With the final team set in stone, the European roster has been locked in for the World Championship. It’s time to review how well Europe’s chances appear to be while attending the 2017 World Championship.
Europe has locked in its three seeds for the World stage. G2, Misfits and Fnatic will be taking the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd seeds respectively. Although these are Europe’s top three teams. There is certainly a lot of variety within these teams, varying how they play and their history on the world stage. Europe is well known for having teams favor long games, which allow their teams to reach six items and win in a single late game fight. This may be how most teams prepare against European opponents, however, for this Worlds, teams will have to do a lot more research if they want to completely shut down the European region.
Let’s start with G2. Coming in as the first seed, G2 have perhaps the most prove at this event. After what many saw as their redemption in 2017, reaching the finals and even taking a game off Korean overlords, SKT T1. This was immediately followed by a lacklustre performance at the very first Rift Rivals. This wasn’t just a G2 issue – it’s no secret that Europe massively under-performed at this event.
Although the summer split seemed solid, finishing 2nd with an 8-5 record, it was still a very shaky split for the organization. The first round of playoffs seemed to spell disaster for G2, as they took Splyce to a full five games. But this wake-up call was all the team needed, as they swept the Semi Finals and the Finals over H2K and Misfits. Securing their spot for Worlds, G2 certainly looks like one of the strongest teams in Europe. Their true test will be if they can keep a calm mentality and enter the World stage, ready to play their style, and not crumple under the pressure of the stage.
The second seed from Europe are the newcomers: Misfits.
Misfits are coming in as the second seed, which has surprised almost everyone who follows the European scene. Misfits are a relatively new organisation – in fact, this is their first year in the League of Legends scene. A story similar to Origen, Misfits finished 2nd in the spring split, just below G2, then managed to take down Splyce in a full 5 game series in the quarter finals of the playoffs. Unfortunately, they then met Unicorns of Love and their playoff run was cut short. After meeting Fnatic in the 3rd place deciding match, Misfits finished the split in an overall 4th place – certainly not a bad finish for a beginner split. After changing their roster – most notably by replacing Lee “KaKao” Byung-kwon with Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian – the team was determined to finish higher in their second competitive split.
Although they finished just behind G2 in the summer split, many thought Misfits would not have a deep playoff run. Their first opponents would be the Unicorns of Love, the second place team from group B. The Misfits made quick work of their opponents and 3-0’d them in the Quarter Finals. However, their next target would not be so easy. The fan consensus was that Fnatic would take down Misfits in the semi finals, and in easy fashion. Fnatic was ready to go after one of the organisations best splits, but not even the full strength of Fnatic could stop the Misfits as they were taken down in a 3-1 fashion. Just reaching the finals was a good standard for the organisation. Not only did this guarantee their spot for Worlds, it also sent a message to their region: they weren’t to be taken lightly.
We drop game 3 and the series, but not without putting up a fight
See you at Worlds
— Misfits Gaming (@MisfitsGG) September 3, 2017
No matter how magical their playoff run had been, they were no match for G2 in the finals, getting swept 3-0. Yet still, Misfits will undoubtedly be an interesting team to watch. Not only is this their first international experience, their play style is also noticeably different from most other teams in their region. They aren’t afraid to fight teams early, and they certainly try to win in a faster fashion than their European brothers. If you’re looking for a fun team to watch on the World stage, Misfits would be an excellent choice.
Surprisingly, the third and final seed is Fnatic.
After a dominating 12-1 record in the summer split, Fnatic looked to return to their superior form. Nothing could stop their play and the team seemed to be on a path to glory. However, much like G2, Rift Rivals was an embarrassing event for Fnatic. Many thought the team was far stronger than any North American team attending, but when it came down to fighting at the event they couldn’t muster the strength to even finish highest among the European teams. This didn’t stop their return to form among arriving back in Europe, as they went on to dominate the rest of the split. However much to everyone’s amazement, Fnatic were unable to compete with Misfits in the semi finals of playoffs. After dropping the series 3-1, the team was pushed down once again to the 3/4th place deciding match.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) August 26, 2017
Fnatic are a team steeped in legacy, it was almost unacceptable for them to miss out on a World championship two years in a row. The downside of Fnatic’s one-system Rekkles plan was shown in its entirety at the Rift Rivals event and it’s clear that Fnatic spent a lot of time fixing those mistakes by adding a lot more plays to their book. Although they didn’t make it to Worlds in the way they had hoped, they did manage to take down H2K in the 3/4th place deciding match and book their ticket to worlds as the 3rd seed. Out of all three teams from Europe, Fnatic arguably have the most to prove on the World stage as they look to rebuild their reputation that they once held on the World stage.