Misfits vs Team Vitality
UPDATE: Team Vitality just announced on Twitter that their mid laner Daniele "Jiizuke" Di Mauro will not be starting for the team today against Misfits Gaming. You should, by all means, bet on Misfits Gaming seeing how this information completely changes things up.
This is where things get incredibly interesting. Misfits Gaming versus Team Vitality, a match for the ages, a clash for a spot in the playoffs. To be fair, Vitality are almost a shoo-in, but their spot still isn't secured, and seeing how they're incredibly inconsistent and volatile, we know that anything could happen.
If this clash was happening just a week ago, there would be zero doubt when it comes to who we would bet on. This week, however, is a completely different story.
Misfits Gaming were poised to sit things out on the sidelines once again, even with the immense amount of talent within their starting five-man roster. But it seems as though they were able to turn things around in the nick of time, and it was absolutely spectacular. After losing a million games in a row, they decided to swap in Hussain "Moose" Moosvi back to the head coach position, and the change in playstyle was immediately evident. Once all of a sudden, they looked strong, cohesive, aggressive, willing to make the play, to make the first step, and they looked like a top-tier contender almost immediately.
The players themselves said that Moose gave them a better, more cohesive structure, and it was evident on the Rift as well. They're still a bit over-dependent on winning through the bottom lane, but they also showed that they can win through mid and jungle as well. That's important for Misfits as a whole, the fact that they're becoming a multi-threat team that's capable of winning through multiple avenues. They have to step up and maintain their current level of play if they want to stand a chance at not only reaching the playoffs but actually attaining some success further down the line.
They've been relatively easy to read so far, and at this level of play that's quite a problem.
Regardless, they looked absolutely phenomenal last week, and their game against Origen was particularly impressive. They drafted a somewhat strange "protect the Kai'Sa" team comp and it paid dividends. They were able to completely outclass Origen's bottom lane and create a sizeable lead that way, and even though sOAZ got outclassed by Alphari's Yorick, he was still able to counter the pressure to the best of his ability.
It was an incredibly even game throughout its entirety, but it was Misfits that made the better macro moves in the early, mid, and late stages of the game. They were faster, more cohesive and decisive when it mattered the most. They played under a ton of pressure from the sidelanes and still pulled things off exceptionally well. Once Moosvi took the helm, they immediately started playing like a five-man unit rather than like five talented players that are scattered across the map, without any semblance of synergy.
In short, it was a promising sign of the things to come. Still, we know how inconsistent Misfits can get, and it's still a bit too early to give them the benefit of the doubt.
As for Team Vitality, things are a bit more complicated. As always.
They ended last week with a 1W-1L record, but fortunately, they looked good in both games. As you'd expect, there were immaculate macro decisions, spectacular team fights, but also comical individual mistakes across the board. The only player that's been playing exceptionally well throughout the Spring Split has to be Cabochard, and he's flown under the radar as Vitality's biggest and most important catalyst.
They were able to best a game Splyce, but it was far from easy and dominant. They were on the back foot from the very get go as their bottom lane got obliterated by Norsekeren's Blitzcrank pocket pick, which meant that Cabo and Jiizuke had to step up and carry the biggest part of the weight. As a five-man unit, however, they were messy and out of sync. It wasn't until the late game that they all got on the same page. Still, even in their weakened form, they were able to lock down sole possession of second place seeing how Schalke lost both of their games.
Vitality's game against Fnatic, on the other hand, was an exceptionally close game that was fantastic to watch. Vitality were faster on the map early on but Fnatic had the lead in each and every lane, which made things incredibly difficult. Cabochard was once again trying to play 1 vs. 5, and seeing how Mowgli got set behind by Fnatic's early invade, it was a small miracle that they were even able to fight back in such stellar fashion.
It was a fantastic back-and-forth game that could have gone either way. In fact, Vitality were on the brink of victory. They were put in a position to score the win, but they made the wrong decision in the heat of the moment and that single decision eventually decided the game.
Even though they lost, they're still an exceptionally capable and highly dangerous adversary -- problem is, you still don't know which Vitality will show up on the day. That's the reason as to why predicting this game is so darn hard.
Whether or not they're the second best team in the region right now is up for debate, but they won when they had to, and lost when they could afford it, so it's hard to blame them for anything. They have a pretty stellar 8W-4L record and they only need a couple of wins in order to officially lock down a playoff spot.
We're going with Team Vitality on this one, but it's going to be close. Unnervingly, painfully close. Both teams are stacked and brimming with potential, but they're also volatile. Misfits want this win bad, and Vitality want to play spoiler. It's going to be a nuanced game that's surely going to be filled with individual blunders and hectic five-on-five team fights. Vitality, however, were historically always better than Misfits, and they want redemption for their lackluster loss to Fnatic, so they should be able to get the win here as well.