YoungBuck: “Vitality match will be the most important one of the Split”

Before the start of Week 8 of EU LCS, we caught up with our team coach, Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool, who shared his thoughts on the crunch game against the in-form Vitality and on the match against the new-look Giants Gaming side.

After a week-long break in LCS because of IEM Katowice, EU LCS resumes tonight, and nothing better than a mouth-watering clash to get back to work! To kick off the week, we will be up against Vitality, who are on a six-game winning run in the league and currently share the top of the table with us and with H2k Gaming. According to our team coach, Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool, it is a “do-or-die” mission for both teams.

“It is going to be the most important game of the Split,” he noted. “Realistically, the winner of this match will play a tiebreaker against H2K for the No.1 spot at the end of the split and will secure a berth at the finals in Rotterdam, whereas the loser will have to play in the quarter-finals of the playoffs.”

In the previous encounter between the two teams, Vitality managed to recover from a poor start and capitalised on the mistakes made by us. YoungBuck believes that the pick-ban phase was not the problem back then but says that the latest patches may take a toll on Vitality.

“They were very hard for us to read back in Week 5, their champion pool was very different from any other team,” he said. “With three more weeks of scouting and two patches that nerfed some of their key champions, we have a better read on them, but they probably have a better read on us, too.”


YoungBuck says that the match against Vitality will be decisive


Despite the break in the league, the team did not rest on their laurels as they took the week to practice against new opponents, including the Asian teams who were in Katowice – an experience that may prove to be decisive in the playoffs, where matches are often decided by the finest of margins.

Some of the players went home to spend the week with family and friends but we still practised,” YoungBuck stressed.We wanted to use the opportunity that IEM Katowice provided to practice against international teams to compare play styles and champion priorities, and to and learn from that.”

After taking on Vitality, we will face a new-look Giants Gaming, who recently revamped their roster by replacing three players. YoungBuck highlighted that it is hard to prepare for a match against a team that has changed so much in such a short amount of time but he adds that Giants are likely to face synergy issues.

“In theory, they are stronger now individually, but the question remains about how well they will work as a team with such little practice,” he explained. “One of the advantages they have this week of LCS is that preparing for them is nigh impossible because we have to assume that bringing in three new players gives the team a new identity and, therefore, also a completely different way of drafting.”

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