David Hollingsworth
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last seven years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist.

LoL: LEC Playoffs Round 1- Fnatic vs SK Gaming Recap

The letters FNC and SK appear on the sides of the screen, with a faded blue Fnatic logo and faded orange SK Gaming logo beneath them. In the middle is a large white VS.
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The first of the LEC Spring Split 2021 matches gets underway as Fnatic takes on SK Gaming.


The first match of the weekend sees us pairing off fifth place Fnatic against sixth-place SK Gaming. While SK Gaming probably ended up in a position most would have expected, Fnatic would not have been expecting to finish so low, and a poor final two weeks of the split cemented those issues. With this being the lower bracket, the loser of today’s series will go home already, with the winner playing against the lowest-seeded losing side on Saturday and Sunday.

Game One

A screenshot of the LEC broadcast for Game One between Fnatic and SK Gaming in the 2021 LEC Spring playoffs. The picked and banned champion drafts appear at the bottom with a shot of Hylissang above.

 

It took until midway through the eighth minute for our First Blood to be taken. With Fnatic pressuring across the map early without taking a kill in return, finally, a gank in the top lane paid off after forcing out the flash one wave earlier. SK Gaming, with a three-man engagement on the bottom slide, was able to quickly get themselves back on the board with Hylissang being caught out.

By the 17th-minute mark, SK Gaming had started to come into the game as they took a slight lead. However, Fnatic came online with a solid outplay by Nisqy which saw both teams involved in a 5v5 fight that lasted almost two minutes with resets, teleports and re-engages. A fight that looked like a disaster for SK Gaming saw SK ultimately close the gap on Fnatic as they claimed their second drake. Despite SK Gaming’s best efforts to stop the Baron, Fnatic can take it with Nisqy coming fully online to take down SK Gaming as Fnatic moved to a 5k lead.

Fnatic continued to snowball the lead, picking up another Baron and team fight victory. SK Gaming hold firm but with Fnatic pushing 10k ahead, it looked all but over. Fnatic lost Bwipo but SK couldn’t push for more as Fnatic took game one.

Quick Stats:

  • Time:33:47
  • Kills: 20-13
  • Turrets: 10-2
  • Gold: 66k-54k
  • Dragons: 3-2
  • Barons 2-0

Game Two

A screenshot of the LEC broadcast for Game Two between Fnatic and SK Gaming in the 2021 LEC Spring playoffs. The picked and banned champion drafts appear at the bottom with a shot of the LEC studio above.

Fnatic started game two how they ended game one. Selfmade heading into the top lane and picking up early first blood, after some early dominance on the bot side. SK Gaming does counter-kill, however, as the gold remained even. Despite coming back from losing first blood, Fnatic was able to increase their early advantage. By the 15 minute mark, Fnatic had moved to over 4k in the lead as SK Gaming just lack the execution of their plan.

SK Gaming tried to make something happen but Fnatic was just too strong. Despite Bwipo going down, SK Gaming lost three of their members in return. Fnatic tried to take the Baron but they decided against it with SK Gaming looking for a steal. SK Gaming lost their bottom inhibitor tower but take two Fnatic lives in return. They look to chase down Fnatic but they don’t over-commit.

SK again tried to make a game-saving play but Bwipo just refused to die as SK lost one. With Fnatic trying to follow up, SK Gaming somehow managed to turn the fight as they yet again hung on in this series. Finally, Sk Gaming and Jenax find the fight. Fighting under the turret SK Gaming is able to pull off the miracle fight as they sink all five members of Fnatic and seal Baron as they looked to stay alive in the series.

Just a minute later Fnatic pushed into the base yet again but again SK Gaming pulls off another miracle fight as SK Gaming storm the Fnatif base and took down Fnatic in an unbelievable fashion.

Quick Stats:

  • Time: 37:38
  • Kills: 10-16
  • Turrets: 8-7
  • Gold: 65k-67k
  • Dragons: 3-2
  • Barons:1-1

Game Three

A screenshot of the LEC broadcast for Game Three between Fnatic and SK Gaming in the 2021 LEC Spring playoffs. The picked and banned champion drafts appear at the bottom with a shot of the Fnatic roster above.

Fnatic bounced back after game two disappointment by picking up a very early 2v2 first blood in the bot lane as Upset and Hylissang continued to dominate the bot lane matchup. Three minutes later the Fnatic bot lane goes in yet again. Despite Hylissang dying first, Upset is able to pick up a double kill as the SK Gaming bot lane struggled to get a grip on the game. By the midway point, like in game two, Fnatic had a hold on the game as they built up a 2k lead with 2 drakes on the board.

By the time we approached the 20-minute mark, SK Gaming has yet again clawed back into the game once the team fights start. Fnatic did manage to move onto soul point before moving into the bot lane and taking down two members of SK Gaming. With that play, SK Gaming threw away some of the pressure they’d gained onto Fnatic’s lead. SK again won a fight against Fnatic but failed to turn it into a Baron buff as they’re forced off of it. Fnatic regrouped to chase them down as Fnatic take down two members of SK and took the Baron for themselves, moving to a 6k lead.

Determined not to make the mistakes of game two, Fnatic started the soul Drake and with SK Gaming attempting to stop them, Fnatic dominated the fight and pushed down the mid lane. SK Gaming couldn’t stop the onslaught as Fnatic moved to 2-1

Quick Stats:

  • Time: 30:06
  • Kills: 20-8
  • Turrets: 7-3
  • Gold: 59k-47k
  • Dragons: 4-0
  • Barons: 1-0

Game Four

A screenshot of the LEC broadcast for Game Four between Fnatic and SK Gaming in the 2021 LEC Spring playoffs. The picked and banned champion drafts appear at the bottom with a shot of Upset above..

And it happens again for SK Gaming as a 3v3 bot lane fight sees Fnatic walk away with 3 kills losing just 1 in return. It goes from bad to worse for SK Gaming as they almost picked up a kill in the mid lane but a smart counter gank by Selfmade saw Fnatic pick up yet another kill. Fnatic still maintained the lead at the 15-minute mark, despite SK Gaming looked to get back into the match.

By the 22-minute mark, the game was almost level, though Fnatic had moved onto three drakes, putting the pressure on SK Gaming to make a play. Fnatic forced a fight as both teams lost a member, with that Fnatic moved to claim the fourth drake as they moved to get elder onto the map. In the aftermath, Jenax is able to 1v2 Upset and Selfmade while his team takes down the Baron and piled the pressure back onto Fnatic.

A shaky end

SK Gaming overreached just moments later after getting a pick, but Fnatic was able to turn the fight and picked off three members of SK Gaming as they wasted their Baron buff. Then, SK Gaming forced the next fight in the mid lane, catching out members of Fnatic as they moved back to their base. SK Gaming dropped three members and pushed into base. Upset is able to hold the line as Fnatic counterattack and picked off three retreating members of SK Gaming as Fnatic moved to claim the Elder Drake.

With Elder and Baron Fnatic took down two of the SK Gaming Inhibitors. As they retreated SK Gaming tried to catch them out but fail to do so as they lose another member with Fnatic resetting. SK GAming tried to hold off for one final fight but Fnatic was just too strong as they take down SK Gaming and move on in the LEC Spring Split playoffs.

Quick Stats:

  • Time: 35:55
  • Kills: 18-25
  • Turrets: 6-11
  • Gold: 62.6k - 72.5k
  • Dragons: 5-0
  • Barons: 1-0

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