In the contested best-of-five between SuperMassive (SUP) and the MAD Lions (MAD), the Wildcard SUP dropped their quite massive Malphite pick from Armut to crush the highly questionable draft from MAD, clinching the series 3-2.
The series began with MAD focusing on all-out slugfests with their Conqueror heavy champion selections (such as Wukong and Mordekaiser) while SUP chose a protect-the-carry composition around Zeitnot’s Ezreal. Despite the raw power in MAD’s team composition, they had little chance to assassinate Zeitnot with the CC heavy team crafted specially around keeping him alive. Even during the early-to-mid-game, the most valuable time to put an Ezreal behind, Armut’s global pressure on Shen and the flailing bot-lane Wukong pick made it impossible for MAD to put the Ezreal behind. Without any real inroad to taking down Zeitnot, SUP took the game with a resounding lead.
Game two was much more even, with both teams carrying more balanced compositions and picks throughout. Things were looking to go SUP’s way once more, but before the threat of a full-sweep could fully loom, SUP made a large mistake in an uncoordinated baron play that resulted in them losing the Baron and going down two kills. Previously SUP had been making fast and hard plays to consistently punish MAD Lions’ positioning and submissive posturing, but SUP threw by failing to recognize Orone’s respawn timer was coming up while he still was holding teleport for the counter-play, giving MAD Lions the victory. This game sets the tone for the rest of the series, cementing the ability for SUP to take aggressive early leads but taking bad fights because of errors in communication and coordination on positioning and timers.
Game three played like SUP’s more ideal version of the previous match-up. Despite MAD’s efforts, SUP continued to outperform their European rivals in lane and pushed their leads into fast and furious rotations that MAD would either simply lose outright in terms of power or rotate last, finding teammates dead on arrival. Once again, a standout showing from Armut in the top-lane, who crushed Orone but also uses Sion’s engage capability to launch himself into the middle of MAD, terrorizing his way to victory.
The fourth game found Armut back onto the Sion pick that had smashed the previous game, but SUP fell back into a rut of taking questionable fights throughout, with Armut specifically flying into the back line during one of the later dragon bouts while Kaiser took the same position engaging into his entire team as Alistar. While the strategy had seemed to work out previously, Humanoid had come into the Sion pick with Cassiopeia, and when SUP failed to consistently engage onto her she slaughtered Armut’s helpless Sion pick while Zeitnot found himself constantly losing huge chunks of hit points in strong trades and getting slammed with hard crowd-control, allowing MAD to take the win to take the series into game five.
The fifth and final game was an oddly disappointing ending to the series as MAD seemed to hard choke and fall apart as a team. The pressure began to ramp up on MAD when they drafted Leona for Kaiser without banning Morgana, which SUP quickly scrambled to lock in immediately after. Subsequently, after the Leona pick, MAD took their draft from simply getting countered on one champion to picking almost all pure AD champions (Senna, Graves, Renekton) while leaving Malphite unbanned. Armut locked in the Malphite and proceeded to outlane Orone’s Renekton, even getting a kill on Shadow under tower 2v1, almost getting a double kill and enough experience to level up to actually ESCAPE with Unstoppable Force. Despite getting a few favorable engagements, MAD seemed to completely choke underneath the constant threat of the armor-stacking SUP outscaling them with each passing minute. The failed desperation plays from Shadow and the inability for anyone on MAD to flash Armut’s Unstoppable Force just allowed for SUP to wipe MAD even if they managed to kill the Malphite, securing the series for the Wildcard SuperMassive and dooming the MAD Lions to be the first European team at Worlds to fail to make it past play-ins.