Week 4 did not do much in the way of clarifying anything in one region, but the other region is 75% of the way there. It’s fairly indicative of the NA scene for this to be happening…as it happened in the Spring Split, and will probably happen in the Fall Split. This week was an opportunity for some teams to close out and seize their moment. Some did so. Others…did not.
Condemned to Tartarus
It’s never easy to assign players to a week with Ixion, yet here we are once again. This week, the dishonor falls to Baskin (Luminosity – NA) and Wlfy (Team Rival – EU). Rather than split this section into what both of them did to deserve this ignoble award, they will be discussed simultaneously. Each saw their teams go 1-3 for the week, in weeks where even one more win would have secured them a spot at Valencia. Each committed the same sin – being consistently out of position and not being able to provide the mage/mid support their team needed in order to make strides. The decision-making around team fights and objective engagement was incredibly suspect. Using your ultimate for zone control can be fine, but when it’s around an objective that needs the mage ult for confirmation? Less fine. Focusing on objectives is absolutely how you win games, but not at the expense of team, opponent, and positional awareness. A 4v5 followed by a 1v5 isn’t quite the same as a 5v5, after all. Let’s chalk this up to being an off-week for both of these mids, who have proven they belong in the discussion of best mids currently playing the game.
Enshrined in Valhalla
Unlike the above section, the two players dining with the Valkyries and the Einherjars are doing so for very different reasons. This week Adapting (NRG Esports – EU) and PolarBearMike (eUnited – NA) receive this honor.
While KDA isn’t everything, it would be disingenuous to ignore Adapting’s KDA of Week 4 – 44.5. The next closest a full 30 beneath him. His slashline across the set was 31/1/27. Holy jeez, what a beast. Adapting was not only in the right place at the right time, but was dictating the pace of the game, what objectives were controlled when, and when his team would engage. The Papis looked like this was their first game as a team, rather than a team that has been making strides and growing throughout the split. It was brutal, and it was all thanks to Adapting.
Funny enough, the player with the next best KDA was our other recipient this week, PolarBearMike. When a support’s KDA is 14.5, you know he’s either a selfish player like you haven’t see, or is making all the right decisions when assisting his team. In PBM’s case, it is definitely the latter. He’s long been recognized as one of the theorycrafters and shotcallers in the professional community, and he’s taken over that role from PainDeViande on eUnited, coupled with the co-shotcalling and decision-making of Varizial1. Thus far, it seemed as if the styles weren’t meshing, outside of a Week 1 victory against a new-roster Team Eager. However, Week 4 marked a turning point, as eUnited looked dominant against Luminosity in a surprise upset, and then took an expected set over Flash Point in a set that allowed them to just cruise. The team image for the week could be described as “methodically aggressive,” as the team just won team fight after team fight, and picked their objectives very well. The team just ran like a machine, and PolarBearMike was the engine. It remains to be seen if this is the new normal, but no one can deny it was a great week.