For the uninitiated, League of Legends, or LoL, is a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game consisting of five-man teams duking it out across a map covered by jungle and three paths known as lanes. If you’re reading this yelling at the screen because you’re Diamond I and I’m just making noise then scroll down, but bear in mind not everyone is as acquainted with this fantastic game as you or I.
Each region has a professional circuit run by the company behind LoL, Riot Games. Once a year, the top teams from all across the globe meet for the World Championship series; we’re talking teams from the US, Europe, China and Korea going head-to-head to be crowned the best team in the world. At least until next year. Alright, now for the fun part.
Coming in to this matchup there was a lot of negative vibes, mostly aimed at Fnatic. Had they lost a step? Were the nerves finally starting to get to them? How would they handle Edward Gaming (EDG), a team who ran rampant through the normal season in China? On the other side, the big news coming out of the EDG camp prior to the game was the announcement that the team had decided to bench the incumbent top laner AmazingJ in favour of Koro1.
With their trademark brand of aggression and high tempo, Fnatic looked unstoppable, crushing EDG in a three-game sweep and quite frankly not once did EDG ever look like they could pull one back.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I didn’t see this one being as night and day as it was; I was hoping for a closer series so I’d have a lot more to talk about, but it kind of leaves very little to write about when one team is so dominant that they hold the other to only four kills for the entirety of a game.
The first game in the series set out looking like it could be a bit crazy, and for the most part, it didn’t disappoint. EDG came out with a four-global comp, running Fiora, Jayce and Twisted Fate all with teleport, which should have meant a lot more pick-plays than they actually ran. Including Thresh, however, was one of the few things that went right with this comp; Meiko saved teammates on numerous occasions including a spectacular lantern to save PawN from a three-man dive.
Despite a lot of attention early and often from EDG, they still struggled to shut down Huni entirely, which ultimately led to their demise after he initiated in the final team fight before Rekkles on Kennen – that’s right, a Kennen ADC – threw down the maelstrom to clean up EDG.
This turned out only to be a partial downfall, and EDG sealed their own fate when PawN elected to TP in and look for a backdoor on an exposed inhibitor instead of helping defend against a determined Fnatic push.
Game two brought intrigue for anyone like myself concerned not just with the Xs and Os of League but also the 0s and 1s. The game was interrupted by a prolonged pause due to what was initially perceived to be a technical issue with Reignover’s keyboard. I’ll spare you the lengthy details but essentially as Gragas his Q button wasn’t working. Riot’s techs took a peek and couldn’t get the portly ginger to throw casks again, ruling it to be a very rare but known bug with the patch the Worlds are being played on. They offered a remake of the game, which Fnatic accepted. It’s also worth noting that despite leaving Gragas enabled due to the popularity of the champion, Riot have already confirmed that if the issue occurs again they will be disabling him for the rest of the tournament.
Besides all the kerfuffle with the game being remade, there’s quite literally nothing to say about this one: Fnatic steamrolled EDG, giving up only four kills. Febiven proved why he’s arguably the best midder in the EU LCS, going 9/0/2 on LeBlanc, and bagging an early triple-kill on a sliver of health just because he can.
Blink and you missed the entire game; it was over in 29 minutes, with EDG losing two inhibitors at 26. The only real fun EDG could have had in this one is laughing at YellOwStaR breaking out the “ol’ sharknado play” with his Tahmn Kench pick. Though that probably left them in tears after he pulled, or should I say gobbled, teammates away from every single CC thrown their way.
Game three of this sweep-a-palooza started off in typical Fnatic fashion, with a Huni teleport play down bot to secure first blood. It’s not all bad news for EDG, though, as Koro1 certainly appears to be a solid top lane player with great instincts, which he demonstrated with a flanking teleport, trapping Fnatic between EDG for a triple kill and allowing EDG to regain a tiny bit of footing.
Sadly for EDG, this foothold didn’t last long. Fnatic came right back, targeting Baron as they always do, and mopped up several team fights, including the game-winning skirmish where Rekkles on Jinx secured a triple kill with a crit-Q rocket on Deft, allowing Fnatic to take the nexus and the series.
If Fnatic can keep this rolling against their semi-final opponent, Korea’s Koo Tigers, and if Origen can somehow pull a win out of a hat against SKT after both teams secured their semi-final berth, then we could be headed for an all EU LCS final, and won’t that just be something.