EU LCS Finals superlatives | LoL Esports
EU LCS Finals superlatives
At the end of August, Sweden was home (Stockholm, even) to the 2015 EU LCS Summer Finals, and on display was some of the highest-level League of Legends play I've seen in a long time. Now that the dust has settled, I've boiled down the best, worst, and weirdest moments for easy consumption. Tack för allt, Stockholm!
Fishiest pocket pick
Unexpected champions are always crowd-pleasers, and YellOwStaR's Tahm Kench was no exception. The noise was enough to damage anyone’s herring, but the excitement wasn’t enough to save Fnatic from their second defeat of the day -- and the split -- despite a 13,000 gold lead. Was Tahm responsible for Fnatic’s loss? Some would say sole-ly, but he'll always be the thing I remember when I look back at this strange game. So I’ll let him off the hook.
JERKiEST move of the weekend
Morale is a fragile thing. Sure, H2K must have been on a high as they closed out their second game against Unicorns of Love on Saturday, but think how much higher they could have soared with a pentakill to fire their ascent. Hjärnan came so close as he bounced between each of the Unicorns during a critical teamfight. Using Tristana's resets to rocket jump all over the lane, he cut the Unicorns down with a couple of auto-attacks apiece. All except PowerOfEvil, who managed to find some reprieve from the fight by escaping to near his base. Safe from Hjärnan, but not from Ryu, who had no qualms about stealing his buddy's penta instead of waiting for him to catch up. Typical mid-laner. (Just kidding, mid-buds.)
Biggest pun-o-phile on the EU casting team
It wasn't just players who brought their A-game to the Hovet Arena at the weekend -- the casters were on top of hitting their skillshots of choice as well: puns. And who doesn’t love puns? The apex of wit, puns reverberated around the auditorium all day long, but perhaps none more so than Krepo's affectionate dig at one of his co-casters. "More blue steals than a Deficio montage," he quipped, as Fnatic and Origen fought over jungle buffs. Wordplay: proof, finally, that there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good-looking. And if you have no idea what I'm (or Krepo) is talking about, you’re in for a treat.
Most raptorous reception
A mid-lane Kayle with Smite and the Devourer jungle enchantment is a common sight in solo queue, but it's never done that well in pro play. Not necessarily what you'd expect to see during the finals of the EU LCS, then, but apparently there’s no telling PowerOfEvil, who broke it out at one point to widespread approval. The trouble with Devourer is that it requires you to kill large jungle monsters in order to unlock its full potential, which isn't easy when you're shackled to the mid lane. PowerOfEvil had a hard time collecting his Devourer stacks, but the audience enjoyed watching him try, erupting into a tense oooohhhh followed by a corresponding aaahhhh every time he picked off a monster. The whole game was a feast for those of an agricultural bent, then - rich not only in the act of farming but also appropriate sound effects. Ooh-arr, indeed.
Champ most likely to be Davy Jones' lock-in
Gangplank. Buddy. You look a little different. Have you done something with your hair? I haven't seen you around a while. Dead you say? Well, you're looking good on it. We should catch up sometime. Grab a drink. Oh, you're busy? Being picked and banned in almost every game of the EU LCS Finals? Alright man, no need to brag. Just because your barrels are blasting foes to smithereens across the Rift, and your ult can slow an escaping enemy anywhere on the map, doesn't mean you're too cool for your old friends. Maybe one day when you're not the most contested pick in champ select, give me a call. What do you mean, "Who is this?" It's Urgot! ... Urgot! U. R. G. Oh, forget it. (P.S. If you’re always banned, why are you so busy?)
Player most likely to incite patriotic fervour
Could there have been a more perfect place on the planet for Swedish native Rekkles to earn a pentakill? Before the games began, the atmosphere in the Stockholm venue was electric, thanks in no small part to the whooping and cheering for Fnatic and its local legend. We even had this on the Saturday when Rekkles was interviewed by Pulse, generating the largest crowd reaction of the day, despite the fact he wasn’t even due to play for 24 hours. Sweden loves Rekkles and, judging by our post-match interview, the feeling is more than mutual.
Prize for most welcome surprise
It's easy to go into an event like the EU LCS Finals with an air of certainty about what will transpire. If you asked any of the thousands of attendees what they expected to see, the majority would have told you Fnatic would stomp Origen in a 3-0 series, while H2K and Unicorns of Love would have a much closer match-up. Clearly the break between the end of the Summer Split and the Finals made a big difference, because H2K out-trained the Unicorns to beat them in the 3-0 stomp I wasn't expecting until Sunday. As for Fnatic and Origen, I suppose the 21-0 win streak had to end one day, but I still never saw those five games coming. But I'm glad they did, because they were incredible contests that turned the Hovet Arena into a pressure cooker of fan tension and shock moments. GG Origen, thanks for the Silver Scrapes!
Analyst most likely to join a dance troupe if she ever retires from esports
Each day between games an impromptu dance party took place in the Hovet Arena. Members of the swaying audience were plastered onto the big screen while Rioters took to the stage to get their groove on. The casters and analysts did their best to take part, but no one was as successful as Sjokz. Clearly no stranger to the boogie, Sjokz was out-dancing the champions she was attempting to replicate by the end of the weekend. If we're not careful, we're going to lose her to Broadway.
Most intrepid Baron robber
And finally, more of a personal note. With this one Syndra play, Unicorns of Love not only stole Baron from H2K, but they also stole our hearts, because I've been dying to write about the Dark Sovereign lately. She’s been out of the meta for a while, but going into the EU Finals I -- and by the looks of it the Unicorns -- felt very strongly that she was due a reappearance. So PowerOfEvil, I thank you. Everyone else? Please take a moment to join me in solemn salute... to Stockholm Syndra.