Fnatic are the second team from Group C to join SK Telecom T1 into the Worlds 2019 playoffs. The LEC second seed delivered a major upset at the end of last night, knocking out Royal Never Give Up in a deciding game.
After the first half of games, it looked like SKT and RNG are clear favorites, head and shoulders above their competition of Fnatic and Clutch Gaming. Both encounters between the two teams were one of the highest-level League of Legends played at Worlds and in many eyes, there was nothing that could stop them from making playoffs.
SKT were the first to secure a ticket to Madrid, going relatively unopposed through the group, but one key loss would push the rest of the group in unpredicted direction. After playing a frustrating and chaotic game against Clutch Gaming, Fnatic looked to be also on their way out of the groups but a sudden victory against SKT gave them a fighting chance. At the end of the day, Fnatic and RNG met and with both teams sitting at 3-2, it meant that whoever won the series would advance.
Up against the ropes for most of their group, Fnatic now had a chance to make it through and hence a very different team showed up on the Rift. From the first minutes, Fnatic terrorized the bot lane and made Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming’s Lulu their punching bag. Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao’s Ezreal also didn’t have much room to breathe with his support struggling and the enemy Pyke support being constantly in his face. In the middle, Tim “Nemesis” Lipovsek’s Cassiopea was also schooling RNG’s Ryze. The battle in the jungle was also lost and RNG had fewer and fewer chances to come back as the game progressed. By minute 20, LPL’s second seed were already 4K gold behind with most of Fnatic’s carries fed and equipped for battle.
Few battles actually broke out, however. The until the very end, the match was very bloodless and rather it was a textbook example of map control. Fnatic took two unopposed Barons and pushed through the lanes into RNG’s base. For the entire game, RNG took a total of two towers, their macro threat game severely lacking.
Despite hailed as one of the heavy favorites for the title, RNG will now have to go home to what should be a very angry and disappointed fan base. At the same time, the LEC has a cause for celebration as all three EU teams have made it to the playoffs.
Worlds 2019 playoffs qualified teams (6/8)
- FunPlus Phoenix (1st seed)
- SK Telecom (1st seed)
- Griffin (1st seed)
- G2 Esports (2nd seed)
- Splyce (2nd seed)
- Fnatic (2nd seed)