(Image Credit: Chris Yunker)
Warning: MSI group stage spoilers below!
It’s not been the dream start for Fnatic at the MSI 2018 Group Stage.
Despite having the home advantage by playing at their home studio in Berlin, Fnatic limped away from day one with two losses against Royal Never Give Up and Flash Wolves.
Rekkles didn’t show up
Although Fnatic didn’t perform poorly on day one of the Group Stage, they certainly could have done better.
Rekkles, despite being the MVP of the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split, didn’t show up in either of day one’s matches, although he was always going to have his work cut out for him against the likes of Uzi. However, even when he went toe to toe against Betty of Flash Wolves, Rekkles couldn’t find momentum on Jhin, finishing with a KDA of 0/2/4 compared to Betty’s KDA of 9/1/4 on Varus.
This meant that it was up to Caps in mid lane to carry for Fnatic. Despite some creative picks and impressive plays, particularly on Yasuo in game one against RNG, Caps couldn’t solo carry his team to victory.
The sOAZ question
One notable absence from the Fnatic starting line-up on day one was top laner sOAZ. Although sOAZ injured his hand just at the end of the2018 EU LCS Spring Split, it was understood that sOAZ was playing League of Legends again and that his hand was on the mend.
However, it would appear that, despite sOAZ’s progressive recovery, Fnatic’s management do not believe he is up to performing on the international stage just yet. That may be why we saw Bwipo start in top lane on day one, and it’s likely that we’ll continue to see Bwipo starting throughout the rest of the tournament.
Bwipo has had little experience playing with Fnatic, having only played a handful of games for the team before having to play in the semi-finals and finals of the EU LCS Spring Split due to sOAZ’s injury.
Although Bwipo has held his own in the two MSI games we’ve seen so far, fundamentally Fnatic has come into MSI as a different team, and we’ll have to see how quickly they can adapt if they have any hope of progressing further to the knockout stage.
This turn of events clearly weighed heavily on sOAZ. Justa day before MSI began, sOAZ posted a tweet, now deleted, that expressed his frustration with his situation, saying you “can’t trust anyone and everyone for themselves in this [expletive] industry.”
Later, two tweets were posted, apologizing for and explaining the outburst:
We can all sympathize with sOAZ. The pressure he must feel to get back to form, along with the frustration of not being able to play such significant and high-stakes games, such as the EU LCS final and MSI, must be huge.
Although sOAZ confirmed that he won’t be leaving Fnatic and that he has no issues with his team, you have to wonder whether such tweets will have caused any friction off-camera that might impact their team’s performance.
Hopefully that’s not the case, and Fnatic can get over their day one hump at MSI and deliver in the remaining four days of competition. In the meantime, sOAZ can continue to recover and get back to form as soon as possible.
Fnatic’s day two games are against KING–ZONE DragonX and Team Liquid.
You can catch the action on the LoL Esports YouTube Channel or on Twitch.
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