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Esports League of Legends

2019 Rift Rivals Preview: Fnatic

Fnatic logo

Fnatic are currently 6-0 in the LEC regular season and are coming off a statement win against current world champions G2. They are coming in red hot to Rift Rivals, not just in the game but also in trash talk.

The team has been firing on all cylinders, with members Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek and Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen stepping up their play compared to last split. The team as a whole have been destroying their region in the early game, claiming first blood 80 percent of the time and seemingly always having a gold lead at 15 minutes.

This split has also seen Fnatic going away from the give-bot-lane-all-the-gold strategy that they normal play with. Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau still plays a low-econ role in the team, but Nemsis is at least matching, and even surpassing, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s gold share. Nemesis averages 24.6 percent of the team gold share compared to his bot laners 23.4 percent.

Matchups

Fnatics Broxah – Courtesy Riot Games

Fnatic will play the standard three games over two days in the group stage of the event, playing twice on Thursday and once on Friday. They have their premier matchup at 4:30 EST against Liquid, going up against their first-place counterparts from the LCS. This matchup is also interesting because it pits two of the most decorated traditional ADC players against each other in Rekkles and Peng “Doublelift” Yiliang. They haven’t matched up many times over their careers so this game could decide who should be considered the best between the two.

Fnatics next game will be the last of the Thursday broadcast at 7:30 EST, against Cloud 9. A rematch of the 2018 Worlds semi-finals, Fnatic swept that series and went on to lose in the finals. This matchup should be interesting in the top lane, two young stars in their respective leagues duking it out for supremacy.

The team will have a long break until their next game, playing in the last game of the group stage on Friday at 7:30 EST against TSM. This is Fnatics second most important game, with great matchups in the bottom lane and the mid lane. Two former European league stars, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen a recent and decorated migrant and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg an original and multiple MVP import, are going to be stacked against their Fnatic counterparts. These matchups should be interesting, with the bot laners no stranger to the each other and the Fnatic mid laner, Europe’s new premier talent, up against a veteran whose talent doesn’t seem to wane no matter how long he stays in North America.

Fnatic lol team – Courtesy Riot Games

Predictions

Fnatic should go 3-0 over the course of the group stage. They are playing the game at a much quicker pace in the LEC and have a much more diverse champion pool shown so far this split. All three LCS teams have shown a propensity to play decently in the early game and then out macro the lesser teams to get the win. They have all also shown exploitable tendencies that Fnatic can use to their advantage, mainly their misuse of sidelines. It’s a meme because it’s true!

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Follow Declan on Twitter: @DickyMclaughlin

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