Team Vitality Defeat Excel in 3-2 Slugfest

Team Vitality and Excel Esports traded blows in the Sunday playoff, going to all five games. In the end, Vitality was on point in game five, taking the series after falling behind twice.
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Excel or Vitality - who would win? | © Riot Games

After Rogue and Fnatic both won their series, it was time for the last two teams in the LEC playoffs - Excel Esports and Team Vitality - to face off. For Vitality, it was the last chance to salvage what had been an underwhelming season. Excel, meanwhile, finally ended a season in the top 6 and no doubt wanted to make their mark on the playoffs. They had managed to get the better of Vitality in the regular season, but now it was a full Best of 5 series. Which team would prevail?

First Blood and Counterattack

After often being criticized during the regular season, Excel’s jungler and top laner stepped up in the opening game. Mark "Markoon" van Woensel on Viego set up multiple fights for his team and soon, Vitality were on the back foot. The game went from bad to worse for them as three kills enabled the UK team to get an early Baron. Despite a few hiccups, Excel remained stronger in the teamfights and deservedly took first blood in the series.

With both teams drafting compositions with strong scaling in the second game, Excel once more had the stronger start with several successful ganks by Markoon. However, Vitality punished a few overextensions and kept good control of the neutral objectives. A spread fight 20 minutes in went their way and this time, they were the ones with the early Baron, soon adding a cloud soul as well. Now forced on the defensive, Excel were not able to deal with Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek’s empowered Olaf as he plowed through their backline several times, leading to his team’s first win in the series.

No 3-1 Tonight

Now that they had gotten on the board, Vitality were more proactive early and after an even game in the first 10 minutes started getting a lead, getting a lead in several clutch outplays. The mid-game stayed close but a pick on Markoon 30 minutes meant a Baron and an inhibitor for the bees. However, Excel’s carries still had a lot of damage and six minutes later, they took three kills seemingly out of nowhere. Now 5v2, they pushed in the enemy base, completed the ace and snatched the win out of Vitality’s hands.

With the pressure mounting, the two teams did not shirk from the fighting from early on. Vitality got the better of their opponents early on, getting a nearly 4K lead at 16 minutes after getting a first tower and a gold advantage on Barney "Alphari" Morris’ Gnar. Several more things made it look like Excel were out for good, but 25 minutes in, they landed some great poke and committed to the fight, killing both enemy carries and the Baron. Just when it looked like we were in it for the long haul, Vitality landed the perfect counterpunch, catching their opponents split up, acing them and bringing us to Silver Scrapes.

The Vitality We Wanted To See

It was time for the decisive game and this time, Vitality came out swinging. Selfmade’s early ganks set up kills in all lanes and soon, Vitality’s carries all had a hefty gold lead. Even worse for Excel, they lost control over much of their jungle and kept getting picked. 28 minutes in, Alphari got a 1v1 kill on Erlend "nukeduck" Våtevik Holm’s Corki and this was enough for a Baron. With it, Vitality sieged the enemy base, eventually getting a good engage to ace their opponents and take the series.

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The LEC playoffs continue next Friday, April 1st, as Team Vitality will fight G2 Esports for both teams' playoff survival. In the meantime, make sure you follow us for more LoL news and analysis!