The League of Legends European Championship has reached the Playoffs with six teams fighting to win the Spring Split. The first of these teams were G2 Esports and MAD Lions.
Heading to Playoffs, G2 Esports were top of the standings after an impressive 15-3 Split. 2019 saw G2 become not only the best in the West but one of the best teams in the world, making it all the way to the 2019 World Championship grand final. This marked the team's only best-of-five loss curtosy of FunPlus Phoenix of the LPL, with G2 winning out multiple series' against closest EU rivals Fnatic from 0-2 deficits.
Their form has continued into 2020, kicking off the season with a victory over MAD Lions before dominating the Split, making G2 the heavy favourites for the Playoffs.
This year, the rookie side of MAD Lions (11-7) were one of only three teams to take a game off of G2 in the regular season, the others being Misfits and FC Schalke 04. MAD Lions might have a new name but they had the same fourth place finish and result as Splyce did in last year's Spring Split.
Spoilers for the match below
MAD Lions hunted down a win in the opening game after a strong performance that surprised many including G2 who were unable to match them. It looked like a sign of things to come in a match that G2 themselves opted for by choosing MAD Lions over third seed Origen.
G2 fought back to tie up the series 1-1 with Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle back on Rakan while Rasmus "Caps" Winther once again locked in Syndra. Sett remained on the side of G2 and in the hands of Martin "Wunder" Hansen, the team found success.
A promising Game 3 saw MAD Lions opt out of tank mid laners and instead Marek "Humanoid" Brázda picked Lucian after Luka "Perkz" Perković was unable to get things done with the Purifier in the first game.
Early aggression saw MAD Lions take first blood within the first five minutes. Four drakes gifted MAD Lions a Cloud Soul, G2 Esports were able to claim the first Baron unchallenged before MAD Lions went on to get the Elder Dragon and the second Baron to secure the game.
Perhaps in tribute to Carlos "ocelote" Rodriguez, Perkz locked in Cassiopeia while MAD Lions unleashed Renekton in Game 4 as G2 finally let the champion through but it was Zhiqiang "Shad0w" Zhao's Elise that massacred three G2 members in the bot lane to kick things off.
G2 showed their resilience and claimed the game in the end, taking the series to a five and final game.
G2 attempted to backdoor MAD Lions as they tried to add Baron to their four Elemental Drakes, destroying two towers and an inhibitor before getting pushed back and MAD Lions secured Baron. Wunder continued to strike in MAD Lions' base, taking down the final base tower but unable to capitalise on the opportunity.
The Elder Dragon falling to MAD Lions looked to close out the game but Caps and Mikyx bring the enemy Nexus to just 20 HP but it wasn't enough following a misplay. MAD Lions took yet another Baron and prepared their defences.
In the end, MAD Lions were able to complete the upset and win the series by taking Game 5.
G2 will now need to fight through the Loser's Bracket from Round 3 for the chance to defend their title while MAD Lions are set to play the winner of Fnatic vs. Origen.