Following their heroics at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational, G2 eSports were widely regarded as the Western team; the one organisation – from either Europe or North America – who could mount a serious challenge to South Korea’s League of Legends dominance. Fnatic however, are looking to reaffirm their status as a western force to be reckoned with.
Fnatic’s 2017 World Championship bid has got off to the best possible start. Two commanding victories in Week 1 followed by glory in the El Clasico European grudge match vs G2 eSports has caused many analysts to reconsider Fnatic’s place in the League of Legends global rankings.
Fnatic convincingly outplayed G2 to take the series 2-1, putting them top of Group A in the EU LCS Summer Split.
Having narrowly avoided defeat against Team ROCCAT on account of pitching a significantly weakened lineup, G2 eSports were back to full strength with Luka “PerkZ” Perković, Kim “Trick” Gang-yun, and Ki “Expect” Dae-han all rejoining the team.
Fnatic, who had enjoyed the benefits of having extra time to prepare on the new competitive patch than their rivals, entered the tie hoping to signal their intent for the EU LCS Summer Split title.
Fnatic controlled the first game of the series, after quickly establishing a lead following four easy kills and a tower in the bottom lane. Utilising their tried and tested combination of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s Kennen and Paul “sOAZ” Boyer’s Shen, Fnatic were by far the more proactive of the two teams, flying out of the blocks to take the lead in the series.
— lolesports (@lolesports) 8 June 2017
The second game of the series served as a minor stumbling block for the Fnatic squad, who felt into G2 eSports’ infamous late-game scaling trap.
FNC mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther outclassed Perkz in the early game just as he did in the two sides early meeting in the Spring Split, but in a case of deja vu he slowly became irrelevant as the game developed.
Unable to scratch the tankier members of G2’s composition, the game was ultimately sealed after the reigning champions secured a vision advantage that would result in a baron to close out the match.
Fnatic ended the series on a high, with every member outplaying their opposing counterpart. Caps and Rekkles once again led from the front, fearlessly steamrolling the team’s advantage against the squad supposedly considered to be the West’s great hope on the international stage.
Fnatic demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that they will push G2 eSports all the way for the EU LCS Summer Split title. For European fans, the revival of the El Clasico rivalry is yet more good news for the region.
Already buoyed by G2 eSports’ performance at the Mid-Season Invitational and judging by Fnatic’s summer resurgence, Europe currently boasts the two best Western League of Legends organisations.