Splyce locks in playoff slot with win over Mysterious Monkeys

Splyce qualified for the European League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split playoffs with a win Thursday against Mysterious Monkeys in Berlin. Provided by Riot Games

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Splyce shut out the Mysterious Monkeys in commanding fashion to kick off Week 9 of the European League of Legends Championship Series. The victory was a crucial one for Splyce as it locked in its slot in the playoffs, and ensured that Team Vitality would be staying home.

What will become of Splyce (7-4, 14-11 match record) once they make it to said playoffs is another matter entirely. Its victory against the Monkeys was absolute, to be sure, but that says more about the Mysterious Monkeys than it does Splyce, who gave the Monkeys ample opportunities to take back control of the series, at least in Game 1.

Splyce's bottom lane found itself completely outmatched throughout the first game, and it resulted in the Monkeys AD carry, Solar "Yuuki" Florent, exiting the laning phase in easier fashion that should have been allowed, a mistake elongated an otherwise easy victory for Splyce. Game 2 was a more dominant victory, but the fashion in which it was won would likely never occur against a better team, as the bulk of Splyce's lead was built upon the numerous kills various players picked up in lane, all of which occurred without the aid of Jonas "Trashy" Andersen, its jungler.

It's difficult to imagine a better team giving up so many easy kills, and Splyce is going to need to come up with a better strategy in a hurry if it wants to stand up to the likes of G2 Esports or Fnatic.

This series also sealed the fate of the Mysterious Monkeys (2-10, 5-21 match record), who are now locked into last place in Group B, setting the stage for a spot in the Promotion Tournament. Whether or not it can make a return to the LCS is an open question, as the disparity between the Challenger teams and the LCS teams that put them into this position in the first place is a vast one.

Many of the issues Mysterious Monkeys faces were on display in this series. The team rarely makes proactive plays in the early game, the laners often die one-on-one in inexcusable situations, and once behind, the unit rarely makes any bold moves to turn the flow of the game back in its favor. It remains to be seen whether those weaknesses are as easy for Challenger teams to punish as it has been for the EU LCS teams.

The player of the series was, without a doubt, Splyce's AD carry, Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup. His Xayah play was the highlight of the series, and he once against proved himself as the best pilot of that champion in the EU LCS.

Despite Xayah's lack of mobility and the considerable engage power that the Mysterious Monkeys brought to each game, Kobbe didn't die all throughout the series, and not because he wasn't doing damage. He had the highest damage dealt across the series by a long shot and also ended up with the best KDA (kills/deaths/assists) at 15/0/9. It's unlikely that Kobbe will even have the option to play his Xayah in playoffs after a match like this one, as there's no question that he was the driving force behind his team and propelled Splyce to the victory. Banning Xayah will likely be a priority for the team's postseason opponents.

Splyce's next opponent will be the Unicorns of Love on at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, while the Mysterious Monkeys will next do battle with H2K Gaming at 11 a.m. ET on Aug. 13.