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The Summer Regional League Begins: Fnatic vs Nigma Galaxy

With the Stockholm Major concluded, teams are beginning the Summer Regionals. For Fnatic, that meant going toe to toe with Nigma Galaxy in the first match, and climbing their way back to the top after a lukewarm showing at the Major. The matchup of old vs new, Fnatic vs Nigma Galaxy, heavily favored the former team. Fnatic had to flex their skills on NGX or risk slipping out of the running.

[Related: Fnatic vs Team Spirit: The Rundown]


First Blood

Game one began with a surprising move from NGX. They picked Visage as their last hero against a very unfavorable lineup from Fnatic, giving them an early advantage. They jumped on it, building up a lead by focusing most of their early power on NGX’s weak bottom lane. At around 12 minutes they began to roam around the map, hunting down any members of NGX they could find and managing to take their Tier 3 Tower in toplane. When they claimed Roshan, it looked like the game was over until NGX caught Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong in the bottom jungle. The fight brought in both teams, where NGX miraculously managed to kill three of Fnatic’s players while losing only one of their own. The factor that turned the tide in NGX’s favor was the absence of one of Fnatic’s players. Marco Polo “Raven” Luis Fausto, on Medusa, was on the other side of the map, giving NGX their opportunity.

The next teamfight went even further in NGX’s favor. The two teams danced around each other for a while, until Raven’s Medusa was caught out of position and tossed into the middle of NGX’s heroes. Armel “Armel” Paul Tabios and his Kunkka fell next, with NGX taking Roshan while Fnatic was weakened. From there the writing was on the wall. NGX kept winning teamfights and even took the third Roshan, inevitably pushing into Fnatic’s base and taking game one.


Fnatic’s Rebuttal

In game two, Fnatic again dominated the early game. They managed to win several smaller teamfights and net Jabz’s Legion Commander two successful Duels before the 13-minute mark.

Then, in a risky play, Fnatic stealth killed Roshan while all of NGX’s members were alive. Things looked good for Fnatic as the teams danced around each other until disaster struck at 19 minutes. Fnatic started to push down top lane, taking down NGX’s tier two tower, but just as it fell the entire team descended on Fnatic. In a disastrous teamfight, NGX killed all of Fnatic’s players, and burned Armel’s Aegis. Fnatic’s response? At 28 minutes, directly under NGX’s noses, Fnatic stole another Roshan, and began putting the pressure on NGX.

But at 36 minutes it was the same situation. A disastrous teamfight for Fnatic left Armel as the only survivor and NGX in a favorable position. This time, they weren’t going to let Fnatic sneak another Roshan. Tri “Jhocam” Kuncoro, on Tiny, positioned himself inside Roshan’s pit in such a way that he would be hidden even if Fnatic went into the pit themselves. Sure enough, they came for Roshan, and Jhocam was there to see it. Fnatic took down Roshan- but Jhocam got the Aegis. NGX took this opportunity to jump on Fnatic, but saw the tables turn. Fnatic fought hard and chased them off, putting the two teams in a fairly even position. For a long time they battled it out, with the advantage tipping back and forth. Finally, at 49 minutes, Fnatic took Roshan for the fourth time, and were able to push into NGX’s base to secure the win.


Match Point

Game three was where Fnatic really shined. NGX were strong early in lane, but Fnatic were much better in the early teamfights. At 15 minutes, they were up 7000 gold and things were already looking dire for their opponents. Armel’s Keeper of the Light was an early standout, dealing tons of damage with Illuminate and heavily pressuring NGX. By 19 minutes Fnatic were up 15 kills to 7, and killed Roshan with little fear of resistance from the other team.

This continued with Fnatic taking Roshan again at 30 minutes, by which point they were up 15,000 gold. They took him for a third time at 43 minutes, and tried to push into NGX’s base but were surprisingly repelled. They instead poked into the base repeatedly, each time cutting down their defenses until eventually they fully pushed in and took Game Three.

While Fnatic may have had a rocky start, finishing 6-6 in the Stockholm Major, they appear to be speeding up. They capitalized on early leads and made risky plays, coordinating to make sure they weren’t caught off guard. This match really showed their skills, and hopefully is a sign of more to come.

 


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