The LCS Promotion Tournament has concluded Sunday with Giants Gaming's victory against Huma, the top squad of the 2016 European Challenger Series spring season. In doing so, Giants Gaming returns to the LCS alongside fellow League Championship Series spring season squads Splyce and Roccat, who had punched their tickets to the summer season on Saturday.
One day after its defeat at the hands of Splyce, Giants bounced back with a convincing 3-1 victory against Huma. Huma's sole victory came in the second game of the series, following a standout performance from Dan "Godbro" Van Vo on Quinn (8/1/4 KDA, 75 percent kill participation ratio) and with help from Giants' former top laner, Jorge "Werlyb" Casanovas.
The series was otherwise Giants' for the taking as the spring LCS squad held initiative throughout the series, and Lennart "SmittyJ" Warkus's efforts come as proof: a 21/8/27 KDA over the series with a kill participation of 81 percent. The team was able to stymie Werlyb's efforts at pressuring the side lanes, partly due to the current meta.
As SmittyJ points out in the broadcast's postgame interview: "Splitpushing right now is pretty hard because it's mostly tanks versus tanks and they can't kill each other. They can just farm." When his opponent picked Fiora, a damage and split-pushing threat, Giants used Sivir, Lulu and Nautilus to pick Huma's other members apart and prevail in team fights.
SmittyJ relied heavily on one of the two new Korean imports, Kim "Wisdom" Tae-wan, to pave the way for victory. The jungler's ability to contain Huma's Rudy "Rudy" Beltran in the early game helped his teammates in crushing their opponents and taking over the map slowly but steadily.
As a result, Giants joined Roccat and Splyce back into the LCS. Yesterday, the other two teams had punched their return tickets to the top league following victories of their own: Roccat won against Huma 3-1, and Splyce narrowly edged Giants 3-2.
Felix "Betsy" Edling and Karim "Airwaks" Benghalia powered Team Roccat to a 3-1 victory against Huma as they outclassed their opponents, Godbro and Rudy. The difference in level between Betsy and Godbro became obvious in the final game as Roccat's mid laner performed a "Flame Horizon" (killing 100 more minions than his positional opponent) before the 15-minute mark.
When talking about Roccat's sole loss, Airwaks was quick to take the blame. "I think we lost Game 3 because I got caught too [many] times," he said. "This game should've been won if I played better."
Splyce's path to the LCS was tougher as it brawled past Giants in a 3-2 thriller. In the final game, Giants Gaming led the game until the 43-minute mark, when Splyce performed a high-risk high-reward Baron Nashor takedown, aced the opposition and subsequently clinched the series. Splyce's mid laner, Chres "Sencux" Laursen, commented: "I feel like, overall we were the better team, and we played the map better than them, but they had some good picks into what we have."
Giants' loss against Splyce delayed their qualification to the LCS, but what happened against the Copenhagen Wolves nearly cost them their LCS spot. Down 2-1 in the qualifier to the Promotion Tournamnt, Giants rallied behind Wisdom (6/4/13 in the past two games) and nullified Marc "Caedrel" Robert Lamont's impact on the game in order to prevail 3-2.
Over the course of the promotion series, Giants played 14 games, with back-to-back five-game series that went to the deciding game. When asked about the matter, SmittyJ stated: "It was really exhausting, but playing five games twice in a row helped us a lot to get some practice, to get some confidence."