Nearly all of the teams in the LEC remain in playoff contention with how competitive the 2022 Summer Split has been over the past six weeks. Heading into week seven, League of Legends teams at the bottom know what lies at stake, but it’s the teams in the middle that face the most uncertainty with how close the standings are.
With seven wins apiece, G2 Esports and Excel went into their matchup today knowing that one team would be leaving their fifth-place tie and forced to contend with the teams on the lower end of the standings. Despite an impressive early game from Excel and the debut of a new champion, it was the reigning champions who won to inch closer to playoff qualifications.
Nilah made it out of the draft phase and into the hands of Excel’s ADC Patrik, marking the first time that League’s newest champion appeared in any major or minor region, let alone the LEC. Players have been worried about Nilah’s passive, which shares extra experience with allies around her, though not taking away from her inherent weaknesses as a melee ADC.
Excel’s early-game roaming made any gank potential from the reigning LEC champions almost entirely futile. Any time a member of Excel maneuvered around the map, a ward was placed, allowing the team to keep a close eye on the movement of Jankos and plan their pathing accordingly.
Even under the safety of their own top lane turrets, G2 could do very little but poke enemies capable of bursting them down in seconds. Fortunately, an overextension and some missed abilities from Excel afforded G2 some breathing room to take down a dragon and Rift Herald. Continuing to ignore Flakked marked the beginning of the end for Excel. The ADC accumulated five kills uncontested and was throwing Sivir’s boomerang blade with ease.
A fight near Baron that seemed to be in the hands of Excel, complete with heavy engage, ended in G2’s favor as Excel struggled to do nearly any damage to their opponents and allowed G2 to stretch their gold and objective lead even further. Excel’s lack of damage, coupled with G2’s Infernal Soul, gave them the upper hand in the tie for fifth place, giving them sole possession of the spot.
The debut of Nilah in professional League did not appear to deter G2 whatsoever, even when accompanied by a team that was readily able to support her engaging on her opponents. Patrik was unable to deal nearly any damage to the many bruisers and tanks of G2, completely depleting his health as soon as he jumped into fights. G2’s ADC Flakked, who ended the game 9/0/8, said in the post-game interview that he believes Nilah can be a strong champion but only in certain comps.
G2 move forward in their attempt to reign supreme in both playoffs this year though have not yet qualified for the upcoming Summer Split playoffs. They will continue their climb tomorrow against Fnatic, while Excel will take on Team BDS and hope to remain in that sixth-place position or higher heading into the final weekend of the 2022 Summer Split.