LEC Finals: the kings of Europe will be crowned under the Acropolis this weekend
We are in the endgame now, with the LEC Finals to be held in Athens this weekend.
Last week’s thrilling matchups, LEC Final Regionals, showed that Europe has more than just G2 to bring to the Worlds table. Fnatic brought the Spring Champions at the brink of a clean sweep before fumbling it all away and ending up reverse swept in the Juggernaut series. Schalke04 showed consistency and bravado for the first time in Playoffs while manhandling Rogue. Athens is now the found on which the next EU Champion will be determined.
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Schalke 04 defeated Rogue and advanced to the LEC Finals
Schalke04 handing Rogue a 3-1 defeat and advancing to the LEC Summer Finals comes as no surprise. Last week we argued that Rogue might suffer if they get their style hampered early on in the game, and S04 did just that. After an early showcase of Rogue’s potential in Game 1, Schalke was quick to identify the weak points into RGE’s defenses and promptly closed out the series in the following three games.
We all knew that Rogue, while being the most improved team in the LEC, can easily fall to a veteran squad that knows how to punish inconsistency. Rogue is great, but they are great only when they can control the early game and complete their “checklist” in a game. If a few steps from the list don’t get checked they get confused on how to proceed and end up making mistakes.
Schalke capitalized and punished those mistakes quickly and took home the tickets to Athens. Rogue is the bright new star in the LEC. Their “problems” come from a lack of high pressure additivity that comes from a year or two of highly contested series. Knowing the potential of the Rogue lineup, we can be sure they will evolve in the future and only the sky is the limit for this iteration of the squad. Until then they will have to settle for 4th in Summer and let his opponents continue towards the LEC finals.
G2 Esports took their place in the LEC Finals
The “Juggernaut” last Saturday was what every LEC fan dreams of for the region. Two teams taking each other to the absolute limit and silver scrapes deciding who takes the spoils. It was FNC that opened the series strong and pushed G2 hard in the first two games. Consistent, on point and aggressive, the FNC squad pursued the 3-0 sweep hard. But G2 is not G2 if they can’t tank a game down.
Just as FNC was amping up to complete a clean sweep, the spring champions got them bogged down in three consecutive and pointless Nashor fights that postponed the game just long enough and gave G2 and entry into the series. After Game 3 it was all downhill for FNC. Either G2 woke up or FNC tilted or both, but we witnessed a reverse sweep happen with FNC looking broken after Game 5. How good their mental is going into Athens is a debate every analyst had over the past week.
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What does it all mean?
Last week’s results had a huge impact on how the teams spend their week preparation for Athens. For Schalke04 the LEC title is not the highest priority. They have had to punch their way up since the begging of the split. Their focus is taking every step slow and play in the moment, which means they spent an entire week prepping to take down FNC without much G2 on their mind. If they reach the LEC finals, that is an achievement in itself and is just fine.
The goal is to take down FNC plain and simple. I bet that the other two teams (G2, FNC) did not spend their time stressing about S04. G2 might potentially be shaken and stirred by how far they got pushed by FNC, a far cry from the posturing and confidence they had coming into last week. The only thing on their mind is how to completely break FNC’s mental in a final and deliver a crushing series.
FNC on the other hand had to deal with the heartbreak of tasting glory after chasing G2 the entire season and then giving it all away. S04 to them is just a roadblock on the way to a rematch against G2. But if the week went down to self-motivation and analyzing how to finally put an end to G2, they might end up getting caught out by a very motivated Schalke and not showcase all that preparation.
LEC Summer Finals, a step closer to the Worlds
What is certain is that this final week has a huge impact on the upcoming World Championship and what the player mentality will be coming into it.
What is ideal for EU might piss of G2 fans, but it is the best thing for the region. G2 must lose the Final in order to have a hard mental reset before Worlds. If they get their cocky confidence up just before Worlds, they might just take another vacation and end up throwing the best year for European LoL to date.
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In stark contrast, FNC really needs a win just before Worlds to get back some of their confidence back. If they get crushed by S04 or G2 the defeat might break the team enough for everything to fall apart. For Schalke 04 everything is a positive. Winning against FNC is a confidence boost, winning against both G2 and FNC and winning the Crown is not even an option to 99.9% of the European audience. If such a result is to even happen, that would be the absolute beast outcome out of this Summer Split playoffs.
With both FNC and G2 knocked down a peg, all of the LEC teams going into Worlds would have something to prove. This might just result in a Worlds title finally back in the hands of a European team after a very, very long time. No matter what result we get in Athens, all I hope is that all the teams come out of the Playoffs motivated and primed to smash Regionals and then smash all the other regions at Worlds.
Three teams are heading to Athens, but only one can be crowned Champion.
— lolesports (@lolesports) September 5, 2019
Enjoy the LEC Summer finals in Athens and look for me at the Meet & Greet stage over the weekend if you want to meet up.
You can what the Live Streaming on of the LEC Finals on the official LEC twitch account at https://www.twitch.tv/lec, or below!