The clash between MAD Lions, one of the best teams of the regular split, and the resurgent spring champions G2 offered many special picks and great teamfights. Ultimately, G2 prevailed, though not without sweating it out.
After narrowly losing the first for the first place in the regular season of the LEC, MAD Lions would face G2 Esports in the first playoff series of the upper bracket. The spring champions had slumped in the middle of the season, but ended it on a six-game winning streak and looked ready to defend their title.
The first game saw MAD try a risky composition, only to get shut down by a great G2 early game. The champions took two very early kills off successful ganks, then proceeded to get a commanding lead, reaching nearly 6K gold just 12 minutes in. As the mid-game started, MAD found some teamfight kills and looked like they could be staging a comeback, but eventually G2 got the ocean soul and were too far ahead.
27 minutes in, MAD engaged on Martin “Wunder” l Hansen’s Gangplank and quickly got two kills. However, the rest of G2 methodically picked them apart in the fight to get an ace and close out the game.
Things didn’t start quite so well for the champions in the following game as the Lions got the first blood. Soon we were treated to a very scrappy early game where both teams got plenty of kills and objectives. The fights continued throughout the mid-game, with MAD having the upper hand but great plays by Wunder and his mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther keeping G2 in the game. Eventually, their early dragon advantage resulted in a mountain soul and a Baron after a 2:0 teamfight. They pressed on and after yet another fight decided by a Neeko ultimate got the four kills they needed to win the game and get to match point.
MAD had to fight back, and in game three they showed they hadn’t lost heart. Zhiqiang “Shad0w” Zhao had an amazing early game, having great farm and kills and shutting down his counterpart Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski’s Lee Sin.
A great flank by Marek “Humanoid” Brázda’s Galio 25 minutes in decided the key teamfight. G2 were aced and MAD picked an ocean soul and a Baron. They quickly took two inhibitors, before an engage near the last remaining one resulted in a 4:0 and their first win in the series.
G2 Esports struck back in game four, however, getting early kills in the side lanes and taking the first two towers to come out nearly 3K gold ahead just 12 minutes in. However, MAD Lions stabilized the game. Around the 21-minute mark, they got a big teamfight win near the drake, getting a 3:0 and bringing the gold close. However, G2 kept pushing and 25 minutes in they found MAD split, won a teamfight near the inhibitor and pressed on to win the game.
With that one teamfight, it was all over. G2 guaranteed a top 3 place in the playoffs and a Worlds spot to come with it, and the Lions were left to lick their wounds. They will now have to wait for the match between Rogue and Fnatic and wait for their opponent in the lower playoff bracket.