There’s a time and a place to let your hair down in the professional League of Legends scene. With nothing to play for, Splyce took their final on-stage appearance of the spring vs H2K-Gaming to roll-out a number of relaxed off-meta picks. The invitation for a ‘troll’ game that was abruptly declined by H2K, who steamrolled the series with meta champs and were subsequently labelled by a portion of the community as ‘try-harding’.
After witnessing the ultimate fiesta of Origen vs Team ROCCAT just a few weeks prior to the final week of the EU LCS Spring Split, there’s certainly an argument to suggest that European fans had already enjoyed their fair share of ‘clown fiesta’ play. With their playoff spot secured and no chance of improving their seeding, there was nothing for Splyce to play for as they stepped onto the stage for their final game of the split. Many expected that both sides would take the opportunity to prepare for the forthcoming playoffs, but Splyce evidently had other ideas.
After proceeding to spell out “S-P-Y-X-D” with their bans in the opening game of the series, picking relatively weak champions (Warwick top lane and Lux mid lane), the Danes took their troll picks one step further in the final game, Martin “Wunderwear” Hansen locking in Teemo on his way to 1-10-2 scoreline. H2K top laner, Andrie “Odoamne” Pascu gleefully snowballed out of control as H2K cruised to victory.
I feel so bad for not running it down I really wanted to join the fiesta but I have the american import behind me -.- . GG @Splyce
— Pascu Andrei (@OdoamneLoL) 2 April 2017
Splyce’s invitation for an exhibition match was sincerely declined by H2K coach Neil “PR0LLY” Hammad, who insisted his players took the opportunity to practice strong meta picks in a competitive environment. In reality, Splyce’s laid back approach to the game provided little resistance or worthwhile experience for H2K, who were later labelled by a proportion of the community as ‘try-harding’ rather than providing fans and viewers with an entertaining fiesta to end the split.
— Ceriath (@ceriath) 2 April 2017
— Tuan Nguyen (@AnhTuanNguyen8) 2 April 2017
— Nathan Lebeau (Apo) (@nathan_lebeau) 2 April 2017
The Splyce vs H2K-Gaming series was all over within an hour, a somewhat anti-climatic end to what had been billed as one of the week’s featured matchups. Splyce are by no means the first team to treat their final game of the split as an exhibition match, Team SoloMid’s, Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell infamously locked in Teemo during TSM final game of the split vs NRG eSports as part of a bet involving team owner, Andy “Reginald” Dinh.
With NRG on course for relegation however, Team SoloMid could afford to spare a single game in the series to provide some light-hearted entertainment for the fans. With both H2K and Splyce supposedly vying for success in the forthcoming playoffs, throwing away an entire series could certainly be considered to be unprofessional preparation.
Whilst the majority of the scorn has been aimed at H2K for being ‘boring’ in their approach to the game, any feeling of disappointment lingering from the series should rest with Splyce. Heading into the playoffs, Splyce are yet to muster a single victory against any of the top four teams in Europe. Yet rather than take their final remaining opportunity to prove themselves worthy of a playoff spot and enter the tournament on form, the roster and coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi wasted everyone’s time instead.
I hope people understand we have limited stage practice, and we can’t miss our chances however small they may be
— pr0lly (@pr0llyLOL) 2 April 2017
The decision from coach PR0LLY to squeeze every minute of stage time to prepare for playoffs highlights H2K’s positive ambitions for the split, especially for a team renowned for choking in the knockout stages. That H2K treated the otherwise meaningless game with the same level of professionalism they have shown throughout the Spring Split should be commended, not condemned.
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