Fnatic’s chances to get out of groups

Worlds_0

Fnatic’s chances to get out of groups

World Championships are getting closer. We already know teams group placement, so we can rate their chances. Fnatic, season 1 champions, are in group C, so-called “group of death”. Will they be able to derail the Korean Hype Train?

 

Group overview

Group C

  1. Korean #1 seed: Samsung Blue
  2. EU #2 Seed: Fnatic
  3. Chinese #2 seed: OMG
  4. NA #3 Seed – LMQ

Predictions in that group are not easy to pull off. Of course, everyone thinks that Korean top seed will also be top 1 in this group. It’s just natural. Korea seems to be the strongest region of entire LoL pro gaming right now.

group_c
Samsung Galaxy Blue

Samsung Blue is the #1 Korean seed and this fact speaks for itself. They have star players like their midlaner, dade, and ADC, Deft. Both are known to be one of the best players in their roles. Not only in Korea, but in entire World. Dade has incredibly strong mechanics and, after a succesfull transfer, have been shining in OGN this year. Heart, support and captain, is the man who leads them in teamfights, which are extremely coordinated. Their game knowledge and synergy makes them one of the best teamfighting teams and scary opponent at Worlds.

 

OMG.DouYuTV

OMG is also known to be strong team. They were dominating China for about 2 years with their synergy and good team-play. They usually look to teamfight opponents. The problem is that they have been underperforming recently. Most of things that used to be really good about the team became questionable now. It’s hard time for them, as they just changed a support player and there surely will be some problems with communication at least in the bottom lane. But they still have great talents in their roster. The most famous names are Gogoing and Coo1. It was they who hard carried OMG to many victories this split. The man to watch in my opinion is Coo1- it looks like he stepped up his gameplay and he’s someone to fear.

 

LMQ

They have been dominant in NA and held #1 spot for a long time this split. Their synergy and teamfighting ability is exactly on point. One of the most important things for this team are objectives. LMQ almost never avoid dragon and baron fights, they love to challenge the other team for those. Aggresive style of gameplay could cause some trouble for other teams, but underperformance at the end of the split makes people doubt in their strength. Also the drama with LMQ ownership could have affected their gameplay. Players need to leave this all behind them and prove that they’re team that everyone needs to respect.

 

 

FNC LoL Team 2014
Fnatic- strengths and weaknesses

Toplane: sOAZ

Soaz had some brilliant plays in the past. He’s experienced and no one could doubt in his champion pool. He doesn’t really like his position though. He plays toplane and he’s good at it, but problem is that he doesn’t really like tanky, low-damage champions, which are still in toplane meta. It’s obvious that you perform and overall feel better doing something that you like.
I would like to write more about his champion pool. In my opinion it’s connected with his toplane issue. He admitted that he doesn’t ask for top in soloQ. Due to playing different roles and champions, he’s expanding his champion pool. I think everyone heard about his beloved Blitzcrank. Lately he also picked Swain with success, won against Roccat as Ziggs toplane and his Yohhhrick is also avaible. In Season 3 he played a lot of Lissandra and Kennen which he still considers to be one of his best. I do expect something special from him at Worlds – flexibility in champion pick is one of his greatest strengths. His favourite champion appears to be Lulu though.

In KR SoloQ he also plays Tons of Lucians. Toplane it is?

Soaz competed at All-Stars Shanghai 2013. To get there, he challenged Wickd for best of 5 1v1 for an All-Stars spot. He won 3:2 playing Nunu vs Jayce in the final game. It turned out good for Europe- sOAZ was the only European player to defeat eastern players 1v1. It surely wasn’t easy as he played against PDD and Shy. Both were world-class toplaners.
He also got 5th place at All-Star 2014 voting, where he competed anyway, because Fnatic represented Europe as a team.

However, lately sOAZ haven’t been playing as good as he used to. He seems to struggle sometimes. We can only hope that he will gain confidence, deal well enough with the pressure and perform at his best. Then he could be able to carry Fnatic for the win like in good old times.

Jungle: Cyanide

He’s with Fnatic since the very beginning. Cyanide surely got used to high pressure, winning, losing and facing international champions. He won Season 1 World Championships with Fnatic, but from old roster only he and xPeke have sticked to Fnatic.
He’s known for his brilliant baron and dragon steals. He even stole baron in game vs OMG at All-Stars 2014. It often brings Fnatic back to the game and allows them to fight opponents with positive result. His ability to calculate smite is something every jungler needs to respect.
In early game he’s not that kind of aggresive first-blood monster like for example Jankos is. Cyanide is supportive jungler providing protection and vision for his team. It is he who placed so many wards for Fnatic.
Cyanide is a very important part of Fnatic. He’s also consistent. Since season 1 he has been a good jungler. Even though he had his ups and downs like everyone else, he was able to stay at the top EU team and dominate 3 LCS splits before being second in EU LCS Summer 2014. He’s also hard-working and self-critical.

