As Fnatic fans, die-hards, bandwagons, or just G2 haters, we all wanted Fnatic to win since it would make a great story if the underdogs were able to win a match that was unthinkable for them to reach just a couple weeks ago. The battle was dubbed as one of the most intense matches where the “Former Kings of Europe” challenged the “Current Kings of Europe” for the glory of representing EU at MSI. Ever since G2 defeated Fnatic in 2016 and won the EU LCS Spring Split, everything changed for Fnatic and the entire European scene.
Fnatic, once the most glorified and worshipped team in EU, were overthrown and replaced by the new kids in town. The team did all they could to regain their position at the top but it just didn't work out. G2 improved their game across the board including the hiring of performance and mental coach Weldon Green which made them even more of an unstoppable force.
Fnatic came into this match being complete underdogs but with a trick up their sleeve. That was their so-called “Animal Style” which led them up to the semis as they rolled through H2k 3:0. Although their playstyle is unique and proven to be both fun and effective, it wasn’t able to counter G2’s most powerful asset, a positive mindset, and the ability to adjust in-game.
Game 1 Fnatic wins (Fnatic lead 1-0)
Fnatic: Victory | Gold: 65.4k | Kills: 19
Soaz: Gragas: 2/0/7
Broxah: Elise: 5/1/7
Caps: Aurelion Sol: 5/0/4
Rekkles: Twitch: 6/0/5
Jesiz: Zyra: 1/0/11
G2: Defeat | Gold: 49.4k | Kills: 1
Expect: Camille: 0/1/0
Trick: Graves: 0/4/1
Perkz: Orianna: 0/2/0
Zven: Ezreal: 1/5/0
Mithy: Karma: 0/7/1
Fnatic had this game in the bag from the beginning as an unprepared G2 got caught with their pants down. Though they were ahead in the first 10 minutes of the game with Rekkles’ Twitch beaten out of lane, they failed to stop Fnatic’s roams and had uncharacteristic miscommunication issues. It seemed as though G2 were just not ready for the entire series itself. Securing only one kill in the entire game, G2 were easily defeated, but little did they know that they would storm back. It was very clear what G2 was doing wrong in this game - Trick was a little too aggressive, Perkz underperformed, Expect didn't communicate well enough to counter Soaz, and Zven did not taking advantage of his double buff from Broxah.
Game 2 G2 wins (Series tied 1-1)
Fnatic: Defeat | Gold: 79.2k | Kills: 9
Soaz: Gragas: 0/3/8
Broxah: Elise: 2/1/3
Caps: Aurelion Sol: 2/2/3
Rekkles: Twitch: 3/6/5
Jesiz: Annie: 2/4/5
G2: Victory | Gold: 81.9k | Kills: 16
Expect: Camille: 5/4/4
Trick: Graves: 7/3/3
Perkz: Orianna: 1/1/8
Zven: Ezreal: 3/0/9
Mithy: Karma: 0/1/14
Although Fnatic led in the early game, the team started to fall in the late game where G2 learned from their mistakes in Game 1 and held their own. Expect suddenly performed well and was able to communicate properly with his team. This was huge as it allowed the team to catch Rekkles out of position, something that cost the team dearly in Game 1.
Coming into Game 2, G2 didn’t change their draft at all, except banning out Zyra as they thought it would be a major problem with their team composition. Even though G2 played spectacularly this game, it was Fnatic who had a lot of problems that caused them to eventually lose the game. It was also G2’s mentality that kept them running for 43 minutes until Expect and Trick became too big of a threat for Rekkles to take care of.
Game 3 G2 Wins (G2 leads 2-1)
Fnatic: Defeat | Gold: 68.0k | Kills: 3
Soaz: Shen: 0/4/1
Broxah: Kha’zix: 2/3/0
Caps: Syndra: 0/3/0
Rekkles: Tristana: 1/0/0
Jesiz: Thresh: 0/2/1
G2: Victory | Gold: 87.4k | Kills: 12
Expect: Kennen: 2/1/5
Trick: Elise: 0/1/4
Perkz: Ekko: 8/0/1
Zven: Ezreal: 2/1/2
Mithy: Lulu: 0/0/6
This game was an absolute disaster for Fnatic. G2 was able to release their power through decisive decision making, patience and outplays. Fnatic had a tough time in this game as they were unable to get Rekkles into the positions he needed to carry the game, as well as the entire team not being coordinated while G2 excelled.
From what was once a terrible Game 1 and a near loss in Game 2, G2 was able to slowly but surely take Game 3 from Fnatic who was so dominant leading up to that point.
Game 4 G2 Wins (G2 Wins series 3-1)
Fnatic: Defeat | Gold: 61.7k | Kills: 16
Soaz: Shen: 2/3/6
Broxah: Lee Sin: 3/3/6
Caps: Kayle: 3/4/3
Rekkles: Tristana: 7/1/4
Jesiz: Camille: 1/4/9
G2: Victory | Gold: 81.9k | Kills: 16
Expect: Gangplank: 3/4/5
Trick: Elise: 3/4/3
Perkz: Cassiopeia: 1/1/8
Zven: Ashe: 3/0/9
Mithy: Thresh: 0/1/14
This game was a far more one-sided affair than people think it is. Despite Fnatic finishing one kill behind G2, the team didn't manage to handle in-game situations well as the team was often separated around the map. G2 was taking objectives as a unit which was a big turn-around for them. Everyone on G2 was on the same page while Fnatic was a complete mess.
Fnatic executed with less precision and performed terribly compared to their match against H2K. G2, with Trick and Expect, were able to lead the charge which significantly changed the team's impact against Fnatic, rendering their counterparts useless.
Overall, Fnatic’s Animal Style proved to be an effective way to fight, suiting them well and proving to fit their style in order to support Rekkles in carrying the team. However, their problem this series was not about their playstyle, but about how they played, their communication, and their lack of synergy. G2, expectedly, were the superior team in all facets and rightly won, advancing to the third straight split finals.
What was your impression of this game? Let us know in the comments below!