Schalke 04 defeats Splyce, moves on to EU LCS Semifinals - Upcomer
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After a thrilling five-game series, Schalke 04 is moving on to the EU LCS Summer Semifinals after defeating Splyce. This was a highly contested matchup and was a perfect way to kick off the EU LCS Playoffs. However, Schalke 04 was able to use some great late game shotcalling to take the series.

Schalke 04 was coming into the playoffs looking like the dark horse of the split. They would barely miss out on a playoff bye, after a surprising loss to H2K Gaming. Even still, the team was looking like a deep playoff run was in the works. The addition of veteran jungler Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider has done wonders to their playstyle and decision making. Also, their midlaner Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm is looking energetic and better than ever.

Many people are calling it “The Year of the Nukeduck”, and for good reason. He has been the source for many of their victories and is in the running for EU LCS MVP with six Player of the Game awards. Their 18-year-old ADC, Elias “Upset” Lipp, is a fireball, as he loves to play with a lot of aggression. However, it can be the cause of his downfall as well.

An Underdog Story

On the other hand, Splyce is heading into the quarterfinals with less momentum as their opponents. They can look very good when they are rolling. However, this EU LCS split, they don’t seem to be on the same page and are definitely one of the weaker teams going into playoffs. As a team made up of plenty of veteran talent, they also like playing a slow, controlling style of play. It looks like when a team plays extremely quick and aggressive, they tend to roll over.

I do think that their success hinges on the play of their jungler, Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir. He is one of the most inconsistent junglers in the league. For example, one moment he can look amazing and the team will do great. The next game, he has a horrible match and the team crumbles. He is truly their “X-factor”, even though their bottom lane and mid lane can play pretty decently.

A Sneaky Schalke Backdoor

Game one was an amazing example of the Schalke 04 late game shotcalling that we spoke of earlier. Right from the get-go, Splyce would hop out to an early lead. This is due to Schalke’s late-game focused team composition of Kai’sa and Ryze. However, it was looking like Splyce would take complete control of the game after taking three infernal drakes by 21 minutes. It was the play of Nukeduck that would keep Schalke in the game.

When Splyce would push down objectives, Nukeduck would use the split pushing power of Ryze to answer back. This would prove to be crucial in the final moments of the game. A fight at the Elder Dragon would ensue, but instead of teleporting into the fight, Nukeduck and Upset would teleport to top lane. The rest of Schalke delay Splyce recalls long enough for them to take the win.

Splyce Dominance

As intense as that first game was, Splyce would answer quite well in games two and three. In game two, they would surprise Schalke with two picks, Sion and everyone’s favorite late-game hyper carry Vayne. Although it would understandably take some time to get Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup to that point, the match would hit late game. With Sion and Trundle running right at the enemy and Vayne pumping damage from the back, they would take game two pretty easily.

Game three was even better for Splyce, with them jumping out to an early lead with Kobbe on Kai’sa and Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer on Ryze. They would then take a really big gold lead into the mid-game and would shift the focus to the mid lane. This would end up being the quickest match in the five games, as FC Schalke would not have any answer to the great roaming plays and aggression that having Ryze gave their opponents.

Schalke Lockdown

With their backs against the wall, FC Schalke 04 would need a great effort to claw back into this playoffs series. Fortunately, they do just that. Again, Splyce opts into a very non-standard composition with Kog’maw and Veigar to counter Schalke’s Akali pick. Unfortunately, even though the early game was looking good, Upset would be able to turn the tides back into Schalke’s favor. He would put on a show, playing incredibly aggressive throughout the game. He would end game four with a 9/1/1 scoreline, and help push for silver scrapes.

Finally, game five would come and it would be, again, the Upset show. He is given Kai’sa once again, and he dominates, pushing for a 7/2/0 scoreline. Splyce’s Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu was not playing at his best, as he made some unusual mistakes in game five. He would end the game with seven deaths and no kills, a real detriment to the team. Schalke 04’s controlling, calculated style of attack was on display here today, and really showed that they are a team to be reckoned with in the EU LCS.

What’s Next

Now, this win secures FC Schalke 04’s spot in the playoffs semifinals against Team Vitality. This could be a great match to watch, as Vitality loves to play fast and chaotic. It will be a true war of attrition between two opposing styles of play. I also can’t wait to see the trash talk between the teams, as it could get really competitive leading into the semis.

As for Splyce, it’s back to the drawing board as they end the EU LCS season on another disappointing mark. I’m not sure if changes are in order for this team. They have not been able to produce much success with the lineup they have, especially in the playoffs. They may want to replace Xerxe, who has been very on and off for them throughout the year. For Splyce to find some kind of meaningful success, they need more consistency and Xerxe just isn’t consistent at all.

What do you think of Schalke 04’s victory against Splyce? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more EU LCS Playoff content, check us out here!