The EU LCS playoffs have arrived, but there were a myriad of paths to get here. Some teams took the straightforward route, others struggled through nearly three months of games to get here.
No matter their path, almost every team has at least one player who could make or break their payoff run, for better or for worse. Here are the six players to keep an especially close eye on in the EU LCS playoffs.
Kikis – Vitality
Before Kikis, Vitality was a mediocre team struggling for a playoff spot. Since Kikis joined mid-split, Vitality has transformed into a powerhouse who were able to secure a bye ahead of Misfits, G2 and Schalke. He has the highest kill participation of the split and the second highest KDA. Kikis playing good or bad will likely be the biggest factor in Vitality’s postseason success.
Rekkles/Bwipo – Fnatic
It’s unclear if Rekkles will be commanding a full-time role in the bot lane or if he’ll be splitting duties with Bwipo. While Fnatic has enough skill around the map so that the performance of Rekkles or Bwipo won’t be exactly make or break for the team, you should still be keeping an eye on them. Neither wants to be benched at this point, even though both have admitted to wanting what’s best for the team. Fnatic appears to be getting along well right now, but as we move through playoffs and towards worlds, the team’s relationship and chemistry could be tested. With so many big personalities and not enough positions for all of them, the situation feels like a powder keg just waiting to explode.
Hans Sama – Misfits
While Fnatic might be on the verge of exploding, Misfits have already imploded. Hans Sama feels like the last remaining hope for this team. He needs to put his teammates on his back and carry them through the quarterfinals. If he can do that for even just a game or two, then maybe the rest of the team can finally get its act together and become the Misfits of old once again.
Nukeduck – Schalke
The year of the duck needs to carry over to the playoffs of the duck if Schalke wants to find success past the quarterfinals. They’ll be heavy favorites to beat Splyce no matter what, but if they want to make it to the Finals and potentially win, they’ll need Nukeduck at the top of his game. The EU LCS is packed with stellar mid laners and this is Nukeduck’s chance to prove that he deserves to be talked about as one of the best. Schalke are strong all around the map, but Nukeduck is the catalyst and he has something to prove.
Jankos – G2
Jankos is a win condition for G2. He may not be the only win condition, but he’s certainly one of them. Unfortunately he just hasn’t been performing up to par all split. G2 has a chance at winning without him, but if he can pop off like he used to, then they might be unstoppable. Jankos has felt like one of the most underperforming players all split and it feels like it’s just a matter of time until he gets back to his winning ways. The only question is, will he get there before the end of playoffs?