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G2, Fnatic and Splyce: What separates the LEC’s top teams?

Following this weekend’s gauntlet-style Regional Finals, the LEC officially has its three representatives. But what makes each team unique – and do they have what it takes to go all the way at Worlds 2019?

The LEC celebrated its inaugural season this year, after rebranding from its previous EU LCS moniker. After two thrilling splits, the entire landscape of the league has been flipped on its head. Fnatic, the former undisputed champions, have been relegated to second place. While G2 Esports, who barely secured a Worlds position in 2018, have transitioned into one of League of Legends’ premier teams. Meanwhile, Splyce has managed to fight off worthy rivals like Team Vitality, FC Schalke 04 and Origen to secure the final spot.

But what separates the play-styles or LEC’s first Worlds representatives? Let’s take a brief look at the unique way each team plays the game:

G2’s “Wildcard” Factor

G2 Esports is a frenetic force on the Rift, thriving in chaos and capitalising upon forced mistakes. This manifests firstly in their rotations and play-making, which is often unpredictable, and secondly in their champion picks. G2 isn’t afraid to play essential champions in any lane. With comfort picks like Akali, G2 can rely on top laner Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen, mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winthe and even ADC Luka “Perkz” Perković to reliably carry on the champion.

What’s more, this willingness to pick a champion anywhere (as long as it’s strong) means G2 can out-draft most teams, giving themselves an advantage outside the scope of most of their opponents. This was most notably demonstrated by their willingness to flex Pyke to any of their players during the regular season when that champion was at its strongest. The team has confidence in their players that their individual talent is enough to play anything the squad requires.

This confidence is not misplaced. G2 also has the benefit of owning one of the most talent-stuffed rosters in the LEC. Right down to substitute Hampus Mikael “promisq” Abrahamsson, the squad can rely on world-class performances to back up their chaotic play-style.

Fnatic’s execution

On their best day, Fnatic displays the best executed League of Legends in the LEC. In games that they win, Fnatic is a well-oiled machine, arriving at precisely the right moment to team fights and stomping opponents in 20-minute brawls. To formulate this success, Fnatic relies both on specific strategies and decisive shot calling.

The execution of strategies is best shown in Fnatic’s early game, or within their more unusual drafts. When the team invades or ganks in the opening stages of a game it does so with a very specific goal, often to target a single player or resource. A prime example was their playoff game versus FC Schalke 04, where Fnatic’s early invade deprived their opponent’s jungler of a crucial buff, setting off a chain reaction which led to Schalke’s defeat. 

The second element of Fnatic’s success is its decisiveness. While players following shot-calling is ultimately an essential part of any team’s success, on Fnatic it’s second nature, with the team moving organically together around the map.

When all these factors are combined, it’s easy to understand why Fnatic is one of the best teams in the LEC.

Splyce’s fundamentals

In contrast to the other home-town teams at Worlds 2019, Splyce is the most orthodox and mundane of the organisations. Unlike Fnatic, who prefer well-constructed strategies, and G2 who thrive on chaos, Splyce plays best when League of Legends is played in a standard way. Their methodical style is best shown when the team has straight lane matchups. 1v1s, 2v2s, and 3v3s with junglers are Splyce’s strongest moments.

Splyce has an enormous amount of talent on its roster. To get the best out of these players, it has to force other teams into playing the game their way. They achieve this either by picking champions which other teams underestimate in lane, or by creating so much disruption in a single lane that their other lanes get to free-farm. Splyce may not always get the chance to play “conventional” League of Legends at World’s 2019, but if they do, there’s a high ceiling to how far they can advance.

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