to guard its spot near the top of the standings against Splyce on Friday at 10 a.m. ET while Fnatic look to climb in the rankings against Schalke 04 later that day at 2 p.m. ET.

--Ben Wong

G2 Esports 1 -- Unicorns of Love 0

European League of Legends Championship Series Week 4 closed out with a slugfest as G2 Esports stole a victory from Unicorns of Love in Berlin.

Despite Unicorns of Love dreadful first half to the EU LCS Spring Split, it was all smiles to begin Saturday's matchup against one of the perennial favorites in Europe, G2 Esports. While the action was muted to begin the contest, UoL ramped up its pressure in the mid game, securing a handful of small teamfights thanks to expert positioning and even better shotcalling. Jungler Jonas "Kold" Kold Anderson's Zac supplied UoL with plenty of options to engage as it continued to bully its way in skirmishes, eventually earning enough objectives to the point where it had built a surprising lead. However its teamfight prowess wasn't enough to make up for a crucial late game mistake.

Given the state of the game, the next order of business for UoL was to take Baron, but while the decision to destroy the objective was on point, the execution ended up being a fatal mistake. While the numbers advantage kept G2 away from the Baron pit, AD carry Petter "Hjarnan" Freyschuss' Ezreal didn't need to get close to steal away the objective. A perfectly timed Trueshot Barrage fired from halfway across the Rift secured the buff for G2 and instantly turned the tide of battle in its favor. With the stolen buff in hand, G2 quickly pushed into UoL's base and swatted away any attempt to stop it, completing a shocking comeback win, one that was still was simultaneously unsurprising given UoL's futility this split.

Unicorns of Love hope to turn around the second half, starting off with Misfits Gaming on Friday at 12 p.m. ET, while G2 Esports battle the first place place Team Vitality later that day at 1 p.m. E.

--Ben Wong