Team Vitality showcased a newfound sense of direction coming into week three of the League of Legends European Championship 2019 Summer Split and picked up their first win against exceL eSports. Their three-month loss streak may have ended, but this was only the beginning for a roster still hungry to improve.
We broke down Vitality's issues earlier in the week, and their performance today proved they've made great strides towards fixing them. Their draft held clear-cut win conditions, and they exhibited better cohesion between their laners and jungler Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha than we've seen all split.
ADC Amadeu "Attila" Carvalho and support Jakub "Jactroll" Skurzyński stepped up to the plate this match. They played a safe bot lane of Varus and Tahm Kench that allowed them to amass a lead and posture in lane without much risk. This was the first time Vitality's bot lane exited the laning phase with a lead this split, and they did so by timing their assertiveness in lane with Mowgli's positioning on the map and forcing dives onto exceL's duo.
After snowballing bot, Mowgli quickly turned his focus towards helping top laner Lucas "Cabochard" Simon-Meslet pressure exceL's Ki "Expect" Dae-han in a winning matchup (Kennen vs. Renekton). With the help of Jactroll, Vitality pulled off a clean dive in the top lane to kill Expect and transitioned to secure Rift Herald. After using the objective to knock off some mid lane turret plating, Vitality returned to Expect's lane as four. They fended off exceL's collapse, earning themselves three kills and a tower while Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro pushed on the opposite side of the map.
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From here on out is where the true value of Vitality's team composition came into play. After grouping to finish the remaining outer turret in mid lane, Vitality took over the map and inched their line of vision closer to exceL's base. After claiming pick after pick on exceL members who were still licking their wounds, Vitality rushed Baron and won the ensuing teamfight before closing the game out.
"Last split we had many issues that we didn't fix and they just came together all at once in the Summer Split," Jiizuke said in a post game interview. "I want to ask our fans to hang in there for us, because we are doing everything we can."
For a broken Vitality squad looking to return to their former glory, this type of turnaround is exactly what's necessary if they wish to be seen as playoff contenders. They showed us that that Mowgli can play around winning lanes, they showed us that Atilla and Jactroll can temper their aggression, and now they need to show us that they can continue to win games.
Vitality will play SK Gaming on June 22 at 9 a.m. PDT.