Team Vitality vs SK Gaming
Next up, we have a fairly interesting clash between SK Gaming and Team Vitality. Now, in all fairness, this is far from a premier match-up, but it's hugely important for both of these teams and it carries a lot of broader significance as well.
Well, at least for SK Gaming and the LEC playoff picture. Vitality, on the other hand, have nothing concrete to fight for. They're currently ranked tenth with just two wins and eleven losses on the board. That, for all intents and purposes, is a pretty dreadful record. Now sure, the LEC is one of the most competitive leagues in the world with some of the best players who have ever taken the stage, but Vitality should've still done better, at least ever so slightly.
Heck, even Astralis — a line-up that is so staggeringly underwhelming — have more wins to their name. By and large, Vitality have failed yet again and should, by all means, start preparing for the 2021 LEC Summer Split. There's just nothing left for them to fight for — the playoffs are out of reach and the best they can hope for right now is to upset and take someone down with them.
Unfortunately, if their play is any indication, they probably don't have the strength to do even that much. They're dreadful in every sense of the word, and the few flashes of brilliance that are on display from time to time just aren't enough to warrant a spot higher up the standings. They start off well but, in true Vitality fashion, they fall off a cliff as soon as the mid and later stages of the game come around. There's just nothing to commend them for as they're basically playing on sheer instinct at this point — there's very little teamplay or synergy involved, and that's evident regardless of whom they're up against.
SK Gaming, on the other hand, deserves a metric ton of commendation and praise for what they've been able to accomplish in their very first split in the LEC. This team, on paper, doesn't have all that much to work with, and yet they've been playing some exceptional League of Legends over the last couple of weeks. Everyone is carrying their fair share of the weight, and watching them compete and trade heavy blows with so many LEC regulars has been nothing short of mesmerizing.
They're currently on a five-game win streak. Let that one sink in. And we're not talking about five flukes either — they're really that good. Excel Esports, MAD Lions, Misfits Gaming, Schalke 04, and Team Vitality have all fallen to this youthful bunch, and that, in and of itself, is just mind-blowing. They're one of the best teams in the region and while they're not exactly ready to challenge for a spot at the top, they're undoubtedly capable and will give anyone a run for their money. With eight wins and five losses, they're currently tied for third place with MAD Lions. Whodathunkit?
They're above Fnatic and could, by all means, end up higher than the former "Kings of Europe" if they continue playing at such a high level. LEC fans have truly been spoiled by such vastly talented "rookies" — first it was Rogue, then MAD Lions, and now it's SK as well. They seemingly come out of nowhere and start playing way above expectations. And while some of these individuals had a fair bit of hype coming from the European Regional Leagues, it's still surprising to see them perform so well against their more seasoned peers. They're not only trading blows, but are actually winning more often than not.
They're better than Team Vitality in every way, shape, and form and should, by all means, be able to get the win with relative ease.