In today’s 2022 LEC Spring Split Playoffs matchup, Team Vitality emerged victorious over Excel. The two teams battled it out in evenly matched clashes in the first five-game series, with several tables turned during the games.
This is the first game in which a team bids farewell to the LEC Spring Split Playoffs. Excel were the first to withdraw from the competition after making their debut at this stage of the European competition. They didn’t, however, go down without first dealing Vitality a few heavy blows, shattering the heart of a team that came to the lower bracket fearless.
In game one, both teams gave everything they had to win the first point of the series. Despite a large gap in kills for one team and neutral objectives collected for the other, the gold lead remained very low throughout the game. Excel, on the other hand, began making impressive plays, owing primarily to their win-condition bot lane, which was formed by Jinx and Lulu. They also stunned Virality opponents with outstanding performances from Markoon and Finn, establishing a slow but steady dominance in the Rift. Excel took their first win in the LEC Playoffs by destroying Vitality’s Nexus in the first game of the series, displaying mechanical excellence and impressive team cohesion.
Vitality, on the other hand, were unfazed by either the opponents’ first victory or Excel’s early advantage in the second game of the series. Despite Excel’s extensive map control—thanks to their jungler’s tangible impact in the game—Vitality snatched every neutral objective and the game’s upper hand. Vitality won game two by turning every error and slip made by Excel into an advantage for themselves, bringing the series score to 1-1.
Similarly to the second game in the series, Excel entered the Rift confident in their abilities, gaining control of the early game thanks to the huge impact of their jungler and their effective roams throughout the map.
In the mid-game, Vitality once again turned the tables on their opponents, gaining kills and gold leads. Excel, on the other hand, did not let victory slip through their fingers this time, fighting for every advantage they could find on the map and preparing for a decisive battle. Excel annihilated the entire Vitality team in one strike, melting the structures defending the opponent’s base, collapsing the Nexus and claiming their second victory of the series.
Vitality did not postpone a bloodbath in order to stay alive, but instead took the first blood in the top lane as a result of a clear and well-executed gank. Unlike in previous games, Vitality was aggressive in the early game, attempting to limit the possibility of scaling their opponents’ late-game composition. Their strategy yielded results: Excel began to make mistakes, assisting their opponents in creating and extending their own leads. Despite getting their first neutral targets on both sides of the map, Vitality came out swinging, constantly rotating into bot and top lane and performing hefty combos to damage their opponents’ structures.
At the 20-minute mark, Vitality had a gold and kill advantage, and each teamfight widened the gap between them and Excel. The massive damage disparity between the two teams was evident in the game’s final phase, which ended after an exhausting siege at Excel’s base.
Despite the defeat, Excel held their heads high in their first appearance in the European Playoffs, nearly snatching the series against the team regarded as one of the superteams to beat going into the season.
Vitality’s dreams are still alive. They will advance to the next match in the lower bracket as a result of this victory. On April 1, they will face G2 Esports, who lost 3-1 to Fnatic in the upper bracket yesterday. Although they advanced to the next round, Vitality’s victory exposed the team’s vulnerabilities, and they will now face a team that is no stranger to the European playoffs.