There’s no hiding the fact that the first half of 2020 was disappointing for Team Vitality’s League of Legends team. The squad had a horrendous Spring Split, finishing in last place in the LEC, with a 2-16 record with wins versus SK Gaming, which ended up one place above them in the standings, and surprisingly versus Fnatic in their last game of the regular season.
Vitality needed change, not only in the roster itself but also in its approach to the game. Management replaced three of their players and decided not to sub in any more Academy members, at least for now. After three weeks of Summer competition, the results aren’t outstanding, but in comparison to the last split, it’s much improved.
As of now, the French organisation is sitting on a 3-4 record, which has been achieved by beating Schalke 04, SK Gaming and the defending champions, G2 Esports.
Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet’s squad isn’t yet seen as a contender for the playoffs, but with proper preparation, attitude and work put into self-improvement, anything is possible for the European side.
Vitality's coach and top laner, Hadrien “Duke” Forestier, recently shed some light on their goals for the split in an interview on Vitality’s Twitch channel. When asked to judge their performance so far, the player has expressed his happiness with how they are doing. “I’m pretty satisfied; we could learn a lot from our losses where we more or less managed to execute our game plan. [...] I expected us to be a bit higher in the standings, but we have a lot of room to improve.”
Duke feels there is still room for improvement on Vitality. (Picture: LEC)
What’s more, Duke agreed with most of what his player had to say and added a bit of his perspective. “Our results are OK, we are still playoff contenders, but we lack consistency.”
Yesterday was our game to lose after draft, but today we picked it up in a harder environment so I guess I will run down draft for free wins next week 😜— Duke (@Duke_Esports) June 27, 2020
Now we need to work on our consistency in practice #VITWIN
Squad’s coach also spoke about the three new additions to the club, and how he manages an almost whole new roster. “We learnt almost nothing from our spring split and had to restart from the basics. [...] Not so far ago we had a discussion about our fundamentals, but it’s something we should have done 6 months ago.”
Some experts have said that the European roster has changed their playstyle coming into summer, and Duke has somewhat confirmed that thesis. “Right now I study more the Chinese playstyle rather than the Korean one.” Frankly speaking, this adjustment has surely worked into the team’s favour.
Whether or not Vitality manages to fight for the playoffs, they are cementing themselves as another squad to be taken seriously in the LEC, rather than a free-win rival. This split’s results confirm that. In the end, it’s not so easy to take a game from the Worlds’ finalists.
Vitality will open up LEC’s Week 4, by taking on Excel Esports, a team that is surely beatable for Cabochard’s side. The match will start at 6:00 PM CET this Friday.