Who would’ve thought that after the first round of matches, the Challenger teams would be the ones standing on top? Now, Fnatic Academy will clash with Misfits Academy in a winner-take-all series for the first EU LCS spot!
Fnatic Academy are strong. This lineup excels at taking over the early game and pushing its leads through picks and team fights. However, their lackluster objective control and their tendency to overstay make the team unstable at times.
The same thing could be said about Misfits Academy. While they did manage to go 3-0 against Origen, their games were far from being clean. The main issues were sloppy rotations that exposed Misfits to getting picked apart before the team fights could even start. However, once Misfits were in position for a skirmish, their individual skill and built-up synergies carried them to victory.
Top Lane Matchup: If there’s one player that’s been seriously impressive throughout the Challenger League, it’s Kikis. It comes as no surprise—after all, he’s a battle-hardened veteran that’s played on teams like G2 and UOL. His tank play is solid but it’s his carry picks that allow Kikis to break open the game and lead his team to victory. His opponent, Jisu, has been mainly on tank duty. And even though he plays the frontline role well, this playstyle naturally makes him much less of a threat than Kikis. An advantage to Fnatic in the top lane.
Jungle Matchup: Misfits’ Pridestalker has taken this tournament by storm. He’s the definition of the carry jungler that makes the plays and does the damage as well. His, Kha’Zix and Graves performances have been exceptional, although it still remains to be seen whether he can show up on supportive picks. Opposing him is a legend of the EU LCS, Amazing. Even though Amazing’s proven that he’s still good at pathing and ganking, his decision-making and objective control raise a lot of questions. It will be tough for him to stand up to someone of Pridestalker’s caliber.
Mid Lane Matchup: Misfits’ CozQ has been… unimpressive. His laning is decent in that he can keep up with most opponents. But he has trouble playing up and finding those crucial openings to take over team fights. On the other hand, Nisqy has no such problems, and his stunning play on assassins and mages has been instrumental in Fnatic’s victories. A lead for Fnatic in the mid lane.
Bot Lane Matchup: As for the bot lane, the ADCs are close to even. FNC’s MrRallez is a solid player with a lot of competitive experience under his belt. He won’t blindside you in lane, but he will make up for it with exceptional skirmishing and team fighting. Yuuki60 has also been focused on working together with his teammates. He might not have as much LCS experience as MrRallez, but he’s a veteran of the Challenger scene that knows what it’s like to play on stage. The main difference lies in their supports. Misfits’ Dreams has been the solid backbone of his team, while Klaj’s reckless positioning has lost Fnatic many crucial engagements. A victory for Misfits in the bot lane.
Everything comes down to whether Misfits can control the enemy solo laners. If they’re able to pin down Kikis and Nisqy, then they have a solid chance to take the series. But Fnatic have all the necessary tools to counter this. As long as their bot lane holds on—which is relatively easy for a duo lane—and Amazing doesn’t lose ground to Pridestalker, their solo laners will take over the game and bring them a 3-2 victory.
Thoughts on the matchups? Discuss in the comments below!