Fnatic are the EU summer champions, Vitality have qualified for Worlds and four teams are ready to fight it out in the gauntlet. But how was the EU summer split as a whole?
Things started off strong with Misfits and G2 going into week 4 undefeated and facing one another. Both teams utilized the gold funnel meta well and then suffered after its departure. G2 fell apart first, but Misfits fell apart worse.
That opened the door for Schalke, Vitality and Fnatic to take over. All three teams had great second halves and the battle for the top spot was a close one. On the other end of the spectrum was H2K. They went through one of the worst losing streaks in the history of the EU LCS, but managed two big wins in the final weeks of the split.
Despite a close race for the playoff spots and an unpredictable meta, it was the individual players that really made this split exciting. Caps emerged as possibly the best player in Europe and one of the world’s top mid laners. But he wasn’t the only mid laner to break out of their shell. 2018 has been deemed the ‘year of the duck’ thanks to the emergence of Nukeduck. He played more champions than anyone else in any of the major leagues and beat just about everyone he faced, even managing to compete with Caps in the finals.
Then there was Kikis, Vitality’s savior. Kikis joined the team part way through the split and completely changed their trajectory. They ended the regular season as one of the top teams in the league and managed to qualify for Worlds through points alone.
But the biggest player of the summer split was undoubtedly Rekkles. Though he only played a few games, his status was constantly dominating the news. Arguably the best player in Europe’s history, Fnatic’s Rekkles benched himself early in the split when ADCs exited the meta. Bwipo filled in for him magnificently, but the team just wasn’t the same without him.
In the final weeks of the split, Rekkles returned and Fnatic morphed into a full 6-man squad. With Bwipo, Rekkles and Soaz subbing in and out, Fnatic dominated playoffs and finished the season with yet another championship to their name.
Overall, the summer split was one of the most exciting and engaging in recent memory. There were a dozen different storylines to follow and it was exciting for just about everyone except H2K fans.