Misfits Gaming vs. G2 Esports: LEC Match of the Week Preview

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Karthus. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

The last team to reach a split’s half-way point with an undefeated record was Misfits Gaming in Summer 2018, so perhaps its fitting that G2 Esports must take them down in the LEC Match of the Week to conclude 2019’s first round robin with zero losses to their name.

Friday’s games close with a clash between two LEC super-teams, Misfits Gaming and G2 Esports. Misfits signed League veterans like sOAZ, Febiven, and Gorilla and combined them with their strongest members in 2018, Maxlore and Hans Sama to create an exciting roster. On the other hand, G2 kept three of their Worlds semi-finalists in Wunder, Jankos, and Perkz, and simply added Europe’s best player, Caps, along with an extremely solid support player, Mikyx, making them the most feared line-up in the LEC.

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Its obvious which of these teams has looked strongest thus far. G2 Esports have been unstoppable in Europe, boasting an 8-0 record without ever losing control of their games and most recently took down Worlds finalists Fnatic in the fastest ever European game. Meanwhile Misfits Gaming have looked unconvincing and, despite a strong start, have only won 1 of their last 4.

Nevertheless, with both teams producing entertaining games throughout the season so far, the LEC Match of the Week promises to be an captivating spectacle.

Misfits Gaming

Misfits suffered two defeats in Week 4, falling to Schalke 04 and Splyce while looking poor in both games, a large shift from their early season performances. The team’s early game remained strong over the weekend, however they quickly capitulated after a single lost teamfight against Schalke and then found it impossible to close out a very messy game when facing Splyce.

In the first two weeks of the season, Misfits picked up three wins from four games largely due to the snowball created by their insanely strong bottom lane of Hans Sama and Gorilla. Recently they’ve moved away from strong, early game 2v2s and instead have looked towards scaling, utility options for their marksman, like Kai’Sa and Varus.

Unsurprisingly, plenty of opponent bans are being targeted at Hans Sama’s champion pool as he’s already picked up two ‘Player of the Game’ awards this season and is a pivotal factor of Misfits Gaming’s success. However, if the key to defeating Misfits is to simply ban out their strong bottom lane and shut down Hans Sama, then are they as good as their first three weeks suggested?

It is for this reason that many analysts and viewers have claimed that 2019 Spring Misfits looks worryingly similar to 2018 Summer Misfits – a team with no ‘Plan B’ if Hans Sama can’t carry them to victory. Coming off the back of two consecutive defeats, this team will have to be at their very best to win against a G2 side who are looking to end the regular season without dropping a single game.

One to Watch – Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian

While the ‘Player of the Game’ awards have been evenly shared between sOAZ and Hans Sama in Misfits’ four victories, an argument could be made for Maxlore being the key player for his team this season. The English jungler has repeatedly put his team in the lead through his priority around the map and efficient ganking, particularly towards the bottom lane.

Misfits’ ADC and support duo may take all the plaudits due to their ability to snowball games out of control for their team, but this would not be possible if not for Maxlore’s continuous visits to the south side of the map, enabling Hans Sama and Gorilla to take control. In fact, Misfits’ first three wins of the season all began with Maxlore or Hans Sama killing a member of their opponent’s bottom lane in the first five minutes.

For Misfits to take down G2 in the LEC Match of the Week, Maxlore must be allowed to dictate the early game for his team. Although Jankos sits on a very impressive 12.1 KDA, he’s yet to be challenged by enemy junglers at all this season and Maxlore could be the first to test the Polish Karthus one-trick. If Misfits cannot rely on Hans Sama to set the tone and lead his team to victory, then its time for Maxlore to step up. If not, we could well see a repeat of Misfits’ disappointing collapse in the 2018 season.