In one of the most highly-anticipated best-of-five series of the LEC calendar, Fnatic took down G2 Esports 3-2 in the semifinals of the Summer Playoffs. With this win, the European League of Legends team has ended an 875-day losing streak that had become the cornerstone of one of Europe’s greatest rivalries.
The best word to describe this series was scrappy. Each game was a constant back and forth of objectives and kill trades, and Fnatic took an early victory in the series after a well-executed teamfight flipped the game on its head. With G2 on Fnatic’s inhibitors, a well-timed crowd control chain by Hylissang and Bwipo saved the game and left Fnatic up one game in the most historic of LEC matchups.
These games hung on tense moments like that inhibitor fight. G2 would take a dragon, Fnatic would take Nashor, someone would die trying to secure blue buff—it may not have been the most macro-intensive League of Legends gameplay in the world, but it was definitely entertaining to watch.
The name of the game for this series was jungle pressure with Jankos opting for the Sett pick every game and Selfmade drafting high-damage picks with carry potential. Their goals were very different: Selfmade looked to farm himself into a gold lead while Jankos looked to gank his team to victory. It was the responsibility of each team’s solo laners to match these differing jungle styles with Fnatic staying safe in the early game while Selfmade slowly farmed himself into a powerful spot.
The final game of the series peaked the LEC’s viewership for the Summer split at just under 900,000 viewers—and what a game those viewers were treated to. A total of 42 minutes of constant fighting all came down to a single kill in the late game when Caps tried to make the game-winning pick onto Nemesis, who was recalling in a bush. Some fancy footwork to dodge LeBlanc’s Ethereal Chains saw Nemesis’s Lucian pick up what could be his most important kill of the split, and Fnatic were able to push into the enemy base and seal the deal on the best-of-five all of EU had been waiting for.
With the end of this series, Fnatic have broken a losing streak against G2 lasting 875 days. Although Fnatic have won individual games against their rivals, they have failed to win a best-of-five series vs. G2 since the historic trade of Caps to the team. It is almost poetic that it was a play by his replacement that secured the win for Fnatic.