League of Legends LEC Playoff Preview: Fnatic vs. Splyce

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Rekkles, Fnatic. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

The second round of LEC playoff games take place this weekend, beginning with an exciting clash between defending champions Fnatic and the late game kings, Splyce. Here’s a rundown of both teams’ chances in the current contest, as well as a number of key match-ups to keep an eye on.

Viewers were stunned after witnessing Fnatic’s complete dismantling of Team Vitality last week, as they took down their opponents in one of the most convincing 3-0 victories in recent memory. While they may have gone into the series as heavy favourites, nobody expected such an emphatic display from a Fnatic side who look determined to win their third consecutive EU trophy.

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On the other hand, this Splyce line-up has continued to impress after their strong end to the regular season, with a 3-1 victory against SK Gaming on Saturday. Despite looking somewhat shaky at times, it was an impressive victory involving excellent late game decision making and teamfighting. Now, Splyce will be hoping to go one further and reach the next stage of games, rather than merely cementing themselves as “best of the rest” in the LEC.

The last meeting between these teams took place on the last day of the regular season and went in favour of Fnatic, who held a 2-0 record over their playoff opponents over the course of the split. It was a complete performance from start to finish from the 2018 Worlds finalists, as Broxah and his laners took control of the map from minute one, only dropping a single dragon in their clean and comprehensive win.

It was this early game management, and the transition into later stages, that allowed Fnatic to blitz through opponents during their eight-game winning streak in the back end of the regular season. The fact that they continued this immense form into the first round of the LEC playoffs makes them a scary opponent for any team and they’ll certainly be the favourites in the predictions heading into Friday’s game.

Nevertheless, Splyce have proven themselves to be a team that always has the potential to whip out an underdog win, particularly when they’re allowed to reach their terrifying late game. Despite only consistently taking games from teams ranked below them during the split, if they’re allowed to hit the 30-40 minute mark, the sky is the limit for this line-up. As a result, we’re set for an intense battle on Friday and a number of players will have to step up for both teams if they are to book their tickets to Rotterdam next week.