The first round of the playoffs took place last week and all teams provided such an amazing show – well, almost all teams.
Fnatic was definitely the most dominant team coming out of the first round, but Splyce also made a case for themselves being more than just the playoff gatekeepers.
MATCH ONE: FNATIC VS. TEAM VITALITY
Overall, it is safe to say that Fnatic picked their opponent for this first round of playoffs wisely.
This best-of-five was a very one-sided story for Fnatic. In Game 1 as well as Game 2, Vitality tried claiming the early game for themselves and put Fnatic on the back foot. This comes as no surprise since Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha is known for being an amazingly dominating early-game jungler. However, this time around Vitality couldn’t prevail against their opponent – quite the contrary.
Fnatic looked more and more well-coordinated and clean in each game, with game three being an absolute demolition of Vitality. Victories were coming all across the map for this team. To start things off, Fnatic’s bot lane showed their class, hard-punishing their counterparts’ overextension and multiple individual mistakes, crashing Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho and Jakub “Jactroll” Skurzyński.
As expected, Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau’s performance was impressive. During the first two games, he got camped hard as Vitality were desperately trying to shut him down. Instead, he absorbed huge amounts of pressure and allowed for his team to take over the map and kick Vitality out of their own game.
It is also necessary to mention that this best-of-five was a very loud statement for Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek. His talents undeniably shined during his time with the MAD Lions which is what made Fnatic invest in him. However, the synergy with the rest of the team was only there as late as the second part of the split. But once that synergy (and especially with Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen) clicked, shine he did with an absolutely insane performance and a pentakill on Kayle in game three.
Unfortunately, on the other side of this coin, there is Vitality who had one of their most disappointing
performances of the split. The team looked painfully disconnected with uncharacteristic mistakes coming from every lane. Most notably, Vitality seemed to constantly underestimate the power of Fnatic’s composition, especially in Games 1 and 2 where they almost seemed like they kept forgetting about Broxah’s Karthus ult. The team’s biggest liability, however, was definitely its bot lane with constant mistakes of overaggression and overextension, as mentioned earlier.
MATCH TWO: SK GAMING VS. SPLYCE
The second match of this first round was quite a different story from the first. Although this match was equally, if not more, entertaining compared to the Fnatic-Vitality matchup, it was an incredibly back-and-forth series.
Game one belonged to SK Gaming who did an amazing job “stealing” it away from Splyce. It was indeed a rollercoaster, as was this entire series. SK Gaming exceeded all expectations with their performance during this round of playoffs, but the team’s young roster didn’t manage to pull through.
Both teams pulled off some insane individual as well as team plays but also made crucial mistakes. In the end though, Splyce showed their superior experience and pulled off the win.
At the end of the day, Splyce’s vetean roster was the one to grab the ticket for the second round of playoffs, proving that this team is more than just the playoffs gatekeepers.
Going into the second round of playoffs, the picture of the Fnatic-Splyce machup is pretty clear. Fnatic looked so well-coordinated and clean during this first round, while Splyce truly struggled to find their footing against SK, the team that barely made it into playoffs.
Whether Fnatic will manage to dominate against Splyce as well remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the chances of Splyce making it through this Fnatic team are rather slim.
Featured image via LoL Esports.