SK Gaming vs FC Schalke 04
For our first match of the day we have a pretty darn exciting clash between two middle-of-the-pack teams: Schalke 04 and SK Gaming. Now these two teams, while seemingly equal in strength, are very much apart both in the standings as well as in the minds of everyone watching.
On one hand, we have Schalke 04. A fantastic team in every regard. They’re cohesive, aggressive, and have displayed an enviable level of play over the last couple of weeks. Again, they’re far from perfect and they definitely have obvious weaknesses which a top tier behemoth will be able to exploit – but SK Gaming are no behemoths. Schalke is on the same page, they’re playing as a five-man unit and have shown no signs of stopping ever since they started their Summer Split run.
On the other hand, we have SK Gaming. A team that surprised everyone in attendance back in Spring. With a roster many deemed sub par, they were able to not only beat multiple LEC mainstays but also solidify themselves as a bona fide contender – one that’s hard to read and even harder to beat if you’re not aware of their in-game tendencies and layered tactics. They had multiple threats and even though they were somewhat inconsistent they made it up in grit and determination. When they fought their hearts out there weren’t many teams who could tango with SK.
But ever since Summer began, they’re a pale shadow of their former selves. They’re out of sync, they’re not dominant nor aggressive and they’re struggling in most facets of play. They’re basically a completely different team, one that doesn’t pass the eye test, and that’s confusing. They had quite a long time and should’ve become even better as 2019 competitive season progressed, but that failed to be the case. Why that’s so is a question mark. They made just a single change to their starting roster and many people expected them to perhaps even improve on what they had achieved back in Spring.
So right now, they’re pretty much entering the fifth week of play with zero hype and momentum. To say that they were meek and vulnerable last week would be an understatement. They’re just not a solid team right now and they’re not playing high level League of Legends. They’re definitely not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they need more time in order to re-synergize and step up as a unit. Unfortunately, seeing how we’ve reached the halfway point of the split, they don’t have the luxury of dropping any more games if they want to retain their chances of reaching the Summer Split playoffs.
Conversely, Schalke are at a spectacular position. They’re in the Top 5 and are riding quite a solid wave of momentum. They’re dominant and have shown a surprising understanding of both the meta as well as the best and most optimal way to play the game. They might not challenge for the LEC throne (not yet, at least), but they definitely have the right tools at their disposal in order to challenge anyone in the region and win more often than not.
This isn’t a tough match to predict overall. If everything goes according to plan and if Schalke does what Schalke’s prone to do, they shouldn’t have much of a problem in taking SK Gaming down. That said, SK is a tough nut to crack and they never go down without a fight. They know things are getting dire and that they need to step up if they want to remain relevant. They will surely enter this game swinging for the fences, seeing how they basically have nothing to lose. So expect a close fight – one from which Schalke will ultimately emerge victorious.
|FC Schalke 04||1.41||10||Win|