Team Vitality’s poor performance has been the biggest surprise of the League of Legends European Championship 2019 Summer Split. In week three of the LEC, they’ll square off against exceL eSports in a battle for last place and possible playoff elimination.
Vitality currently holds a 0-4 record in the LEC, which is a stark contrast to their early dominance last spring. Even still, they haven’t won an official match since March 8 against Rogue, the last place team at the time, which could imply possible internal struggles as well. Vitality underwent a bootcamp in China with the League of Legends Pro League’s Royal Never Give Up in hopes to fix their issues, but we’ve yet to see the payoff.
Looking only at the four games that they’ve played so far in summer, Vitality seems to have major issues keeping things together in the early game. Their bot lane in particular struggles to fend for themselves while they play towards their strongest players in top laner Lucas "Cabochard" Simon-Meslet and mid laner Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro.
In three out of their four games, the duo of Amadeu "Attila" Carvalho and Jakub "Jactroll" Skurzyński gave up a kill in lane two vs. two or from a gank by playing too forward without jungle pressure from Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha. In Vitality’s game against Splyce in week one, their bot lane managed to earn a lead for themselves early, but quickly gave it up after dying to a gank from Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir.
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To that end, Vitality’s drafts so far have been tailored towards their solo lanes. Cabochard has played Jayce in all but one of their matches, and, aside from one Azir game, Jiizuke has been on roaming mid laners that lack reliable crowd control. General poor play and lack of pressure from Mowgli have kept these picks from getting off the ground, however.
If Vitality want to turn things around this weekend, they need to do two things: draft easier to execute team comps that have hard CC and less reliance on split push pressure, and strive to set their bot lane up with peel safer picks like Sivir, Ezreal, and Caitlyn. Reliable setup for roams and ganks will help their best players succeed, and a defensive bot lane will be better prepared for whatever answer their opponent may have.
Vitality play exceL on June 21 at 9 a.m. PDT.