League of Legends LEC Playoff Preview: Origen vs. Fnatic

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Nukeduck, Origen. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /


Fnatic are the only European organisation to have reached every playoff stage since the EU LCS began in 2013. They’ve also been champions or runners-up on 8 occasions and are without a doubt the most successful team Europe has ever seen. But in order to retain their title, they’ll need to take down an outstanding Origen line-up, then defeat G2, one of the best European rosters of all time.

But you’d be a fool to bet against them. Down the years we’ve watched as Fnatic have defeated the odds time and time again to complete remarkable playoff runs, unbelievable series comebacks, and even reach a Worlds final, defying all expectations. This iteration of Fnatic is no different, having already showed us that they’re capable of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat as they turned around their awful regular season form to clinch a playoff place following an eight-game winning streak.

They may not be as polished as Origen, or as explosive as G2, but they’re just as qualified to win the Spring Split with their excellent shotcalling and teamfighting. From the fifth week of the regular split onwards, Fnatic flaunted proficient teamwork and objective control that saw them rise from the bottom two to an incredible 3rd place finish. Since then, they’ve continued to display their dominance on the Rift, easily taking down both Team Vitality and Splyce in the playoffs to reach the final three.

The 2018 Summer Split champions are no strangers to this stage of playoffs and with seven titles to their name, they’ll be focused and determined to add one more to their list. If they continue with their current form, nothing will stand in their way on their road towards yet another European trophy.

Featured Match-Up: Nukeduck vs. Nemesis

The first time these sides met, Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm stole the show with a fantastic Vayne performance that was rewarded with a deserved “Player of the Game” award and a victory for his team. Since then he’s improved week on week, proving he’s an impeccable carry player and one of the key factors in Origen’s rise to the top three. To top it off, Nukeduck was voted as the second best mid laner of the Spring Split, close behind G2’s Caps.

On the other hand, Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek has grown a tremendous amount since his debut on the LEC stage. Earlier in the season, questions were asked as to whether Fnatic’s new mid laner was ready to challenge at the highest level of European League of Legends, but he’s definitely responded to those claims now. From his Kayle pentakill in Fnatic’s convincing victory over Vitality, to his composed performance in the win against Splyce, Nemesis has already stamped his mark on the LEC playoffs and is showing no signs of stopping.

Nevertheless, these are two very different players. Nukeduck is expected to be the catalyst for Origen to grab an advantage in the early stages of the game and snowball into objectives across the map. Nemesis, on the other hand, is much more about controlling the middle lane and grouping up with Broxah to make cross-map plays, particularly towards the bottom side.

It’s a pivotal clash that could decide the outcome of the series. Can Nemesis keep Nukeduck at bay? Will Nukeduck bring out another Vayne-like pick and take over the game? It’s all up in the air currently, but on Saturday we’ll definitely be treated to an intriguing match-up that could go one way or the other.

LEC Playoff Prediction: Origen 2 – 3 Fnatic

Anyone could tell you it will be a tight affair on Saturday evening. Both Origen and Fnatic were near-unstoppable in the final weeks of the regular season and were the only teams who could potentially challenge the unmatched G2 Esports.

Fnatic’s playoff buff was originally a joke, but it’s getting difficult to deny at this point. They seem to find a new lease of life in the playoff stage and this was yet again demonstrated with their comfortable dispatching of both Vitality and Splyce in the first two rounds. Their complete control of the early game and unparalleled late game teamfighting creates an unstoppable force that only G2 look like they can match.

Nevertheless, Fnatic are prone to some mistakes as shown in their single game defeat against Splyce. Allowing Kobbe’s Tristana to take over the game was something we hadn’t seen from Fnatic since very early in the season. Origen will undoubtedly be looking to capitalise on this potential weakness, utilising their intelligent early game play to edge out small victories across the map and take a gold lead into the mid/late game.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this one really could go either way. Fnatic are in unbeatable form, but Origen look so composed across the board. Undeniably, this will be a fantastic series and whoever comes out on top is worthy of facing G2 in the final for a chance at claiming (or reclaiming) the European crown.

dark. Next. How to draft & execute a teamfight composition

Do you agree with this prediction? If you think Origen will claim their place in the final instead, go ahead and flash an #OGWin in the comments!

The LEC final weekend begins at 16:00 CET on the Riot Games Twitch channel! Catch “Ready Check” at 15:30 CET!