As we head into the Finals we see for the first time in EU LCS history the two dynasties battle for the crown.
Rekkles vs Perkz, the two standing leaders of what were the two most dominant teams in the history of the tournament are finally meeting at finals. The most likely best players in their regarding positions in Europe. Rekkles and Perkz not only share a long rivalry as being two of the best players in the region but also find themselves in a similar situation. Lead their teams to a title all by themselves. Rekkles might have already been two years into this journey, although the Swedish ad carry hasn’t been as successful as he wished it to be.
They might play on different lanes, but they play very similar play styles and played for years very similar roles in their teams. The one that scales, the one that provides pressure without any sort of risks or simply the ones that farm all day long. Their success in the games reflected towards their whole teams as they were important key players in the system.
This time is a very interesting situation than the man behind all their success, could be summarized into Youngbuck. Youngbuck that had his start as a player is also fighting for his fifth consecutive title. Not only did he win four titles with G2 Esports and Perkz in the past two years. Since he started coaching in the EU LCS he didn’t miss a single final and has been behind G2’s success ever since. Until this split, where he lead Fnatic to the long-awaited finals. Leading Fnatic to face off against the team that has won the four last finals, his former team.
This final is not only interesting because we finally will be able to see the prince vs. the king in a five-game series playing for the title but also strategically speaking.
How Fnatic plays around Rekkles
Fnatic plays a very siege and side lane oriented playstyle. Often choosing for a scaling top laner and a very hard to break the four-man group. They rotate towards giving their ad carry farm as well as giving the space for their top laner to scale. Bwipo has also filled in sOAZ shoes as playing the bait for Fnatic at times, sacrificing himself not only once for the team to force favorable 4x4 fights or sieges on objectives.
Very important has been their adaptation towards the 8.5 metagame around the ground controlling picks such as Swain, trundle and mostly their high Ezreal priority. While banning out Caitlyn all games against Team Vitality in the semis, Fnatic showed high priority on the Ezreal. Often securing him in the first round of the draft. Ezreal is an interesting champion when setting up the Fnatic map play. As they have been prioritizing as many other teams the Swain and Trundle pick they secure a flexible AD Carry that not only does well alone or in sieges but complements these two picks in power spikes and utility.
Despite the obvious aspect of Ezreal being a pick that can handle things on his own. Since Rekkles and Hylissang usually play completely without any jungle attention during the laning phase, but also enables Rekkles to split push while sieging the outer turrets. The interesting aspect is that they always rotate Rekkles and Hylissang to the top lane when the first turret bot lane drops. Not necessarily when they open the map by pushing the enemies turret, but even if their turret falls they rotate Rekkles to the top to mirror/answer any shifting focus. They often leave Rekkles on the side lane farming and pushing while Hylissang joins the rest of the team for sieges or defense on the mid lane tier 1 turret.
Leaving not only Rekkles farming and pushing his power spike quicker than the enemy AD Carries due to cleptomancy but also catching up when behind. This shows how Fnatic is aware of the importance of the Ezreal power spike to create a window of opportunity for Caps Swain to scale up. Since Ezreal with cleptomancy can reach the three item power spike fairly quick due to the cleptomancy mastery.
So they group up and start sieging up with Ezreal and Swain. Not that when Ezreal reaches his three-item power spike the swain his second item power spike and has his ult level two. Making the siege a long and slow poking process but without major complications due to a three tank setup for Ezreal and Swain. Due to Swain’s ultimate he becomes extremely sustainable and with that Fnatic multiple times drop their third tank on top lane for a Gangplank, which also fits the case as a scaling pick and being extremely strong in the patch.
Understanding the Wunder Game
Being able to focus on the other sides of the map while having a scaling top laner might come in pretty handy for Fnatic against G2 Esports. The Danish top laner has been the success recipe for G2 all season long. Excelling with his individual performance while dragging constant jungle attention relieving Perkz and their bot lane from being exposed to their constant pushing. G2 Esports plays a very aggressive early game, most of the times going for a three-lane pressure setup, which is very risky to execute. The reason they stayed on top was that nobody was able to crack Wunder. Everybody would gank him but rarely succeed.
