It couldn’t have been a better third place matchup than this. Fnatic and H2K both displayed nerves at times, but it was rather expected from such a high-profile series. Both teams showed more than enough to justify their high placements in the league.
Let’s dive right into the games and see how the action unfolded.
The first game had your typical Bo5 beginning. Slow, careful, measured plays from both teams left little room for error.
And errors are exactly what cost Fnatic the game. They got outwarded, outganked and outplayed in teamfights on almost every occasion, and with only 3 kills to show for the entire match, H2K were sure to take the early lead into the series.
H2K Chei was instrumental on Rakan, supporting his teammates in 14 out of 15 kills, while Nuclear landed some mind-boggling arrows on Ashe. Most importantly, this helped Febiven overwhelm Caps in the middle, something that has caused Fnatic a lot of trouble recently.
Now that Fnatic was up to their working temperature, H2K had the first real challenge. Fnatic did a much better job in the pick and ban phase, opting for Janna on Jesiz and securing Xayah for Rekkles as well as Syndra on Caps.
It was obvious from the get to that this was going to be a vastly different game. FNC Broxah came mid very early and helped Caps get the first kill, after the latter lured Febiven on his low HP.
H2K Jankos and Odoamne returned the favour 5 minutes later killing sOAZ on top. However, that’s as far as H2K managed to parry.
Fnatic teamed up on the bottom lane and picked up two easy 2-for-1 trades. This was enough of an opening for them to aggressively control the midgame and snowball into the eventual win. Caps finished the game on a 5 man killing spree.
H2K didn’t get discouraged by the equalized at all. They got quite a few bully picks with Odoamne on Cho’Gath, Febiven on Orianna and Nuclear on Xayah.
This enabled them to control the map and flow of the early game by methodically playing around map objectives and strategically pushing lanes. During this early H2K’s success, Fnatic found themselves fumbling a bit.
However, H2K’s mini-pressure yielded nothing meaningful, as Fnatic finally managed to clump up together on top lane and ace H2K with their trademark Rekkles ferocity.
And this is where Fnatic did something they so often failed to do this summer. They immediately rushed over to Baron, killed it quickly and then immediately proceeded to bully H2K with relentless teamfight ganking pressure.
Despite arguably better champion composition, H2K had no answer and lost in quite a convincing fashion, with only 2 kills to Fnatic’s 15.
In game 4, H2K strapped up their boots and heavily counter-picked Fnatic. What followed was an absolute thriller.
Tower after tower, Fnatic’s lanes were shrinking by the minute, with H2K securing massive gold lead in the process. Kill-wise, Fnatic were parrying rather well, with Rekkles almost acing H2K all by himself in the nerve-wracking base defence.
However, with only 1 dragon kill to show for all the objectives the game has to offer, Fnatic finally crumbled after 42 minutes of playtime. 2-2, off to game 5
In the fifth and final game, with a sort of a clean slate to begin with, Fnatic had enough of it all. They managed to get two power picks, Caps on Orianna and Rekkles on Xayah. H2K probably still regrets letting them do so.
Opting for another game of early ganks, they smashed through H2K Nuclear and Chei at the bottom. Capitalizing on this early lead, Fnatic decided to engage in a battle of wills and low HP-s. It’s an environment they thrive in, and sure enough, H2K choked again.
The series sealing win came unusually quickly for Fnatic. After just 26 minutes of playtime, Fnatic won the third place.
EU LCS Regional Qualifiers
After seeing such a spectacle, it’s hard to imagine Fnatic missing worlds again. Realistically, neither H2K nor Splyce can expect to get anywhere past Round 2, so it’s between Unicorns and Fnatic.
God, that loss to Misfits in the semifinals must sting Fnatic a lot now. See you in a week boys!