G2 stave off Fnatic in LEC finals

Members of the G2 Esports League of Legends team celebrate following their Game 5 victory over Fnatic in the League European Championship on Sunday in Athens, Greece. Provided by Riot Games

G2 Esports beat Fnatic in a 3-2 thriller at the League of Legends European Championship summer finals on Sunday in Athens, Greece. In doing so, they secured their third consecutive trophy of 2019 as well as several player milestones.

Beyond bot laner Luka "Perkz" Perkovic and jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski securing their 1,000th kill in a Game 2 victory, G2 Esports remain on pace for the Golden Road: winning all regional and international events in the same season. So far, they have secured the top LEC seed at the upcoming League of Legends World Championship.

"It means so much," Rasmus "Caps" Winther said during the broadcast postgame interview. "Getting challenged by Fnatic both last week and this week, it's crazy. I am really glad that we've managed to get the upper hand in the last couple of games."

Fnatic struck first with a game characterized by their all-out aggression all over Summoner's Rift. By minute 15, the kill score favored G2 Esports 10-9, but Fnatic controlled the pace of the game -- as did Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov on Leona throughout the game (4/5/13 kills/deaths/assists, 73.91% kill participation).

Although G2's reactive plays helped them stay afloat, their attempt at wresting control of the game backfired. In the 21st minute, G2's tower dive in the mid lane left them exposed to a chase-down. The resulting two kills afforded Fnatic an uncontested Baron Nashor, full map control and the game after 31:42 of action, with a 23-14 kill score.

Jankos, the summer split MVP, retaliated with a masterful performance in Game 2. His five kills exceeded that of Fnatic's total in that game, and so did his other numbers: a 5/1/13 KDA with a 85.71% KPR. The Jankos show started in the second minute, when his risky pathing rewarded him with a top lane kill that sealed the lane's fate, then extended with total objective control: four dragons, the Rift Herald (11th minute) and Baron Nashor (24:30).

Further skirmishing allowed Jankos and Perkz to secure their 1,000th kills and led to a one-sided victory (21-4 in kills, 10-1 in turrets).

Fnatic recovered quickly with a Game 3 victory empowered by Zdravets "Hylissang" Galabov's support Shen (3/1/9 KDA, 75% KPR) and Gabriƫl "Bwipo" Rau's Jax (8/2/3 KDA, 68.75% KPR). Despite botching a Level 1 invade, Fnatic controlled the game starting the eight-minute mark with an extended skirmish yielding a 3-for-1 trade for the bot lane and Broxah's Gragas. With Bwipo's successful gank against Martin "Wunder" Hansen's Kled, Fnatic turned unstoppable as soon as they grouped for objectives, taking down all non-inhibitor structures by the 25:10 mark. With G2 unable to contest their lack of vision around objectives, Fnatic eventually closed the game after 41 minutes.

An equally intense game awaited both teams in Game 4, this time in G2's favor as Caps and Perkz dominated their opponents throughout the game using Sylas and Xayah. In an advantageous Sylas vs. Akali matchup, Caps controlled the lane and was free to roam as well as capitalize on Akali's mistakes.

Ultimately, Wunder shifted the game in G2's favor after orchestrating a great escape on Irelia at the 19:25 mark, leaving his pursuers (Fnatic's bot lane duo) out of position and ready for the taking. From there, G2 did not look back, installing constant sieging and side lane pressure. By the end of the game (29:44), G2 held a 10K gold lead and claimed three dragons and Baron Nashor to Fnatic's zero.

The action-packed final game allowed G2 Esports to showcase their flexibility, as they selected Renekton, Akali and an unorthodox bot lane Syndra. Although Fnatic's picks were just as flexible (Ornn, Shen, Gragas and Sylas were able to occupy two roles or more), they were mismatched: Wunder's Akali feasted on Bwipo's Ornn outside of team fights, and Jankos's Olaf set the other lanes up for success with ganks in the mid lane (3:50) and bot (5:15, in reaction to Fnatic).

Despite the occasional misfires, 50-50 skirmishing and Hylissang's Shen ultimates, G2 imposed their will upon the game, sieging towers around Perkz's Syndra (10/2/8, 69.23%). After much resistance from Fnatic, G2's high-damage composition eventually ran Fnatic's teamfight-heavy one down during the latter's cool-down downtimes. G2 eventually secured the game after an audacious Perkz play -- a Flash-kill on Shen in the midst of Fnatic's siege formation (34:30) -- led to a lethal follow-up dive by his teammates, and the Nexus was taken down at 35:37.

With their opponent's base destroyed, G2 won the series and the LEC finals, and Perkz claimed his sixth European trophy, the most for a player. He tied the number of titles Fnatic's head coach, Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpool, has obtained -- four of which the duo obtained together in 2016 and 2017.

G2 moved on to the world championship as Europe's No. 1 seed, but Fnatic's seeding will be determined Sept. 15 against an undetermined team. The winner of that match will receive the second seed and the loser a spot in the Worlds play-ins as the third seed.