Schalke makes short work of Unicorns, G2 crushed by ROCCAT

Schalke 04 celebrates with fans in the EU LCS studio in Berlin. Provided by Riot Games

FC Schalke 04 1, Unicorns of Love 0

FC Shalke 04 made short work of Unicorns of Love to kick off Saturday's competition in the European League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split, which took place in Berlin.

The early game went extremely well for UoL (3-7), as the Unicorns stymied Schalke's funnel strategy with early aggression, halting any chance at scaling opportunities. With Jonas "Kold" Kold dominating the jungle on Kindred, the team quickly found itself with a multi-thousand gold lead and full control of the game.

Unfortunately, this success was short-lived, as Schalke (5-4) found its stride, using the team's star mid laner Erlend "Nukeduck" Våtevik Holm's funneled Taliyah to get things going. After playing behind for the majority of the game, the team grouped to force a series of skirmishes that resulted in multiple kills and a Baron off the back of the teamfight victory. With the buff, S04 was able to defend its base against UoL's aggression, finally picking up the team's first lead of the game.

UoL did not let up its pressure, constantly looking for any opportunity to extend into enemy territory. This ended up being the death of the team as minions started knocking on the base of UoL after losing an Inhibitor. After pushing out just a little too far, UoL could not catch Nukeduck, who sneakily made his way into the enemy base. Pulling off an impressive backdoor, Nukeduck was able to close out the game single-handedly in a 35-minute victory.

Unicorns of Love will look to bounce back from the defeat as it takes on Misfits at 1 p.m. ET next Friday, while FC Schalke 04 will aim to continue its momentum to take down Fnatic later in the day at 2 p.m. ET.


Giants 1, H2k 0

In a bottom-of-the-table clash between Giants Gaming and H2k (0-10), Giants (3-7) surged into the game with calculated aggression, making moves off the back of a strong performance from jungler Charly "Djoko" Guillard's Gragas. Quickly controlling objectives and taking several kills, he brought Giants firmly into the driver's seat.

At the 20-minute mark, Giants had such a large lead that it seemed as though the team would take a swift victory and a near-perfect game. However, it quickly became apparent why Giants have struggled this split. The team stagnated, unsure of what to do in order to continue pressuring its lead. H2k seemed to identify this change in pace and began forcing fights that caught Giants off-guard. Picking up several kills and a Baron, H2k was able to close a bit of the looming gold deficit. Giant's support Risto "SirNukesAlot" Luuri had an extremely unfortunate play on Rakan that allowed H2k to take a fight and ultimately a Baron. Despite the new resources, H2k was still at a firm disadvantage.

During the later stages of the game, it almost seemed as if Giants was trying to give the game back to H2k. With several members of the team constantly caught out, H2k was gifted the openings it needed to come back in the game. Unfortunately for them, they were still unable to capitalize. SirNukesAlot essentially put the game to rest, making up for his poor play earlier by landing a critical engage onto several members of H2k in an extended teamfight, ending the engagement as quickly as it started. The aftermath saw Giants push into the vacant base of H2k, allowing the team to secure a 35-minute victory.

H2k will need to make massive improvements in order to find its first victory of the split, and will have a chance to do so at 12 p.m. ET on Friday against ROCCAT, while Giants will look to continue its momentum to make a miracle run at playoffs, starting by taking on Vitality later in the day at 2 p.m. ET.


Splyce 1, Vitality 0

From the very beginning of the game, it was clear that Splyce (5-5) was the better-prepared team going into the game. Drafting champions who fit each of the players' strengths, the team was built for success. Vitality (5-5) had a few comfort picks of its own, but not nearly enough to keep up with those of Splyce.

Just minutes into the game, Splyce brought calculated aggression and found leads across the entire map. With jungler Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir making moves on Trundle, Splyce quickly built up a record-breaking 5,300-gold lead by 15 minutes. With the massive lead, Splyce split the resources across the map and began focusing down objectives.

Vitality looked to make moves despite being behind, resulting in it digging an even deeper hole. Splyce continued to capitalize, forcing fights against the team that simply couldn't stand toe-to-toe in an even engagement. With a pair of fed carries on its side, Splyce supported Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup's Jhin and Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer's Zoe as they decimated from range. With self-proclaimed superstar jungler Erberk "Gilius" Demir struggling to do anything but die on Sejuani, Vitality was slowly strangled out of the game, watching as Splyce took a 30-minute Baron. That buff was all Splyce needed to overcome one last stand from Vitality to close out the game.

Vitality will look to redeem itself from defeat, taking on Giants at 2 p.m. ET next Friday, while Splyce will aim to continue its winning streak as it takes on G2 Esports later that day at 4 p.m. ET.


Fnatic 1, Misfits 0

Fnatic (7-3) had a surprise pick in draft, opting to place star mid laner Rasmus "Caps" Winther on Wukong to counter the enemy team's Yasuo. With a more standard draft on the side of Misfits (9-1), the team was focused on playing to its traditional strengths.

Fnatic opted for an aggressive Level 1 strategy that paid off. Picking up first blood before minions had spawned, the team could not have hoped for a stronger start. Despite the early advantage, Misfits ended up being the team who found control of the early game. Quickly securing a double kill for AD carry Steven "Hans Sama" Liv's Lucian, Misfits quickly built a threat for itself.

Fnatic did not let the early kills bring the team down, as it focused on strengths of its own. It did so impressively, focusing on Caps' ability to quickly eliminate enemy members and give itself a lead. Though Misfits kept up the pressure, Fnatic had superior macro play, resulting in a pair of dragons and several early towers to build up an advantage. With superior vision control, the team was able to sneak a free 25-minute Baron. The buff was just what Fnatic needed to cement control of the game, decimating the enemy team, stomping them in a 28-minute teamfight victory that finally cracked the base. As Fnatic pushed in to take down the Nexus turrets, Misfits' spawn timers played spoiler for the team, allowing Fnatic to hand Misfits the team's first loss of the split.

Misfits' perfect record may be gone, but the team has a large chance of claiming victory against the struggling Unicorns of Love at 1 p.m. ET on Friday. Fnatic will take on FC Schalke 04 later in the day at 3 p.m. ET.


G2 Esports 0, ROCCAT 0

Bouncing back from a loss against Misfits (9-1) on Friday, ROCCAT (5-5) looked like a top-tier team during a 28-minute decimation of G2 (7-3). From the minute it picked up first blood, ROCCAT was the better team in this matchup and it wasn't even close.

While G2 drafted a bevy of crowd-control options in the bottom lane in an effort to control teamfights, ROCCAT simply focused its attention on the top lane instead. After picking up an early first blood in that lane, ROCCAT came back often to continue bogging down the lane and kept G2 from gaining any momentum. By the time 13 minutes had passed, ROCCAT had a whopping five kills while giving up none in return. The majority of those kills came from G2 jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski's Trundle who was struggling immensely all throughout the early game.

With full control over the map on the back of its teamfighting prowess, ROCCAT moved towards the Baron pit to secure an uncontested Baron at 26 minutes. With the buff in hand, ROCCAT quickly secured two more kills before beginning to set up for the win. All it took was one more teamfight right outside G2's base that resulted in another three kills for ROCCAT to close out the win. ROCCAT's dominance was so strong in this game that it came just two towers and a dragon away from a perfect game, as it ended up with 11 kills and no deaths.

G2 will look to bounce back from this crushing defeat when it faces Splyce at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, while ROCCAT will try and get above .500 with a contest against the winless H2k Gaming earlier in the day at noon ET.