With Rift Rivals now behind them, the various seasons in Europe, North America and South Korea are swinging back into action.
Battle of the undefeated
In the EU LCS, G2 Esports, who are coming off an inconsistent performance at Rift Rivals, open their Week 4 against another undefeated squad – Misfits Gaming (G2 1.606, Misfits 2.350).
G2 looked solid for much of Rift Rivals before a loss in the Finals to Echo Fox soured their overall performance.
This is the first setback for G2 since the Finals of the Spring Split and questions are now being asked as to how they will respond.
While G2 were able to produce a variety of strategies and quality performances, it allowed Misfits, who did not attend Rift Rivals, to scout them for the latest patch.
G2 remain one of the best teams in the West, with a wealth of talent that continues to surprise. Their Bottom lane of Hjarnan and Wadid, previously thought of as the weak point of the squad, have emerged as a dominant force throughout the Summer, utilising primarily Mage selections for Hjarnan instead of traditional Marksmen.
Misfits continue to impress
Misfits play a very different style to G2. They are dedicated to playing traditional Marksmen in the Bottom lane for Hans Sama, while also always selecting a Tank in the Top lane for Alphari.
This makes Misfits an incredibly easy side to predict in the pick and ban phase, but their execution in-game has been second to none so far in the Summer Split.
The new patch does give Misfits the opportunity to show some versatility, although it remains likely they will continue to stick to the stock standard. The key for Misfits will be shutting down G2’s Wunder, who emerged from Rift Rivals as the MVP.
Splyce remain unpredictable
There are plenty of question marks over Splyce after they produced an incredibly odd performance at Rift Rivals.
Splyce exited Week 3 of the EU LCS after winning their first two games of the Summer and were trying to build their momentum at Rift Rivals.
However, they struggled throughout the Group Stage, going 0-3 and looking fairly poor in their outings.
In contrast, in the Finals, Splyce caused a major shock by beating the top team from North America – Team Liquid.
Splyce have match-ups against both Fnatic (Fnatic 1.366, Splyce 3.160) and Schalke 04 (Splyce 1.617, Schalke 04 2.330) in the next week.
One of the few bright spots for Splyce in the Summer has been the play of Mid laner Nisqy, who has performed very well, especially on the likes of Zoe.
Typically, new patches give rekindled hope to teams down on their luck but given the mediocre performance on the latest patch, it is unclear how Splyce will perform in the future.
Chance for UoL to shine
The struggling Unicorns of Love have an opportunity to put together a solid showing this week, with matches against ROCCAT (ROCCAT 1.757, UoL 2.090) and the still winless H2k (UoL 1.671, H2k 2.230).
The Unicorns enjoyed a successful Week 2 when they secured their only two victories.
However, in a brutal Week 3 schedule, they lost to Vitality and G2 Esports. They have the chance to get their season back on track against the inconsistent ROCCAT and H2k this time around.
The Unicorns have always been one of the teams willing to bring out something new, with a chance to do so given the latest patch.
Schalke could bounce back
Schalke 04’s form has been similar to that of Unicorns of Love recently and they have winnable games against GIANTS and Splyce coming up.
Schalke 04 have had one of the most difficult schedules at the start of the Summer Split, with their four losses coming against the top four teams in the league. This is a golden opportunity for Schalke 04 to show they belong in the middle to upper tier of the league.
Week 4 should be full of some fascinating contests with the new patch changing strategies for some, if not all, of the teams.
G2 and Misfits remains the headlining match-up but, with half the Summer Season left, plenty can change.