Team ROCCAT lost its reputation for king-slaying on Friday after Fnatic took it down at the end of a long pair of games in Berlin to close out Week 9, Day 2 of the European League of Legends Championship Series.
The match had huge implications for both teams, as both have eyes firmly planted on the postseason. ROCCAT's gaze now needs to move towards next split, however, as, with this defeat, it has been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. For Fnatic, on the other hand, this victory comes as an enormous relief. In order to maintain its position in first place in Group A, Fnatic needs to win only of its two remaining games and, considering one of its next matches is against a struggling Ninjas in Pyjamas, it should have no trouble locking up its spot on top of the pack.
It was not just the implications of the series that were interesting, however, as the set itself proved to be a nailbiter. While Fnatic did score a 2-0 victory, neither victory was anything near decisive, and both games went extremely late into the game. In a Game 1 that suited Fnatic well, as its core of carries all had incredible late game scaling, Fnatic's comeback victory was at least understandable). In Game 2, however, it was ROCCAT who had the far superior late game composition, and the fact that Fnatic failed to bring the match to an early conclusion nearly proved its undoing, as ROCCAT's AD carry, Petter "Hjarnan" Freyschuss, started putting out mind-boggling damage on his Kog'Maw once the late game rolled around. Thankfully, a combination of excellent kiting on the part of Fnatic and a suicidal misstep by ROCCAT's usually solid support, Kim "Wadid" Bae-in's Thresh, allowed Fnatic to survive Hjarnan's late game onslaught and take home the victory.
The player of the series was the AD carry and captain of Fnatic, Martin "Rekkles" Larsson, who made amazing plays in both games in order to bring his team victory. In Game 1 he made masterful use of Tristana's Rocket Jump to win the final teamfight of the game nearly on his own, as he used his jumps in such a fashion that he skirted around ROCCAT while pumping out late game crits. The result was a right where Rekkles killed all of ROCCAT's carries unaided, which allowed Fnatic to immediately win the game. Game 2 was no less exceptional, as he pulled out Jhin for the first time in the split and proceeded to utterly dominate from minute one after picking up first blood barely over a minute into the game.