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LCS FINALS: THE PAST AND FUTURE KINGS

By Boyan Penev League of Legends 10 Apr 2018 298 views

After more or less breezing through the semifinals, the top two teams in Europe, Fnatic and G2, clashed in the finals of the European League of Legends Championship series playoffs. During the regular season, Fnatic had taken both head-to-head games with lategame scaling comps and better teamfighting. However, in the playoffs Fnatic was playing with a substitute player, as Bwipo was taking the toplane after the veteran Soaz was injured. While that had not been a big problem in the semifinal, Fnatic was shown that their toplane play was far from perfect - and G2 would likely punish mistakes even harder than Vitality did. On the other hand, G2 had lost most of their players and coaching staff in the preseason. While the team had shown promise, and their star midlaner Perkz had carried plenty of game in the season, this organisation lacked a lot of the star power that it had previously had. Prior to the game, Rekkles received his spring split MVP award, no doubt appreciated, but the Swedish AD Carry had been aiming for a different award this split – the championship. Meanwhile, Perkz had the chance to make history and be the first player to get five consecutive splits, showing that despite all the changes, G2 were the most dominant team in the EU LCS.

Image courtesy of Riot Games.

Game 1 saw Fnatic play Karma in the midlane, putting all resources in Rekkles’ Tristana, while G2 got a more damage-heavy lategame comp with Ryze and Jinx. However, Perkz’ team won the early game as well, with Jankos’s Zac seemingly everywhere, and they were ahead by roughly 4K gold 16 minutes in. This advantage stayed mostly unchanged until a baron call 8 minutes later left them with the baron, but herded in the pit as Fnatic collapsed. As the fight went against them, G2 flashed out of the pit en masse, but they were followed by Fnatic and Rekkles’ Tristana ran wild; while the end result was four kills for Fnatic versus two and the baron for G2, Fnatic was able to mostly negate the baron advantage. They would then turn the game by winning the next two teamfights, both times decided by Hjarnan’s Jinx being caught out and quickly bursted, which left G2 unable to pump out sufficient damage to get past Fnatic’s frontline. However, G2 replied with a desperate base defence where they were able to rout their rivals right in front of the nexus as Hjarnan’s Jinx chased them down, which also left G2 able to take a second baron. This time it was Fnatic’s turn to put up a solid defence, and the game stayed virtually even until a decisive fight 41 minutes in. Jankos’ Zac tried a deep jump, which left him isolated and cost him his passive, which also left Perkz’ Ryze exposed and low on HP. He flashed away, but was chased by Rekkles, who took him down, and with his team chased down the rest of G2, ultimately proving decisive in that teamfight and getting an unofficial pentakill with three kills first, then another two. G2 were aced and with not even a nexus tower to their name, the game was over.

In Game 2, it was G2’s time to play a more support midlane; Karma was taken by Perkz,  and several ADC bans – including the Tristana which Rekkles played so well in Game 1 – and a Varus pick left Fnatic to pick Sivir. Jankos and Wunder gave G2 a good start with another first blood, but a Hylissang bait allowed Fnatic to equalise shortly after. The game was pretty close, with Fnatic taking a minor lead after several kills, then G2 moving ahead with yet another bold baron call and a 2-1 fight just afterwards. This got them a minor lead, but Fnatic pushed back soon after. G2’s second attempt to take baron was much less of a surprise, and Fnatic collapsed on G2. As Bwipo’s Sion teleported behind G2, he managed to crowd control several G2 members and Rekkles’ Sivir took over, eventually getting the Pentakill that eluded him in Game 1, and Fnatic took the baron. G2 did not give up and contested the infernal drake shortly afterwards, but Fnatic won another teamfight Fnatic took several more kills, and within several minutes, they took all 3 inhibitors and then the game.

Game 3 was G2’s last chance, and they picked a scaling comp with plenty of sustained lategame damage with Cassiopeia and Sivir. The early game was a lot more even than before, and despite Fnatic winning some early fights G2 replied with some picks and objectives of their own. Around the 28th minute, G2 attempted a baron bait and were able to win a 5v4 fight versus Fnatic and kill Hylissang, but meanwhile, Caps’ Ryze was pushing into their base. Their unwillingness to abandon baron let them lose the inhibitor and Hjarnan’s flashless Sivir was actually left for dead in the pit. Fnatic were the ones to take baron, and before the baron buff was over they had broken the other two lanes, defeated G2 and actually executed a lossless fountain dive to secure the ace on Wadid’s Karma before they broke the nexus in style.

The postgame celebration was for Fnatic. Rekkles got an additional reward, getting a series MVP to go with his season MVP, and with a KDA of 33 and 0 deaths during the entire series, it would be hard to dispute it. While the result belies the contested games, in the end, Fnatic got it all, and after nearly three years, the cup was theirs again.

Image courtesy of Riot Games.

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