Vitality beat Schalke 04 to break a four-game losing streak Friday during Week 7 of the European League of Legends Championship Series in Berlin.
Vitality (8-5) started the game off with an interesting draft, picking a heavy crowd control composition that was rounded out by an off-meta Ashe pick for AD carry Amadeu "Minitroupax" Carvalho. With heavy emphasis on controlling the map with its picks, the team played slow and steady, content to avoid fights in favor of gaining control and setting up for Baron. Schalke 04 (5-8) had a much more mid-game oriented composition, with it placing a chance at victory almost solely on success in the early game.
Throughout the entire game, Vitality had full control of neutral objectives. Somewhat uncharacteristic for jungler Erberk "Gilius" Demir, on Sejuani, Vitality gave up only a single dragon during the game. As the contest progressed and both teams worked into their full builds, this objective control meant more than any kills could have. The reward for the continual objective presence was three Barons throughout the victory, synergizing perfectly with the option to itemize Banners of Command on multiple members of the team.
Though Schalke 04 seemed like it would be unable to come back from the early deficit, multiple strategic engagements by the team, on its own accord no less, helped find several kills and stall Vitality's onslaught. Unfortunately, as quickly as an opening arose, Schalke made a mistake that sealed its defeat. Opting to try its chances at an Elder Dragon, the team made a fatal error as it missed a Smite, giving the objective along with two kills to the enemy team. With the buff, Vitality moved flawlessly, methodically taking down the three enemy inhibitors before forcing a final fight to close out the game.
Vitality's victory comes at a crucial time, allowing the squad to break a four-game losing streak in the midst of the race for playoffs. The team will still need to clean up its mid game when it takes on Fnatic at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday. Schalke 04 will have a theoretically much easier opponent for its next match as it battles Unicorns of Love at 12 p.m. ET the same day.