The hammer has dropped
A 3-0 sweep sends Fnatic to LEC finals
After their sensational win over G2, MAD Lions were hailed as the hidden gem of European League of Legends and expectations were high for their Saturday LEC playoff match.
Fnatic, however, had other plans, sweeping the Lions and showing they are a cut above the rest.
Game 1: Slow, steady, secure
The opening game started quite well for the rookies, as Andrei “Orome” Popa took first blood in a 1v2 top-lane gank and escaped. However, Fnatic remained the more active team and got an equalized kill 9 minutes in.
Several minutes later, they also took the first tower to open up a lead. Once the mid game started, however, Fnatic were truly unleashed. They would get the better of MAD Lions in several skirmishes. This eventually led to a 2-0 and the first Baron of the series going their way around the 22-minute mark. With it, the veterans took over the map, eventually taking an inhibitor tower.
The decisive fight took place 28 minutes into the game. A Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau teleport flank caught the MAD bottom lane and forced the teamfight Fnatic needed. With a quick 3-0 and minions already approaching the base, Fnatic easily took the Nexus and won Game 1.
Game 2: SAD Lions
After a relatively easy win, Fnatic would get a cold shower in Game 2. The deaths started early and just 5 minutes in, MAD were leading 3-2 in kills and had a 1K gold lead.
The Spanish underdogs continued dominating the early game and won several more skirmishes as well as the first tower for bonus gold. Fnatic did get a hit back 16 minutes in, securing several kills and a tower of their own. However, the rookies were still ahead and both Marek “Humanoid” Brázda and Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság got fed early.
This would soon change when Fnatic got a great fight near the dragon pit 18 minutes in. There, their area damage abilities overwhelmed MAD and resulted in an easy 4-0. MAD tried to get a rematch once they respawned but Fnatic won the fight again, resulting in a very early baron.
The veterans would smash one fight after another, eventually taking a second baron. At 29 minutes in, MAD’s contest of the infernal soul only resulted in them getting aced and losing the game faster.
Game 3: Fnatic at their finest
In the third game, it was Fnatic’s time to get a flying start, and Europe’s most decorated team absolutely smashed the early game. Five minutes in, they already had three early kills – two on Orome and one on Humanoid – and a significant lead.
MAD’s woes would only get worse. Just 8 minutes in, Fnatic got a 4-1 fight that supercharged their carries. They continued dominating the early game.
Even when MAD appeared to have a found a clutch save from Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov’s Thresh, it would leave them hanging. The rookies finally seemed to have found their mark 23 minutes when Bwipo missed his Malphite ult and they re-engaged, but it was not enough.
In the choke point, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson piled on the damage, eventually getting a quadra kill and Fnatic got the cloud soul. Even a Baron steal was not enough for MAD to turn the tide. At 30 minutes in, the Spanish had one last hope to finally get a fight going their way after two early kills, but Fnatic turned it around once more, acing them and ending the game.
This was the first 3-0 series in the LEC playoffs and it was a well-deserved win. Fnatic showed that they were both extremely dangerous when ahead and could play well from behind. They will now wait for their challenger in the grand finals.
MAD Lions will get one more chance but first they have to go through the winner of the match between G2 and Origen, who won their series against Rogue.
The rookies showed a lot of heart so far, but can they bounce back from this?