Vitality defeated Excel Esports in the first round of the League of Legends European Championship playoffs in an LEC series that went all five games. The recently formed superteam will now face G2 Esports in the next round of the lower bracket.
— LEC (@LEC) March 27, 2022
Vitality defeat Excel Esports in LEC playoffs
The first round matchup between Vitality and Excel Esports lived up to the hype as the veteran superteam were able to defeat Excel after being down 1-2. The excitement of this matchup came from the storylines for both teams going into the playoffs.
Despite both teams having identical 9-9 records, their stories could not be more different. Vitality started the season with the aim to become one of the best teams in the LCS. A star studded roster of Luka “Perkz” Perković, Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság and Barney “Alphari” Morris made Vitality favorites at the beginning of the season. However, a 0-3 start and lack of cohesion led Vitality to nearly miss the playoffs.
Excel Esports started the season with the hope of making the playoffs; the addition of veteran Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle to the roster in late January pushed the team from mediocrity to a competitive team. The players on Excel were able to show it during the series against Vitality.
The first game was a disciplined win by Excel. Finn “Finn” Wiestål’s Irelia dominated the game with a 5/3/11 KDA and slowly routed Vitality in a 38 minute win. In the second game, Vitality evened the score with solid performances from Carrzy’s Zeri and a power farming Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek Olaf, Finn’s Tryndamere was put behind along with the rest of his team in the mid-game and was never able to mount a comeback. The third game of the series could have decided the series. Excel looked confident in their win, despite Finn drawing a tough Camille into Jax matchup, Mark “Markoon” van Woensel was able to stabilize the lane and give Finn an advantage.
Excel had two chances to finish off Vitality, but with their backs against the wall, Vitality’s experience came through. A strong Volibear performance from Selfmade in game four was able to catapult Vitality to match point. While Excel were competitive for most of the game, Vitality were just more patient and took better fights on their terms. Excel pushed all their chips to the center of the table in game five, opting for a lane dominant Caitlyn and Lux lane to beat Vitality early. However, they were not able to push their advantages will enough and eventually lost the series.
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