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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Kobbe, Splyce. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

The Best ADCs in the West – Rekkles vs. Kobbe

The debate of who claims the title of “Best ADC in Europe” could rage on forever, but all that really matters is if they can guide their team to a place in the LEC Playoff final. Both Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup will have an opportunity to, at the very least, cement their place in the final three this weekend when they face off against one another.

In terms of historical success, there’s no better marksman in Europe than Rekkles. Over the course of his seven-year competitive career, the Swedish AD Carry has lifted four EU LCS trophies and reached the top four at Worlds on two occasions. His challenger, Kobbe, is yet to win a major European title, and has only reached the final on one occasion, back in Summer 2016.

Despite the disparity in terms of success, the gap in skill between the two talented AD players has never been closer. During the regular season they were far and away the two most impressive bottom laners, and this has continued into the playoffs. Kobbe picked up a Player of the Series award for his performance in his team’s win against SK Gaming on Saturday, while Rekkles was a key factor in Fnatic’s win over Vitality.

Although Fnatic will be hoping it doesn’t reach this point, the difference between these two players will be on show during late game teamfights on Friday. Both have excelled this season at their ability to output immense damage in deciding skirmishes around key objectives, and at some point over this weekend’s Bo5, their teams will have to rely on them once again. The priority on late game scaling AD Carries, such as Jinx, Sivir, and Xayah, has been growing week on week and that will definitely favour these two marksman, who are exception when placed in late game teamfights.

Rekkles and his side will certainly want to avoid the prospect of challenging the late game kings in the 30-40 minute mark, but it’s very likely that one or two games will reach this point. It’s during these latter stages of the game where both Rekkles and Kobbe thrive, and we may well see either of them pick up the ‘Player of the Series’ due to their carry performances when it comes to teamfighting. This is a match-up between two of the most adept players at their role in the LEC and it will be exciting to watch both of them in action on Friday evening.

LEC Playoff Prediction – Fnatic 3-1 Win

No doubt, Fnatic will be heavy favourites heading into Friday’s game. The seven time EU LCS champions are on an impeccable run of form and have looked unstoppable in their now eleven-game unbeaten streak. Nevertheless, there is the opportunity for Splyce to pull off an upset – finishing level on wins with Fnatic in the regular season is no easy feat, and this team has shown that they are capable of pulling off the odd underdog victory.

Ultimately, when it comes to Splyce matches it boils down to the late game, and whether teams can avoid reaching the 30-40 minute mark. Whilst Fnatic may fancy their chances when it comes to duelling Splyce in game-deciding teamfights, they probably don’t want to risk it, and will aim towards taking over the game before 20 minutes, closing it out before Splyce can hit their late game spikes.

This was difficult for lesser teams, like SK Gaming, but Fnatic have proved they are no slouches when it comes to dominating the early stages of the game, particularly in the second half of the regular season. Utilising their strong mid-jungle duo to take control of the map in the first 15 minutes is key and will probably be the deciding factor in Friday’s clash. Nemesis has slowly grown into his role as Fnatic’s new star man in the middle lane, and he’ll definitely be confident coming off the back of his Kayle Pentakill in last week’s series.

That being said, Splyce are still capable taking the series and booking their place in Rotterdam. Despite falling to Fnatic twice in the regular season, role for role they’re not too far away from the holding EU champions, particularly in the most important match-up – the jungle. If Xerxe can control the early game and limit Broxah’s hold over the map, especially in mid and bot, then Splyce have an excellent chance of coming out on top.

It may not be as simple as reaching the late game and instantly winning, but that’s also not too far from the truth. If Splyce can stretch the game to the 30+ minute point, then they’ll have every opportunity to take the game through their strong teamfighting and shotcalling.

Regardless, this Friday’s LEC playoff game is set up to be an intense battle between two very strong teams. It may not be the most hyped-up clash of the weekend, but the stakes of either reaching Rotterdam or staying at home are huge and will undoubtedly motivate both sets of players to play to their limits in an incredible Bo5 series.

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Disagree with my LEC playoff prediction? Feel free to flash the #SPYWin in the comments below!

The LEC broadcast continues with “Ready Check” on Friday 16:30 CET on the Riot Games Twitch channel. Catch the LEC playoff game at 17:00 CET!