FNC vs SK: LEC Spring Playoffs Losers’ Bracket Preview
With the LEC Spring 2021 Regular Season finally coming to an end, the playoff teams have been confirmed and bracketed. The “weakest” two squads will play out an elimination match to kick things off. The top four teams will play against each other in the winners’ bracket with a second chance therefaster.
Fnatic & SK Gaming will fight each other to see who will remain in the Playoffs race and who gets an early exit from the post-season. Let’s see what we can expect going into the first LEC 2021 Spring Playoffs match.
SK Gaming needs stability
It has been a very rough time for the German team but they will surely try their best in playoffs. SK Gaming managed to make it to playoffs thanks to their good performance in the first part of the split. Out of the 6 teams in playoffs, they are probably the worst ones in terms of morale: the team lost their last 5 games.
While results have not been the best, there are some positives for SK. The first and most important one is the performance of Erik “Treatz” Wessén, SK’s support. After two years in NA, the Swedish player came back to EU to show why he was considered one of the best upcoming talents. He’s extremely good at leaving the lane to help his jungler with any skirmish around mid or bot lane. With Alistar as his most played champion, Fnatic will definitely have to watch out for that during draft.
The other surprise is Ersin “Blue” Gören. The Belgian player quickly became the core of this line-up. He’s a very aggressive player, always looking for opportunities to punish the opponent: only 3 players had more solo kills than him. The playstyle however, also puts him in weird situations where he overextends and dies a little too much. The game against RGE was brutal for him, when he went 0/2 in just 3 minutes.
Check out these RGE vs SK highlights to understand exactly why SK got us worried.
Against Fnatic, he will have to be very careful because the enemies might exploit his big weakness…
The other big question mark is around the jungle role. Kristian “Tynx” Østergaard Hansen’s champion pool is somewhat limited compared to other junglers. Hecarim has been his comfort pick so far but he never played Udyr and the team usually bans it quite often (39% ban rate). Will we see him finally play it during playoffs?
SK Gaming will have to really play out of their minds in order to take down Fnatic. Being the weaker team on paper, their best chance is to play intelligently with macro, looking for picks or good engages with either the jungler or support. After finishing 6th in Summer last year, SK will not want to end their playoffs right away.
Fnatic needs consistency
After dropping their last game against Rogue, FNC found themselves once again 9-9 in the standings (matching their 2020 Summer Season score). The team also struggled heavily in the Superweek, putting them on a 3-loss streak. Furthermore, two of these matches were played against other playoff contenders (S04 & Rogue, respectively).
While this puts Fnatic in a bad spot at first, the team surely has good potential going forward. If past results are anything to be considered, FNC’s at its peak can go up against the likes of G2 and Rogue. The main issue, however, relies on the players’ overall consistency in their performance. In particular, Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau & Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek have been the two key players with high highs & really low lows.
The team is never afraid of being proactive & constantly looking for plays. Still, they do make some weird decision-making and their execution is not always the cleanest. A perfect example is their last game of the spring split against RGE, with Selfmade botching the dive and not killing Senna.
Watch Nemesis and LS reaction at 05:00 minutes to understand how badly things can turn to Fnatic if they botch their execution.
All these small mistakes end up handing to the opponent small leads which can snowball even further, ultimately making the game unrecoverable.
With that being said, the key for FNC is the bot lane. Elias “Upset” Lipp & Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov have found a very strong synergy right from the get-go, showcasing strong 2v2 skirmishes. Fnatic wants Upset to get ahead & puts a lot of resources into him. This is because Upset’s really strong at teamfighting and can basically solo-carry when put in the right conditions.
In conclusion, FNC is the stronger team coming into this series. What’s important to look for, however, is the team’s draft. Fnatic is famous for being unpredictable and thinking “out-of-the-box” so don’t be surprised if they pull out something unthinkable.
Fnatic vs SK Gaming LEC Playoffs Prediction
My prediction for this series is 3-1 for FNC. While SK Gaming has the potential to push it to a 5-game series, FNC will most likely risk a lot less in playoffs, and go back to more standard plays. This means they will ultimately outclass SK gaming thanks to the individual players superiority.
I give SK Gaming a single game, cause Fnatic might decide to try out a cheesy comp if they are a game or two ahead. They will likely end up being punished for it. Alternatively, the series might start off with an SK win, making Fnatic go super saiyan in the following games.