The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Summer playoffs have concluded. Once again, G2 Esports swept Fnatic in the Finals to take home their fourth consecutive LEC title. They will compete with Fnatic, Rogue, and the MAD Lions as the four European representatives at the 2020 World Championship.
DÉJÀ VU: G2 ESPORTS SWEEP FNATIC TO WIN LEC TITLE
G2 Esports had owned Fnatic since Rasmus “Caps” Winther made the roster switch. G2 Esports won both 2019 LEC splits, the Mid-Season Invitational, and finished second at the 2019 World Championship. Fnatic weren’t bad — their third and second place finishes in the LEC would be the envy of the other eight teams, while their quarterfinals exit to the eventual champions FunPlus Phoenix at Worlds was more than respectable. In fact, Fnatic’s 1-3 loss to FPX was closer than G2’s 0-3 sweep in the Finals.
G2 seemingly only widened the gap in 2020 entering the Summer playoffs. They won all four regular season games and swept Fnatic 3-0 in the Spring Split Finals. However, the Summer semifinals were different. Fnatic finally got over the hump, beating G2 Esports in a very close 3-2 series to advance to the Finals. After G2 Esports took care of Rogue in the Lower Bracket, another rematch was set up. Would the momentum from Fnatic’s best-of-five win carry over to the Finals and see them end G2’s reign over Europe?
Congrats on a record-breaking 8 titles! pic.twitter.com/tSpSHW21BK
— Twitch Esports (@TwitchEsports) September 6, 2020
Nope. G2 Esports swept Fnatic 3-0 for the second consecutive split to win their fourth straight LEC title.
Game one looked like a runaway win for G2 Esports, but things got more complicated after a couple of throws. Leading by almost 10k at 30 minutes, G2 Esports lost consecutive fights to Fnatic, allowing Fnatic to pick up Baron. But even so, G2 still came out on top when it mattered. Luka “Perkz” Perković picked up a triple kill in the game-winning fight, leading G2 to a 30 kill to 23 win in over 49 minutes. Caps’ Leblanc went 12/4/4, while Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski’s River Shen went 5/2/17.
Fnatic looked like they had bounced back for a game two win. After ceding the first two dragons to G2, Fnatic secured four consecutive Mountain drakes to get Mountain Soul. Considering G2 were reliant on Sylas burst damage to pick up kills and Fnatic were up almost 4k gold, Fnatic were in a great position. Unfortunately for them, Caps thought otherwise. The former Fnatic mid laner found a pair of important picks late in the game, allowing G2 to close the gold lead. Even after Fnatic picked up a Baron, G2 secured the right around Elder Drake to take the buff and the win. G2 put Fnatic on match point with a 20 kill to 11 win in 41 minutes.
After their close loss in game two, Fnatic were clearly affected in game three. An early Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle Nautilus roam helped Caps’ Syndra get ahead of Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek’s Corki early. With the lead, Caps solo killed Nemesis to grow a huge lead mid. G2 would go on to use that mid presence to take the next four dragons, giving them Infernal Soul. G2 grew their gold lead to 11k and wasted little time closing it out. They won their fourth straight title with a 28 kill to 16 win in 36 minutes.
Caps was named player of the series at the conclusion of his sixth straight LEC title win. He went a combined 29/9/19 in the three games and was the biggest difference individually between the two teams. He remains the best individual player in the West and is on track to become the best in Western history, if he’s not already earned that title. Perkz also deserves a lot of credit for putting his ego aside and playing bot lane to make way for Caps.
Us after the fnatic loss last week: pic.twitter.com/AI9BkYfgWX
— G2 Esports 👑 (@G2esports) September 6, 2020
For Fnatic, the loss has to be utterly demoralizing — especially in the manner in which it was received. Fnatic know they can beat G2, but they also show a lot more negative emotions in losses than G2. Part of that may have been the realization that G2 were just the better team, but the player cams revealed a team that already looked defeated as they loaded in for game three. It’s fine to not be smiling and laughing like G2 are often after losses, but Fnatic need to find a better way to move onto the next game without letting the previous loss linger.
Regardless, G2 proved once again that they have no equal in Europe. Up next, they’d like to prove they have no equal in the world.
LEC WORLDS SEEDS SET
With the conclusion of the Summer Split, the seeds for Europe’s World Championship representatives are set. G2 Esports will get the first seed, followed by Fnatic, Rogue, and MAD Lions.
This is familiar territory for G2 and Fnatic, as they were the one and two seeds for Europe last year as well. Both made it out of groups, including Fnatic’s miraculous final day to make it through the Group of Death. Both teams will again expect to make it through groups, with their sights set on a deep run in the tournament.
— Rogue (@Rogue) September 6, 2020
Rogue will be making their first Worlds appearance as the LEC’s third seed. In the past, that would have meant Rogue would qualify for the Play-In stage. However, this year the LEC were given four seeds, meaning Rogue have qualified for the Main Event. Rogue put up a good fight against G2 in the semifinals, losing a close 3-2 series. That, coupled with their 3-0 win over MAD Lions, has silenced the question as to whether they should have qualified just based on regular season record.
The MAD Lions will be making their first Worlds appearance under the new name, but the organization qualified as Europe’s third seed last year as Splyce. Splyce got a favorable group draw and advanced to the quarterfinals, where they lost to SK Telecom T1. However, only mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda remains from that group. MAD had a great Summer regular season, but a 3-1 loss to G2 Esports and 3-0 sweep by Rogue has put them clearly fourth in the European pecking order. They will open the tournament in the Play-In stage.