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League of Legends - Spring 2016 Finals Preview

Well, what a week in LoL eSports, eh? Disregarding how upset we were only getting 1/4 correct in last week’s calls on the matchups, we had 2 teams going all the way to 5 games; an old guard favorite being kept out of title hopes; and over the pond we had an old guard favorite make it against insurmountable odds! Safe to say, the semis delivered in hype. Rotterdam and Las Vegas need to be off the Thresh hook to match and we have no doubt they'll provide the goods! Let us GINX-ify these finals for you, when they are and who to watch out for. Images and art are all from the lovely Riot Games, check out all their eSports coverage over at lolesports.com.

  EU LCS 3rd place and Finals EU Finals Saturday - 3rd place Match: H2K vs Fnatic H2KFNC In what many many could have conceived as the finals match heading into this split, both fell just that little bit short in their bid to take the crown of EU Spring split Champions. Having up to this point being consistently in the top 3 teams in the regular season, H2K’s previous clash went down to the wire in a tense 5th game against Origen. Sadly, it was down to Origen’s team drafting which shut down mid laner Ryu’s Le Blanc; and a particularly shaky performance from Oddomne on meta favorite Ekko; that sealed H2K’s fate for a 3rd place match at Rotterdam. Their opponents in this series, Fnatic, conversely have struggled to find consistency this split. After showing their prowess at mid series adaptations in their IEM performance, many pegged Fnatic to have a strong showing in the best of 5 playoff format. That didn’t quite go to the script as rookies G2 just plain overpowered the squad. Despite flashes of brilliance, Fnatic flourished in the tail end of the season and matched against a faltering performance from H2K; it’s a case of consistency vs volatility. Unless Fnatic have crafted some new compositions to throw H2K off guard, expect steady H2K to win the bronze medal. 3-1 to H2K   Sunday Finals - G2 vs Origen G2OG What should be a fresh clash between young upstarts G2 and veteran World’s semi-finalists Origen is steeped in League history; with a rivalry as old as the game itself providing the backdrop. To paint the picture, G2’s CEO is a Spaniard known as Ocelote. Ocelote rose to fame and fortune as a top tier mid laner between seasons Seasons 1-3 as the figurehead of the then fearsome SK Gaming. For Ocelote, G2’s finals placing is vindication of his dogged persistence to re-enter the LCS after many attempts to do so as a player and finally as a team owner. Not content with merely enjoying an LCS life, G2 has outplayed and brute forced their victory versus fan favorite Fnatic after a dominant season. xPeke is a fellow Spaniard that needs no introduction to LoL fans, but deserves one anyway! Part of the very first team to lift the Summoner’s Cup; xPeke became a eSports superstar with 4 years under the illustrious Fnatic banner and etched his name forever in the League of Legends lexicon with his insane backdoor vs Ocelote’s SK Gaming. After Season 4, he struck out on his own with his organisation Origen, making it through the challenger scene to a World championship 4th place in the space of a year. Season 6 saw the midlaner step away from the Rift a little; introducing PowerOfEvil as a starting midlaner with mixed success. In spite of being in a transition phase in terms of team cohesion, Origen have still managed to make their 2nd consecutive split finals. In their debut season, G2 have made an entrance in style. Midlaner Perkz and MVP of the split Trick have been a revelation in their respective roles, but they’ve still yet to shake their label of team only capable of going ham. Origen have shown a diversity to their team compositions and may catch G2 off guard with their rotating mid laners. Experience should win out in this one, but never count out youth! 3-1 to Origen   NA LCS 3rd place match and Finals NA Finals Saturday - 3rd place Match: Immortals vs Team Liquid IMTTL No. That’s not a typo folks. All predictions and stats counted for naught, chalk is now cheese, up is down and first place Immortals with a 17-1 record lost to Team Solo Mid. More damningly, Immortals took the loss straight to the face in three straight sets of domination. The team’s monumental nonperformance was a perfect storm of factors. Huni, touted as one of the best top laners in North America, had a bad series, but it was mainly down to a complete lack of knowledge on the metagame heading into the playoffs. With particularly strange picks such as a top lane Lucian, three games of support Karma and completely forgoing any kind of a front line; it was a spectacular fall from grace. Meanwhile, Liquid could have easily have been in the finals if it wasn’t for a single inventive play in the 5th game vs CLG. Liquid even in their loss have looked like a very strong team, again citing Rookie of the Split Dardoch and veteran ADC Piglet putting the team in their backpacks. We’ve not seen TL play around any other position than bot lane, which may be a chink in their armor. Much like their previous matches, Immortals should be a shoe-in for this 3rd place decider; but you can't discount the manner in which they lost having a lasting effect. Team Liquid should be able to capitalize on the tilted opposition and buck the curse of 4th once and for all! 3-0 to Team Liquid   Sunday Finals - Counter Logic Gaming vs Team Solo Mid CLGTSM Cat vs Mouse, Barcelona vs Real Madrid, Oxford vs Cambridge. Some rivalries will live in battle for years. Ignoring the regular split completely, the El Classico of NA LCS reignites the fight with Counter Logic Gaming meeting sworn rivals Team Solo Mid. Counter Logic Gaming come into this as the higher placed team. Beating an on-form Team Liquid with a single surprise play must have the team riding on a high; alongside the fact that they are the reigning champions. The pressure is on them to perform and make it a 2nd NA LCS title for veterans Darshan, Aphromoo and Xmithie. TSM on the other hand have absolutely nothing to lose coming into this. TSM have always been the darling of the NA scene, and the first NA finals without them seemed to be on the cards at one point. Barely making the playoffs, they took down Cloud 9 in unthinkable fashion before putting the immaculate first place Immortals straight in the bin. With the team remembering what the T in TSM stands for, all have look the best they have all split heading to the weekend. With the names, the talent and the fan backing; this should be the W for the 6th place team without a doubt if we’re reading the soap opera script correct... Playoff’s Svenskenren has been a monster for TSM and Bjergsen has been beast but CLG have the tools, talents and tactics to contain them and should bring home a second NA title. 3-1 to CLG   It’s been an awesome start to the 2016 season and the best is due to hit our screens this weekend! Think Immortals will finaly play a tank and condemn Liquid to 4th? Backing G2 to make a debut split as good as Cloud 9’s? Let us know your League related thoughts on these matches below and stick to lolesports.com to watch the action. GG WP!