Europe’s eyes fell on Rotterdam over the weekend for the first ever LEC Spring Finals. G2 would be competing in the Grand Final on Sunday, but on Saturday, their opponents had to be decided.
We’ve seen Origen against Fnatic on the big stage before, but it’s been a long time, and we’re looking at very different lineups nowadays.
Origen are a storied League of Legends team, but it’s only their first split back at the pinnacle of the game after falling away from the scene a few years ago. Fnatic are the veterans, and after a trip to the World Championship Grand Final just five months ago and a strong second half to the Spring Split, they were the favourites. Could underdogs Origen overcome them and complete their epic comeback story?
The answer was yes, and they did it in fine style. Surprising wins in the first two games for Origen were answered by a dominant win from Fnatic in game 3. However, Origen recovered to take a 3-1 series victory and progress. Let’s take a look at the game-by-game.
Origen: Kennen, Karthus, Zed, Varus, Blitzcrank
Fnatic: Aatrox, Kindred, Sion, Sona, Taric
You have to expect the level 1 invade when you have a Blitzcrank on the team, and that’s exactly how Origen got First Blood, with Kold getting the kill on Nemesis. Origen kept up the advantage too, as a few minutes later in the bot lane they were able to turn around a teleport gank from Nemesis into a kill of their own. Just six minutes into the game, Origen had amassed a 2k gold lead.
Origen then picked up Rift Herald, leaving Fnatic with a lot to do to get back into the game. They tried to force it with a tower dive in the top lane which ended in total disaster, allowing Nukeduck to extend his lead with a scary 3/0/1 score. Meanwhile, Mithy continued to make his Blitzcrank pick count with hook after hook.
Towers and dragons fell as Origen stormed all over the map unabated, and it was almost 22 minutes into the game before Fnatic were able to sneak their first tower. Unfortunately, a minute or two later Origen took Baron with Fnatic completely unable to react in time thanks to their lack of vision. They were able to grab an unexpected kill on Patrik, but Origen were easily able to break down their first inhibitor after 27 minutes.
There was late drama, as Origen got a little overconfident when trying to force the Nexus. They got both Nexus turrets, but paid for it with all of their lives. The base was completely broken open, but Fnatic did buy themselves some time with their late game, team-fighting composition.
However, it was easy enough for Origen to regroup, take Baron unopposed again, and win game 1 in 32 minutes.
Fnatic: Aatrox, Rek’sai, Lissandra, Twitch, Annie
Origen: Jarvan IV, Skarner, Ryze, Sona, Taric
Fnatic must have been getting flashbacks to the World Championship Grand Final against Invictus. A bad loss in game 1 isn’t the start they wanted, but could they come back into the match?
The exciting picks continued into the second game. This time it was Origen who picked up the in vogue Sona Taric bot lane, while some eyebrows were raised after Hylissang picked Annie support.
Luckily for them, game 2 didn’t start on a bad note, and it was fairly even for the first 17 minutes, with Fnatic eking out a slight lead over the course of the game. Fnatic were still pulling out the risky dives though, with Origen once again picking up a couple of kills that could’ve been easily avoided.
Fnatic kept up the aggression though, despite a couple of missteps, and pulled off a huge team fight in the mid lane, acing Origen thanks to a triple kill from Broxah, and picking up a free Baron a couple of moments later, opening up a big lead.
The teams continued to trade kills, but it was Fnatic who were winning the macro game, with the majority of towers, dragons, and a much better control over vision. With all these things on their side, they decided to go for another Baron, but this time, Origen had other ideas.
Fnatic were able to complete the Baron, but it was Origen who came out of the battle with the win. Nukeduck grabbed a triple kill of his own on Ryze, giving his team a route back into the game. With Baron only on one member of the team, Fnatic tried to push into the base, but Origen pushed them back once again.
After a quick pick on Rekkles, Origen were able to take Baron, but Fnatic stole a couple of cheeky inhibitors in the process. However, Origen’s gold lead and Baron buff were too much to overcome, breaking into Fnatic’s base and ending the game quickly to take a surprise 2-0 lead in the match.
Fnatic: Aatrox, Rek’sai, Lissandra, Vayne, Pyke
OG: Kennen, Jarvan IV, Ryze, Ezreal, Braum
Fnatic had to win three games in a row to reach Sunday’s Grand Final, and they pulled off a classic early bot lane tower dive to get First Blood onto Rekkles. They tried to follow up with a similar play a few minutes later, but Origen came out unscathed as Alphari teleported down to repel the gank.
Still Fnatic persisted in the bottom lane, and this time they were able to get two kills out of it, and they started to pull away in gold totals. They used that advantage and kept extending their lead, picking up towers, dragons, and more kills early on. Bwipo in particular was feeling much more confident, picking up four kills by 16 minutes, while Rekkles had two kills of his own on the dangerous Vayne.
With momentum fully in their favour, Fnatic started to simply walk through Origen, popping up all over the map while Origen seemed powerless to stop them. It took 19 minutes just for Origen to get their first kill.
Fnatic, full on confidence now, took Baron and rushed the Origen base, but once again failed a turret dive to give Origen a chance to regroup. Perhaps having learned their lesson, Fnatic played a lot more methodically. In desperation, Origen pulled off a nice teleport play to outflank and pick up a couple of kills, but Fnatic came out the victors overall thanks to their healthy lead.
2-1 now, had Fnatic’s comeback started?
OG: Gangplank, Skarner, Sylas, Ashe, Tahm Kench
Fnatic: Aatrox, Rek’sai, Lissandra, Kai’Sa, Pyke
Game 4 started out a lot more cagey. Fnatic knew they were still only a game away from being out of the running, while Origen were wary of allowing Fnatic to build up even more momentum.
The action finally erupted before the 20 minute mark after some early skirmishing, with Origen pulling ahead with a decent lead, despite Fnatic picking up a couple of dragons along the way. A big play around Infernal Drake allowed them to pull away again, with a Sunday match against G2 in sight.
25 minutes in, Origen won another team fight in convincing fashion, taking Baron off the back of it. With the game in their grasp, Origen remained hesitant, not quite ending the game just yet, but doing enough damage to Fnatic’s base to make things really tricky. Origen played things very patiently, and eventually Fnatic were forced into action, with super minions crashing against their base. Origen controlled the ensuing team fight beautifully, ending the game with an ace.
They weren’t given much of a chance at the start of the weekend, but Origen progressed through to the Grand Final in grand style. Can they pull off another upset?