Reliably Random: Should Giant-Killing Team ROCCAT Be Reaching The EU LCS Playoffs?

Lose to Ninjas in Pyjamas and Mysterious Monkeys, take down G2 eSports and Fnatic – it’s all in a split’s work for the unpredictable Team ROCCAT lineup. Evidently possessing the potential to compete with the best in the league, should ROC be disappointed not to reach the EU LCS playoffs?

Under normal circumstances, an EU LCS giant-killing would be cause for an underdog celebration. But in the case of Team ROCCAT, the occasion leaves fans and analysts alike with a bittersweet taste in the mouth.

Following defeats at the hands of the two sides destined for the promotion tournament, the form book suggested that Team ROCCAT would keel under the might of G2 eSports championship push. Predictably, ROCCAT defied the odds.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

ROCCAT was keen to make roster changes ahead of the 2017 season, maintaining only Mid laner Felix “Betsy” Edling from the squad that finished 10th in the EU LCS at the end of the 2016 Summer Split, barely avoiding relegation.

A slow start to their Spring Split saw ROCCAT deservedly winless at the halfway point, and a spot in the relegation tournament seemed to be a certainty once again.

Experiencing the nagging dread of the Challenger Series, something within Team ROCCAT changed; ROC came alive to the tune of four straight wins in the EU LCS.

Alas, consistency remains agonisingly out of reach for Team ROCCAT. Just as the team showed signs of breaking into the EU LCS playoffs in the Summer Split, the team takes one step back for every two steps forward.

Riot Games Flickr

The roster that was defeated by G2 eSports substitute squad – conscripted after an exhausting Mid-Season Invitational triumph – was unrecognisable as they faced up to the full strength reigning champions.

Team ROCCAT displayed all the attributes of top tier team to take down G2, playing to the strengths of their composition to manoeuvre their way to victory in Games 1 and 3.

Displaying superior teamfighting and shotcalling compared to the ‘Kings of Europe’, ROC routed G2 as the matches entered the late-game phase – a point of note, considering G2 has long since been regarded as the best late game team in the EU LCS, where ROCCAT is, typically, an all-or-nothing early-game team.

The heroic performances of ROC AD carry, Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss, on Kalista and Tristana locked G2 in at second place in Group A, no longer in a position to challenge Fnatic for top spot.

Team ROCCAT is fast becoming known as the ‘European Kingslayers’, capable of defeating any of the EU LCS top sides (except perhaps H2K-Gaming) on their day.

But a team capable of beating the best should not simply take pride in recreating the David and Goliath narrative time and time again.

Fans will be hoping that the team stick together and build upon their progress in the new year. The current ROCCAT lineup has the capability to compete for a playoff position and is underselling themselves by simply settling for a safe mid-table position split after split.