Can Fnatic overcome their rivals in the Summer, or will they be the “second team” again?
This Friday marks the beginning of the 2022 LEC Summer Split, where all the 10 teams only have one goal in sight: making it to the top 6, so they can fight for the three World Championship spots. But some teams undoubtedly have more to gain from this year’s Summer season.
One of these squads is fan-favourite Fnatic, who flopped hard in the Spring. The organization revised the team before the 2022 Season began, only keeping their botlane, Elias “Upset” Lipp and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov intact.
They signed the rival’s toplaner, Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen, who played for G2 Esports for years, got Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz, the strongest player of Misfits Gaming besides Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié. And they managed to strike a deal with Marek “Humanoid” Brázda, who just won both Spring and Summer Splits last year with MAD Lions. With a stacked roster like this, and G2 Esports still recovering, only leaving Rogue as a rival, many believed that this Split would be the one for Fnatic to rise to the top again.
They started the season with a stellar 5-0 record, but going 0-2 against Rogue and G2 Esports in Week 3. While they didn’t let that stop them, it took another week before they bounced back to form; beating SK Gaming and Team Vitality in Week 5. Week 6, they managed to silence the G2 fans by beating Rasmus “Caps” Winther and his team – but only after losing to Astralis, (who only had one win before their second match against Fnatic.)
Upset and his team managed to go 2-0 again in Week 7, beating both Rogue and MAD Lions. But they only won 2 out of their 3 matches in the Regular Season ending superweek, finishing in second place behind Rogue with a 13-5 overall record. In playoffs, they started out great, beating G2 3-1 in the first round of the Upper Bracket.
They won the first two matches against Rogue in the UB Finals, but after Rogue found counterplay and Fnatic failing to adapt, forcing the same composition in Games 3 through 5, Humanoid and the team got reverse swept, sent to the Lower Bracket, and knocked out 0-3 by G2, who finished the Playoffs with a legendary 12-0 record.
Of course, this meant that Fnatic didn’t win the LEC Spring Split, but they also failed to make it to the Finals – getting knocked out again by their biggest rivals, G2 Esports. Now that Rogue is also a contender for the top spot, Fnatic has two opponents which they have to worry about.
The black and orange squad has one of the best botlanes in the whole League, while having a reliable midlaner and toplaner, and Razork, who should make a comeback to starhood this Summer. But will Fnatic be able to pull through, and go to Worlds as the first seed of Europe?
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