Mid: xPeke

xPeke is either loved or hated by most people. He was the S1 Champion. In S3 he was proved to be huge play-maker as he loves to play assassins, turn the man-mode on and go straight into enemy team. It’s risky play-style and requires a lot of support from the rest of Fnatic. It’s good though, at least as long as he calculates it well enough. Things are getting worse when he underperforms. It’s really dangerous for Fnatic to have xPeke behind. Sometimes it looks even like some kind of win condition for Fnatic- usually they win if xPeke does well. Even Phreak once said:
“Fnatic are incredibly dependent on xPeke, without him, they don’t have a key point of their winning formula”.
It might have been a long time ago, but still remains as a fact. Even if they’re not as dependent as they were in the past, he’s the key part to success.
He’s famous not only for going full ham. He likes to do crazy moves which are memorable. There are three examples:

1. His escape as Nidalee vs CLG at IEM Cologne

2. Mad acting skills as Syndra vs Roccat

3. Probably the most famous one: Backdoor at IEM Katowice 2013


He also broke record by reaching 300 cs in 21:52 minutes as Orianna.

xPeke is surely able to carry games. What he needs is confidence and motivation- then he can show some amazing plays.

 

Botlane: Rekkles&Yellowstar

I my opinion it’s the best European duo. Rekkles was spotted by Fnatic long time ago, but he wasn’t able to play because of his young age. As soon as he hit lvl 17 Fnatic made him part of the active roster as starting AD Carry. In Spring Split he started with great plays and became week 1 MVP. He got 19.3 KDA.Obviously he is the person to fear the most in Fnatic. His mechanics are on point with most of the AD Carries. Other important fact about Rekkles is that he won two awards at the end of Summer 2014 Split. He got the most kills (now he’s tied with mancloud at 167 kills in 28 games) and he got the MVP award for entire Summer. Rekkles also holds record for fewest deaths in split (27 in 28 games). What else could one want from ADC than this? Most kills and fewest deaths sounds perfect. But it’s just the beginning of his career.
Yellowstar was pretty decent support before. Never really bad, even though previously he was ADC. This switch turned out great for him. This split he has shown a lot of great Morgana and Thresh games, one highly memorable for sure…

As we know, he’s also a main shotcaller for Fnatic what seems to work out good for them. Yellowstar is what makes this team work- clear calls are important with risky pick-style that Fnatic likes so much. He’s also the one with great understanding of the roles. He can and will lead Rekkles and entire Fnatic to victory by the best possible way.

Coaches: Araneae and Toyz

Araneae joined Fnatic after being their friend for a long time. As soon as he moved in Fnatic started to perform much better as they seemed more confident. I guess that’s something Araneae is great in- cheering up his friends with his motto “keep smiling”. That’s actually something Fnatic members need. They always perform great when it matters. If Araneae did his job, they will always be motivated. I’m sure that making them feel better isn’t his only activity. He has to do researches and help them with preparations what’s also helpful.

Toyz is season 2 champion. He has huge game knowledge and can help with preparing for games- picks, bans and overall strategy. He considers Rekkles as the strongest player of the team who can carry late-game if Cyanide and xPeke would carry early. If you’re interested in his opinion about Fnatic, check it out yourself:

 

Match-ups to watch

1. Gogoing vs sOAZ. Meta is shifting again in sOAZ’s favor. Even if he struggled in LCS it may be the time to prove himself against Gogoing. Chinese toplaner has been terryfying lately and he’s one of the best toplaners in the world.

2. Yellowstar/Rekkles vs Heart/Deft. It’s going to be extremely interesting one. Will Yellowstar and Rekkles be able to win lane against more teamfight-focused combo of Deft and Heart? Or will the Korean botlane be just too strong for Western team to handle?

 

 

Predictions

There are people who believe that Fnatic can make it out of the group stage. It includes Kobe, MonteCristo, Nukeduck and NintendudeX for example. Of course it will be hard. I think it depends on two things. First thing is Fnatic’s motivation going into the tournament. If they will do a “classic Fnatic” and shine exactly now, at Worlds, when it matters so much, they could be able to go to the bracket stage and make me proud as an European. The other thing is OMG’s problem with coordination, picks&bans and communication. After being such a dominant team, they struggle now with a lot of things, their teamfight seems sometimes like a mess. That’s not something they want now. Even though, OMG still remains the most common pick for 2nd place.

So will Fnatic be able to derail the Korean Hype train? Nah, I don’t think so. But I do believe that they can at least get #2 place. With help of Toyz and solid training they can pull off a great performance.

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