It's week five, the penultimate week of the LEC's Winter Split already, and with it begins the best-of-five series. There were a few upsets, some unusual picks, and as always a lot of action this week, so let's check it out.
Game 1 (SK win)
SK: Gnar; Sejuani; Sylas; Zeri; Lulu
TH: Jax; Graves; Azir; Lucian; Nami
A very quiet early laning phase in favour of TH, TH bot lane overextends, is caught out and SK get Baron. SK blew the game open in a mid teamfight for the win.
Game 2 (SK win)
TH: K'Sante; Kindred; Azir; Lucian; Nami
SK: Gnar; Vi; Taliyah; Zeri; Lulu
Jankos forces SK's bot into a dire position with an early gank, but Irrelevant is neutralising TH's lead on top. SK find good picks consistently to claw themselves back into the game, get Baron and capitalise on the extra pressure.
Game 1 (BDS win)
BDS: Olaf; Elise; Kassadin; Ezreal; Karma
AST: Sion; Sejuani; Sylas; Caitlyn; Lux
Quite a bloody early game in BDS' favour, which accelerates nuc. AST struggled to contain Olaf and Kassadin in team fights and were worn down.
Game 2 (AST win)
AST: Gnar; Maokai; Viktor; Varus; Ashe
BDS: Renekton; Wukong; Kassadin; Ezreal; Karma
Another bloody laning phase, BDS winning top, AST winning bot. AST played the mid game much better and BDS were poked to death before fights even started.
Game 3 (AST win)
BDS: Olaf; Wukong; Azir; Ezreal; Karma
AST: Kled; Sejuani; Akali; Varus; Nautilus
113 is ganking everywhere early and AST are rolling BDS in every lane except mid. BDS can't keep up and it's a clean close out for AST.
Game 1 (SK win)
VIT: Gangplank; Elise; Sylas; Varus; Alistair
SK: Jax; Maokai; Cassiopeiea; Zeri; Lulu
VIT found some good early picks but scaling was the name of the game, and in later teamfights SK were able to run VIT down, despite each fight being close.
VIT: K'Sante; Karthus; Tristana; Zeri; Leona
SK: Jax; Vi; Ahri; Draven; Rakan
A slow and controlled early phase put SK's laners ahead. VIT took over 20 minutes to find a single kill, gifting objectives to SK, who shut out the game handily.
Game 1 (MAD win)
MAD: Gnar; Maokai; Jayce; Varus; Nautilus
AST: Gangplank; Vi; Ahri; Lucian; Nami
MAD had so much CC, and despite an even laning phase, teamfights are hard work for AST. MAD play better for objectives and push their pressure relentlessly.
Game 2 (MAD win)
AST: Gwen; Trundle; Sylas; Lucian; Nami
MAD: Fiora; Vi; Zoe; Varus; Nautilus
A level one 5v5 leads to two kills for MAD. MAD winning out in aggressive exchanges, although overextending at times. MAD play teamfights better and close out the series.
Game 1 (G2 win)
G2: Gragas; Maokai; Jaye; Miss Fortune; Nautilus
KOI: Gnar; Sejuani; Viktor; Lucian; Nami
KOI found good early picks but G2 stabilised by the end of the laning phase. Hans Sama and Yike get accelerated and run away with the game.
Game 2 (G2 win)
KOI: K'Sante; Elise; Jayce; Lucian; Nami
G2: Olaf; Bel'Veth; Sejuani; Varus; Heimerdinger
A very chaotic early skirmish puts KOI ahead, but they fail to capitalise. G2 hit them back hard, finding advantages everywhere. Yike is monstrous and G2 pressure well for the win.
Game 3 (KOI win)
KOI: Gnar; Sejuani; Azir; Sivir; Heimerdinger
G2: Olaf; Lillia; Tristana; Kalista; Nautilus
KOI became the aggressors, with Malrang doing a lot of work around the map. G2 struggled to really find their footing and KOI took the game convincingly, with a pentakill for Comp as the cherry on top.
Game 4 (G2 win)
G2: Olaf; Maokai; Tristana; Sivir; Karma
KOI: Gnar; Vi; Ahri; Varus; Kalista
An extremely even and bloody laning phase, with topside in favour of G2 and bot for KOI. G2 played better for objectives and BrokenBlade was unstoppable on Olaf, letting G2 run KOI down.
This leaves just four teams in contention for the title of Winter Season champions. We'll know who has taken this title this coming weekend, when the final three matches of the split take place and see MAD Lions facing SK Gaming, before the winner of this game has to go through KOI for a shot in the finals against the dominant G2 Esports.