G2 Esports left nothing to chance Friday night, topping SK Gaming and clinching a playoff spot in the first day of Week 8 -- the final weekend of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Summer Split regular season.
The win put G2 (9-7) in third place overall and clinched no worse than a9-9 record for the season. The top six teams in the 10-team field make the playoffs. The teams sitting in fourth through 10th place are still alive for a playoff spot.
Also on Friday, Excel Esports (8-8) beat Origin (6-10) and FC Schalke 04 (6-10) topped Fnatic (7-9). And in a pair of games that could hold major implications come playoffs, MAD Lions (12-4) beat Misfits Gaming (6-10) and Team Vitality (7-9) beat Rogue (11-5) -- putting MAD Lions a game up on Rogue in the race for the top overall seed with two games to play.
All five winners played on blue.
The eight-week Summer Split regular season features a double round-robin format with all matches best-of-one. Teams are playing two matches each weekend, save the first and last weekend, during which teams play three matches.
All matches in the double-elimination postseason bracket will be best-of-five, running from Aug. 22 to Sept. 6. The top four teams will reach the winners bracket; the bottom two will play in a losers-bracket opener. The lower-seeded loser of the winners-bracket opening round will play in the second round of the losers bracket. The higher-seeded loser of the winners-bracket opening round will get a bye to the third round of the losers bracket.
The top three teams will earn a spot in the League of Legends World Championship, scheduled to be played in China at a date to be announced. The fourth-place team will advance to the Worlds play-in event.
Originally scheduled to have three spots in the Worlds, the LEC and the League of Legends Pro League (China) each received an extra slot when Riot Games announced the cancellation of the Mid-Season Invitational in April.
G2 beat SK (8-8) in 36 minutes Friday, picking 19 kills to their opponent's nine. Mid laner Rasmus "Caps" Borregaard Winther of Denmark paced G2 with an 8/0/5 kill-death-assist ratio while playing as Syndra. Slovenian AD carry Jus "Crownshot" Marusic had six of SK's kills as Caitlyn.
MAD Lions climbed to the top of the standings with a 31-minute win, holding Misfits to two kills while picking up 15. Mid laner Marek "Humanoid" Brazda of the Czech Republic (5/0/6 as Kassadin) led MAD Lions in kills. Spanish jungler Ivan "Razork" Martin Diaz (1/4/1 as Sejuani) and Czech support Petr "denyk" Haramach (1/3/0 as Bard) had Misfits' kills.
Vitality and Rogue needed 42 minutes to decide their matchup, with Vitality scoring more kills (10-8) and more gold (76K to 68K). Vitality mid laner Aljosa "Milica" Kovandzic of Serbia posted a 4/1/4 as Twisted Fate to lead the winners, while Swedish mid laner Emil "Larssen" Larsson's 4/2/3 as Corki was for naught for Rogue.
Excel kept their playoff hopes alive with a 46-minute win over Origen in which the winners held a narrow 10-9 edge in kills and picked up less than 3,000 more gold than the losers. A trio of players posted three kills for Excel, led by Ad carry Patrick "Patrik" Jiru of the Czech Republic (3/1/6 as Caitlyn). German bot laner Elias "Upset" Lipp had more than half of Origen's kills (5/1/2 as Jhin).
And in the only matchup of teams that both ended the day with a losing record, FC Schalke 04 handed Fnatic's playoff hopes a potentially severe blow with a 30-minute win -- the shortest match of the day by 22 seconds. Slovakian Matus "Neon" Jakubcik posted an 8/1/10 as Ezreal to lead the winners, while Slovenian mid laner Tim "Nemesis" Lipovsek led the losers with a 5/4/3 as Corki.
Saturday's LEC Summer Split schedule:
--Team Vitality vs. FC Schalke 04
--Origen vs. SK Gaming
--Fnatic vs. Excel Esports
--Misfits Gaming vs. G2 Esports
--MAD Lions vs. Rogue
League of Legends European Championship Summer Split standings
1. MAD Lions, 12-4
2. Rogue, 11-5
3. G2 Esports 9-7
T4. Excel Esports, 8-8
T4. SK Gaming, 8-8
T6. Fnatic, 7-9
T6. Team Vitality, 7-9
T8. FC Schalke 04, 6-10
T8. Misfits Gaming, 6-10
T8. Origen, 6-10
--Field Level Media