Schalke 04 eSports are on the cusp of returning to the EU LCS, triumphing over Mysterious Monkeys in the first stage of the EU LCS Spring Promotion Tournament, 3-2 in a nail-biting series victory.
After convincingly crushing the European Challenger Series in the Spring, Schalke 04’s eSports division seemed destined to rejoin the ranks of the EU’s best League of Legends players in the LCS at the first attempt.
Yet at the final hurdle, the team’s decisive playoff final vs Misfits Academy, Schalke’s impervious dominance over the Challenger scene collapsed. The team has a new identity in the Summer Split but is one step closer to the LCS than their previous iteration.
Their opponents, Mysterious Monkeys, finished at the bottom of Group B in the EU LCS to drop into the Promotion Tournament and was hoping to reclaim its spot.
Speaking with Slingshot eSports ahead of the match, S04 AD carry Elias “Upset” Lipp, explained he was carrying over a personal vendetta from the previous promotion tournament.
“Mysterious Monkeys, I kind of have a grudge vs some of the players because they kept me out last split, quite surprisingly.
“I think I got a lot better now, and I maybe have a better mindset as well, so I can definitely beat these players.”
Elias “Upset” Lipp
— Schalke 04 Esports (@S04Esports) August 17, 2017
Schalke 04 eSports qualified alongside Giants Gaming for the promotion tournament by placing first and second in the playoffs of the European Challenger Series, notching respective victories over the Red Bulls and Wind And Rain.
Both Schalke and Mysterious Monkeys have previous experience of the EU LCS, both experiencing relegation to the challenger scene and rebuilding again from the ground up.
The cherished EU LCS spots they are vying for currently belong to the Ninjas in Pyjamas and Mysterious Monkeys, the two newest teams in the EU LCS, having only joined ahead of the Summer Split after buying the spots of Misfits Academy and Fnatic Academy.
The four teams desperate to retain LCS status will play out a double-elimination mini-tournament, scrapping it out in two best-of-fives.
The two winners of the first round will advance to the final, with the winner of that best-of-five guaranteed a spot in the EU LCS. Schalke have successfully positioned themselves in that bracket, poised to deliver on the faith entrusted in them by the team’s senior executives.
Most insane series of my life, i'm so happy we managed to win. Hopefully we will never play a 5 game series again ❤️
— Tore Hoel Eilertsen (@norskerenlol) August 17, 2017
First Game 5 I've won in my entire career. My team is insane. We're into the winners bracket and we're well prepared to go all the way.
— H2K Veteran (@VeteranEU) August 17, 2017
Schalke will move on to take on either Ninjas in Pyjamas or Giants Gaming, hoping to cement their slot in the 2018 EU LCS without the need for a final, decisive fixture.