FC Schalke 04 is ending the regular season on a high note.
The fourth-ranked LEC team pulled off a major upset versus G2 Esports, toppling one of the strongest teams in the world. Though both already had a spot in the playoffs locked up before the clash on Friday, the victory shows that no team is safe.
True to its style, G2 locked in a creative and surprising composition. Top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen and mid laner Ramus “Caps” Winther played rock-paper-scissors to decide who would play Kha’Zix. Wunder came out victorious and played his first game of the season on the champion. On Schalke’s side, Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu played the new Mordekaiser.
The junglers focused their early efforts on the bottom lane. Support Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun set up duo partner Elias “Upset” Lipp for success, and served as the main initiator for Schalke on Alistar. Not everything went smoothly for Schalke, as mid laner Felix “Abbedagge” Braun and jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-yun made mistakes that G2 turned into kills
The teams transitioned into the mid game with Schalke split pushing the map. G2 was forced to group and respond to Schalke’s attacks. In the side lanes, Odoamne was strong enough to face any of the enemy players on his own.
Wunder failed to capitalize on his Kha’Zix pick. The top laner was a non-factor for most of the game, which resulted in G2 slowly losing control of the map.
On the flipside, IgNar shined throughout the game, using his playmaking skills to score multiple kills and two baron buffs. Schalke closed the game at 32 minutes.
Even though this match didn’t have direct playoff implications, it may have exposed some of G2’s weaknesses. While the team previously seemed perfect, Schalke’s win suggests that playing through the bottom lane and demanding attention from jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski can throw the team off balance. Team Vitality tested this in week seven and Schalke seemingly confirmed it in week nine.
The race for the playoffs is closer than ever in the 2019 LEC Summer season. Schalke, G2, Fnatic, and Splyce are the top four of the season. Origen, Rogue, and Vitality are still in the fight for the two remaining playoff spots.