FC Schalke 04 Esports has eliminated Fnatic from the 2021 League of Legends European Championship Spring Playoffs in a clean sweep. S04 has ended four straight years of top 3 post-season finishes for Fnatic, and will face off against Rogue next week.
Schalke 04 came into the series as the higher seed after narrowly losing a five-game series to G2 Esports in the upper bracket, while Fnatic had eliminated SK Gaming from the lower bracket in its previous match.
With Fnatic hamstrung by low-damage, one-dimensional drafts, Schalke 04 had no issue taking the first two games in bloody fashion. The first game was a bit more contentious from the side of FNC, but game 2 was all royal blue as Schalke convincingly jumped ahead to match point.
In game 3, Fnatic drafted a more well balanced composition with scaling options in the form of Azir for mid laner Yasin "Nisqy" Dincer, and top laner Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau was given a carry for the first time in two weeks in an Aatrox pick. Fnatic managed to gain an early lead, but fell victim to its tendency to overextend. Disaster struck in the bot lane: Fnatic won a fight, then dove S04 mid laner Felix "Abbedagge" Braun's Corki, but mis-execution awarded Abbedagge a triple kill.
Fnatic has not ended a post-season in this low of placing since finishing 5th in the 2016 European League of Legends Championship Spring Playoffs. Schalke 04, on the other hand, has brought itself out of the mud of the middle pack and established itself as a true top 4 team in Europe.
G2 Esports and MAD Lions play tomorrow to see who will head to the finals of the 2021 LEC Spring Playoffs undefeated, and the loser of the series will wait to see whether S04 or Rogue will challenge them in the final lower bracket match.