By Adam Martin
At the beginning of week 7 of the European LCS, Fnatic were 12-0. However, they were to face H2K (3rd) and Origen (2nd); arguably the hardest week of the season for the spring split champions, to tie and to break the LCS win streak respectively, which was held by Cloud 9 of North America, from the spring split of 2014 and the summer split of 2013.
GAME 1 VS H2K: A collapse from H2K after a Fnatic red side invade, and a counter gank by kaSings support Shen led to Fnatic being down by 4 kills to 0 and 1.7 k gold at the 10 minute mark. The next 10 minutes went very similarly for Fnatic being down 8-1 in kills and 4.7 k gold. The LCS win streak record looked in dire straights at this point, but true to Fnatic form, they found a way back into the game and within 7 minutes, Fnatic had equalized kills and taken a 3.1k gold lead. The rest of the game went pretty much to plan for YellOwSTaRs new look Fnatic. They were simply out rotating and out siegeing their opponents, ending the game inside 38 minutes, 9 kills and 11 k gold infront, thus tying Cloud 9’s once unreachable win streak of 13 games straight.
GAME 2 VS ORIGEN: This was the game in which Fnatic could rewrite the record books, as it was against Origen, a team with 2 ex-Fnatic members (xPeke and Soaz). There was a lot of tension. The early game was quite slow compared to the game the previous day, with both teams having 1 kill each. However, Origen held the smallest of gold leads at 10 minutes. This Game was shaping up to really make Fnatic work hard to take this record away from Cloud 9. At the 20 minute mark, Origen was up in kills 5-4, however the gold and towers were both even. 23 minutes in, Origen score a clean ace in a fight at the dragon pit. However, 6 minutes later, Fnatic return the favour scoring their own perfect ace (Febiven quadra kill) from a failed Fnatic esk “Death Brush” gank by Origen. The game came to a close in a very cliché manner. xPeke trying to backdoor Fnatic, but the pushing power of the new LCS win streak record holders was too strong. Fnatic finish 7.8 k gold and 8 kills up.
7 weeks undeafeated so far; Can they go another 2 weeks and finish off the season with a perfect 18-0? In my opinion after the previous week, there is absolutely no reason why Fnatic cannot create history again by not dropping a game through an entire split. With the last 4 games coming up against Unicorns of Love (5th), SK Gaming (9th), Roccat (7th) and lastly Elements (8th) there is no indication they would lose any of these game. However, if watching or playing League of Legends has taught us anything, it’s not over until it’s over. Although, I do expect to see Fnatic get the perfect split and the automatic qualifications to Worlds.
The big question this win streak has to ask is: will Fnatic prove to be just as dominant on the World stage against the other regions? Although it is hard to give a definitive answer to this question, there is some indication that they will indeed preform well on the World stage. Firstly, there is previous experience in international events with YellOwSTaR having been to all world championships (being one of 2 players to do so). From their gameplay, we can see their strategies and macro are by far good enough to stomp a premier region. They should at least be competitive against the dominant regions of China and Korea.
There is, however, arguments to the contrary. Fnatics last showing on the World stage was lacklustre at best (however, the team is preforming much differently with Rekkles as AD Carry). Europe (other than in season 1) hasn’t really had a great showing at Worlds as a whole, but in saying that, we haven’t seen a team this dominant in a long time either.
I know it’s quite early for predictions, but in current form I would say, yes. Fnatic does have what it takes to compete with the best in the World. Am I predicting they will win Worlds? Not quite. I don’t know if anyone has what it takes to take down SKT at the moment, who are on a very similar streak in the LCK. Whatever happens, Worlds is going to be one hell of a show! The stage is set, Worlds 2015 will be in Europe this year. Can the home town advantage push Fnatic to victory? Can Fnatic stand up to the test against Faker and SKT? There’s still a lot of questions to be answered, however this is shaping up to be the best and most competitive League of Legends World championships to date! October can not come quick enough!