This weekend we’re headed into the second round of the LEC Summer Playoffs, and on Saturday G2 Esports and Fnatic meet in a matchup that feels like a grand final.
Both teams have been neck and neck this past Summer split, with just a single game’s difference between them. Fnatic has been on a fantastic run for the last few weekends, securing a four-win streak. They head into the playoffs with a tremendous amount of momentum.
G2, for its part, might have already been crowned the winner of the LEC given their performance this season. After a top finish during the Spring 2019 split, the team segued into an undefeated playoff run and a successful trip to the Mid Season Invitational. There, the team convincingly defeated SKT, then dominated Team Liquid – and in the process become the heir apparent to the world championship title. Not to mention that the entire squad made the LEC All-Pro Team, as voted by other teams, casters and esports journalists.
Fnatic then has an uphill battle, both in-game, and in convincing fans of the legitimacy of any potential victory. Fnatic’s performance over the last two splits has been genuinely amazing, showcasing the kind of form that’s made the team a consistent presence at Worlds. However, in the previous two splits they’ve fallen short of a top spot. In Spring it was Origen that proved the immovable roadblock for Fnatic, and in these playoffs, G2 has the chance to play the same role.
In head to head matchups within the regular season, the teams are even – having won a series apiece in both the Spring and Summer splits. Most of these games were incredibly close. Even in a game like the one highlighted above, where G2 fell apart early, the match was forced into a the late game with Fnatic barely clutching out a close base-race victory.
Fnatic has enough raw talent and aptitude to be able to counter G2’s sometimes unorthodox playstyle, which it uses to augment it’s already stellar individual performances. Players such as Fnatic’s Martin “Rekkles” Larsson are more than a match for G2’s Luka “Perkz” Perković and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle – even when the bot lane duo is reaching deep into their champion pool to try and throw their opponents off their game. So what the matchup comes down to is whether G2 wants to roll the dice on an off-meta Champion pick, which can either stomp Fnatic or blow up in their faces and cost them the game.
When these teams face off on Saturday, it will be their most difficult domestic challenge. For G2, it’s a question of consistency. Can the team persist in their insatiable trip to a World Championship? For Fnatic, it’s time to prove everyone wrong. In their minds, they have to be the ones to beat G2 and show the world that the LEC is about more than just one team.
Feature photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games