In the EU LCS, placing second means the difference between making the Finals or seeding into the third place match.
Power of the Bye
Since the EU Summer Split Playoffs in 2015, only a handful of teams have made it to the Finals after playing in the first week of Playoffs. For Fnatic and G2 Esports, their Week 7 matchup will go a long way to determining who gets the bye.
Having a bye adds a major advantage for a top two seed. The team gets to see how the Playoff meta plays out, figure out counter-picks, and prepare surprise drafts for their opponents. Just one more week of information is huge, especially when every series matters heading into Worlds. Fnatic and G2 face off in the EU Match of the Week to decide which team will finish with a major advantage heading into Playoffs.
The Ever-Changing Bot Lane
Gone are “normal” ADCs; enter mages, fighters and, if everyone is lucky, Teemo. Patch 8.14 brought the destruction of G2’s favorite strategy: the funnel comp. While G2 can still rely on Luka “Perkz” Perkovic, the changing meta puts a massive amount of pressure on their bot lane, support Bae-in “Wadid” Kim and Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss. Hjarnan has been magnificent on Heimerdinger but games have become much harder to snowball. ADCs have received even more buffs and Hjarnan may have to start playing more standard champions. G2 may be forced into a tough spot– The last time Hjarnan played standard, G2 did not look their best in the Spring Split 2018. Hjarnan will have to step up if G2 has any hope of beating Fnatic.
Fnatic’s Bot Lane has been manned by support Zdravets Iliev “Hylissang” Galabov and Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau. Both have had their moments in the spotlight, but Hylissang makes everything happen for Fnatic. Hylissang’s Pyke could very well be the best in the world. Pyke fits right into his favorite playstyle: roaming and playmaking. Hylissang looks to make plays in the mid lane or the enemy’s jungle, all while Bwipo plays a safe mage bottom and wave clears under the turret. If Wadid and Hjarnan cannot control the bottom lane, Hylissang will make life incredibly tough for the rest of the G2 squad.
Two Shining Stars
It is impossible to mention G2 and Fnatic without talking about the team’s two star mid laners, Perkz and Rasmus “Caps” Winther. Both are true carries for their squads. Perkz has had many funnel comps built around him and he has answered the call every time. The G2 mid laner pumps out damage while staying a safe distance away, never giving his opponent the chance to punish him.
While Perkz has been great, Caps is the clear best mid laner in EU.
Caps has an aggressive, punishing playstyle. He always thinks he can outplay a gank, and he usually does. Caps’s champion pool is, quite frankly, unmatched. He can play any matchup and seems to have a counter pick to everything, even bringing out Wukong in last week’s game against Misfits. His play draws a fine line between genius and madness. He is always looking for trades and will take any advantage, no matter how big or small the window. G2 has to find a way to shut Caps down. If it means ganking frequently with Wadid and jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, then Hjarnan will have to take a hit bot lane. If Caps is allowed to play unchecked in the mid lane, Fnatic should run away with the game.
A Tall Task
Fnatic have been tremendous in the last two weeks, handing Misfits their first loss of the Split and looking unbeatable in their other three matchups. The second place squad is firing on all cylinders while G2 has floundered, losing two games to FC Shalke 04 and Roccat.