After dropping a close match to Vitality on the first day of Week 5, G2 (8-2) came back with a strong Sunday showing, defeating H2K (8-2) to create a tie at the top of the standings between the two teams. While the earlier matchup between these two teams was nothing short of a dominant performance from H2K, this time they were without star midlaner Ryu, who continues to be held out of play due to visa issues.
The pick/ban phase let Gangplank make it through for the 7th time (6W-1L) this season, due to H2K’s prioritization of the Corki pick. G2’s Perkz has been dominant on the bombardier so it was no surprise to see that champion taken out of his hands. G2 was keen to hold their cards though, pulling out a last pick Malphite to counter the triple marksman composition out of H2K. Once again, G2’s superior drafting preemptively set them up on the road to success.
The game involved a series of relatively even trading early on, H2K’s midlane sub Selfie, acquiring a nice 5-0-2 score to lead the way. After controlling the baron pit area, H2K started to go for the objective. The game was blown wide open however, by a Mystic Shot from Emperor’s Ezreal to steal the baron for G2, which eventually led to a 7,700 gold baron power play, one of the largest of this season across all regions. Malphite would pick up a staggering 6 kills over this 3 minute span, really displaying the strength of the pick. The Thornmail/Iceborn Gauntlet combination proved to be too much for the 3 marksmen of H2K to break through.
Hybrid once again had an incredibly high-impact game on Braum, who he has chosen 7 times this season while sporting a 7.6 KDA ratio. Further, critics who were solely attributing G2’s success to Perkz’ Corki were once again stifled by the team’s effective and patient play. Perkz led his team with 24.3k damage dealt to champions on the game, pulling a massive 1339 damage critical strike at one point.
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Though H2K was not able to start the second half of this split with a victory, they are still striding forward as one of the top teams to be reckoned with. Selfie is showing incredible growth in the place of Ryu, and many would consider them to be championship favorites, should they be able to bring back the Korean midlaner. Their pick/ban phase could use some further refining to ensure that their win conditions are both more clear and plausible; Malphite is one of the only champions in the game right now that can legitimately shut down the influx of AD carries.
G2 Esports and H2K will be facing Fnatic and Vitality next week, respectively. We can look forward to another dynamic set of matches between the top half of the EU LCS.