Each week, Upcomer highlights one player in the League of Legends European Championship for their outstanding performance in the weekend prior and crowns them player of the week. For his impressive early-game jungling that enabled his entire team, the LEC player of the week for week 2 of the spring split is Team Vitality jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek.
Versus Team BDS
Selfmade kicked off the weekend by locking in Olaf in response to Team BDS’ early Xin Zhao/Gwen/Syndra picks. The start of the game was relatively quiet for an Olaf, who relies on early kills in order to stay relevant in later stages of the game. However, after ten minutes, Selfmade saw an opportunity to help teammate Luka “Perkz” Perković in a comfortable position.
A quick gank in the mid lane helped teammate find a comfortable position, allowing Vitality to freely roam through BDS’ bot side jungle.
With the gank, Selfmade had recovered from a clunky early death and he began his ascension with Olaf. Moreover, he had now opened BDS’ bot side jungle for Vitality to roam through.
The true tipping point for Selfmade, and through him for Vitality, came at 14 minutes into the game. After diligently farming his own jungle and confidently stealing some gold in BDS’ jungle, Selfmade pathed toward the bot lane for a dive.
Vitality’s tower dive failed, but Selfmade and Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság did not give up. Feigning their retreat, the duo waited for BDS to walk back up the bot lane. Despite facing a 2v3, Selfmade and Carzzy charged forward and boldly secured two kills.
With Selfmade fed, Vitality claimed the liberty to pressure BDS on all fronts. BDS couldn’t do much about it. If they overstepped, an angry Olaf would smack them in the face. As a result, Vitality continued to roll over their opponents with relative ease, capitalizing well on the power spikes of other champions.
As Olaf’s relative strength declined, Selfmade became his team’s needed meat shield, leading the scoreboard of damage taken with almost 30k in total. But the changed role didn’t reduce his importance to Vitality in the slightest. In Vitality’s final push to close out the game, Selfmade split up BDS, claimed a kill amid four enemies and set up his teammates to bring home the victory.
Versus G2 Esports
On Saturday, against G2 Esports, Selfmade stood up for his team in a different way, this time piloting Xin Zhao. Early on he set the tone for how the entire game played out.
Starting at his Red buff, Selfmade skipped all his other camps and instead rushed straight to his bot lane. There, G2’s Victor “Flakked” Lirola and Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé had confidently pushed up against Vitality’s bot lane. They clearly did not expect Selfmade to show up so early, and the jungler snatched up First Blood.
Selfmade’s early gank rippled through the entire game. With Vitality’s bot lane now comfortably winning what was supposed to be a tough matchup, Selfmade was free to help out his top side in the rest of the early to mid game.
And that he did. Whenever anyone attacked Barney “Alphari” Morris, Selfmade arrived to back him up. When Alphari played aggressively, Selfmade hovered in the background, just in case.
Once again, Vitality found themselves in a comfortable position early on. G2’s entire bot side jungle belonged to Selfmade and his teammates, meaning they could stack drakes and cruise to victory.
To their credit, G2 did not roll over. They realized they had to do something in return and started looking for plays, which they did somewhat successfully. Yet, when it mattered most, Selfmade delivered the killing blow.
Vitality earned a dominant victory in the end, with a crucial supportive playmaking from Selfmade. After the match concluded, he took to Twitter to mock those who had criticized him in the past by saying he only could play for himself and not for his teammates. “SeLfMaDe Is SeLfIsH hE cAnT pLaY fOr ThE tEaM,” he Tweeted.
SeLfMaDe Is SeLfIsH hE cAnT pLaY fOr ThE tEaM
— selfmade (@selfmade_LoL) January 22, 2022
Vitality’s wings have sprouted
From the start of the LEC’s 2022 spring split, Vitality faced pressure to perform. The organization built a super team in the offseason with some of the best players in Europe’s history. However, their lackluster play during the first week earned an 0-3 start to the season.
Team captain Perkz clarified some of their week 1 issues in a broadcast interview, stating that some of the players were sick and that Alphari had to play from a different room.
“Being a new team, it’s really hard to be really good as a team in the beginning,” he said.
However, Selfmade’s jungling stood as the basis of Vitality’s much-needed stabilization after a rough opening week in the LEC. The super team has a long road ahead, but they relieved some of the pressure on them —from outside and internally — now that they found some success. Through Selfmade’s persistence and adaptability, especially in the early game, Vitality have straightened their back.
Of course, Selfmade wasn’t the only player to pop off in the LEC last weekend. He faced stiff competition for the player of the week nomination.
Fnatic’s Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov had a fantastic weekend, too, and was Selfmade’s main contender. The support player pushed the boundaries of Zilean against Astralis on Friday, playing the Chronokeeper with the deadly aggression of an assassin. Against Misfits, piloting Braum, Hylissang’s timing and aggression were catalysts for Fnatic’s teamfight victories.
Another support player whose efforts are worthy of recognition is Rogue’s Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus.
Trymbi was a menace on Blitzcrank in Rogue’s series against MAD Lions. He hit hooks left and right, dragging his opponents to a certain death with pinpoint accuracy. It was as if he had attached a magnet to the robot’s Rocket Grab ability. He continued to impress against Team BDS on Saturday with Nami, dominating with his lane partner Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos.