The final stages of IEM Katowice are on the horizon, and tomorrow's matches will be the ones that decide what Saturday's elimination bracket will look like. It's do or die for all four teams playing tomorrow, as the winners all advance for a chance at fame and glory, while the losers will be left with nothing but a ticket home. Fortunately for fans of the EU LCS, the field is stacked enough with European teams that it's literally impossible for one to not make it into the elimination rounds, and it's quite likely that both halves of the elimination bracket count a European team amongst them.
The first match of the day will be between the underdog Hong Kong Esports and Worlds 2016 semifinalist, H2k-Gaming. Both have fought hard to get to this point, but H2k is undeniably the favorite coming into the match thanks to their higher seeding. The last time these two teams met, it wasn't a particularly close game, so few expect one here.
The second half of the day will feature a rerun of the EU LCS match of the week from a couple weeks ago when G2 Esports takes on the Unicorns of Love. Both of these teams were considered top candidates for the title coming into Katowice, so the fact that both of them have met here comes as a bit of a surprise. Only one of the can advance, however, and this battle to see who will carry the hopes of Europe into the semifinals is sure to be a fierce one.
Which games are worth watching? Which ones are only worth a glance the day after? We asked the best and brightest mind(s) here at WWG which games they'll be tuning into to get to the bottom of that very question.
Matt Best, Lead On-Air Host - N/A
- Matt is on vacation. His opinion, thus, is irrelevant and won't be counted, though we assume that he'd still say Unicorns of Love vs. G2 were he here.
James Bates, League of Legends Staff Writer - Unicorns of Love vs. G2 Esports
- This is it, the big battle to determine who will be the last best hope for Europe. H2k obviously doesn't count due to their noted history of choking on the international stage (/s). Seriously, though, this is the match to watch if only because it's once again a battle between two of the best teams in the EU LCS, and while G2 has a horrible record on the international stage against any team that's not from Europe, this will be the first time we've seen them play against another European team on said stage. Considering how easily G2 dispatched the Unicorns the last time they brawled, this match should help identify the problems G2 has been having in international play once and for all. If it's the gravity of the stage that's the problem, I'd expect them to fail here just like they have in the past. If they instead crush the Unicorns again, however, then it's time for G2 to really examine their play and figure out how to tune it against teams from other regions, since clearly that's the issue.