Photo Credit: Fnatic
EU LCS 2018 is underway, and lets face it — Fnatic didn’t start out too well in week one. They got crushed in the Summer Split opener against Misfits, losing in almost every category. It was so bad, they didn’t even have a single winning lane. Though their failed strategy against Misfits of putting their carry Martin “Rekkles” Larsson on a support to funnel gold onto Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s Kai’Sa did end up earning them a victory against FC Schalke 04, they didn’t look anywhere close to being the defending champions they really were.
Meanwhile, rival team G2 Esports were dominating everyone, finishing week one with an undefeated record. To make things worse, Misfits (having put up an impressive fight in the 2017 Worlds quarterfinal against SK Telecom T1) continued to crush opposition after beating Fnatic, also going undefeated in week one. The two teams are now tied for first, both higher than Fnatic in the standings.
But Fnatic are always fierce competitors, and they’ve already started to make their comeback. They looked like a whole different team in week two, defeating Vitality and H2k with a variety of new strategies. There was only problem: they did it without Rekkles, subbing in top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau instead.
Photo Credit: Fnatic
At first, this sub makes sense. Since non-marksman champions have become meta in the bot lane and Rekkles is known for his marksmen champions, Bwipo — being entirely comfortable with non-marksman champions — would be a perfect replacement. But look closer, and you’ll see that in the NA LCS and some of Misfits’ games in EU LCS, running marksman in the bot lane is definitely viable.
In fact, NA LCS teams have been running her, Lucian, and Ezreal (all traditional marksmen) all to great success. This leads to the question on everyone’s mind: If other teams can win with traditional marksman bot lanes, why can’t Fnatic with Rekkles? The answer remains unknown, because Rekkles hasn’t even played a marksmen champion on bot lanes yet. And though Bwipo is doing very well in the bot lane, his lack of experience may prove costly against better teams.
It all comes down to Fnatic’s match tommorow against G2 at 3pm CT, where we’ll see if Fnatic can ride their comeback momentum and emerge victorious.