The top laner has a really good lane control and probably Jankos is really good at tracking and predicting the enemies movement as he was able to escape the first blood more often than he should have been able to. Bringing up the question where should Fnatic focus in this finals. As both teams usually let their bot lane out to farm and barely give any jungle attention to the bottom lane, it would be the optimal way to address the early game and snowball it out from there. However, I really doubt that Caitlyn will be let open or that G2 will risk giving Rekkles the better duo lane setup during the early game.
So they will probably fight over the mid lane and top lane priorities in the first game of the series. As Jankos and Perkz are a very unbreakable duo, Caps and Broxah are more versatile at times due their concern is setting up Rekkles to farm so he can rush his champions power spike. So top lane priority will be extremely valuable for both teams as none of the teams wants to lose the extra pressure around bot lane. Either both top laners will be set on beefy tanks that have some sort of lane pressure and late game scaling or Wunder will be able to play a carry top laner as an answer when on red side, since the scaling and breaking from Fnatic’s side lane strategy could be more important than the first blood during laning phase. Important is that Perkz gets just the same priority as Rekkles does in getting farm throughout the mid game.
Depending on the pick they set up around him clearing out the mid lane waves alone or sort him out on a side lane to rush his third item. Perkz is the core of G2’s strengths just as Rekkles is for Fnatic and also as flawless. The importance of both players being able to play consistently on the top of their position and also making almost to none mistakes during the games they carry on confidence and a certain calmness to the rest of the team. Making them though leaders.
Breaking the lane kingdom
Splyce had a very interesting approach on how to take on G2 Esports.
They baited G2 into picking up power picks and comfort picks as they didn’t really seem interested in those after locking in the Swain pick. Peter figured out playing a beefy and flexible siege setup would be the perfect way around G2’s playstyle combining smart disengage with ground control champions to escape G2’s pickoff and splitpush oriented playstyle. However it was not only a smart choice from Splyce by locking in the Trundle as a flex early, it was also a mistake by G2 trying to play the Tahm Kench and Olaf against this kind of composition. The huge amount of disengages Splyce had and options to control a wave or a fight left G2’s chances of winning that match fairly low.
Even if part of the strategy was to break Jankos from playing aggressively and the other part using the Sivir as a way to win side lane control while having control over which fights to take or not is a suitable option for Fnatic as well. As it not only shares similar spikes as Ezreal and keeps on adding to the playstyle the team played during the semifinals. Sivir also adds of setting up the sidelane control Fnatic likes to play and it wouldn’t even be something new for Rekkles as it was a common strategy they run under Deilor. The Side lane control with Sivir and Azir sieges Fnatic played throughout 2015.
Despite Fnatic’s chances of success seemed high at first, G2 proven to be better when playing their two solo lanes. Adding to the fact that Bwipo is a blind bet at the finals, making the constant G2 head in as the clear favorites. Anyways, Fnatic depends on Caps individual performance and how he will handle Perkz. Perkz is the deadliest and strongest laner in the European mid lane right now. Only with Vitality’s Jiizuke really bringing him towards his limits this split. Caps will need to survive the famous lane kingdom but as well be more aware of his positioning after the laning phase since he gets caught pretty often. Perkz is not the laner that you want to give a kill early on and G2 is not a team that will let openings like this slips through.
If there wasn’t alone enough stakes on the line for Rekkles and Perkz already. Both are fighting to lead their teams to success by leading them. While it is the first split with the new G2 Lineup around Perkz, it has already been two years that Fnatic rebuilt around Rekkles. Although they were pretty successful in those two years, they are playing the first Final since Huni and Reignover’s departure from the lineup. On the other side, Perkz is playing for his fifth consecutive LCS title this Sunday, April 8th. Perkz and his crew at G2 are definitely the teams to beat this split and only one can stay at the top. So will Rekkles be able to reclaim his throne and lead Fnatic to former glory or will Perkz keep cool and bring another title home?
(Photo Credit : lolesports Flickr)
Disclaimer: The following article was written freely based on the author's opinion, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance.
About the Author:
Hello guys, Alexandre Weber also known under the ID: DrPuppet. I'm a Brazilian professional Coach and content creator since 2015, mostly focused on League of Legends. I worked with many teams throughout the years in major and minor regions, but my most known work was with Kaos Latin Gamers from Chile in 2015, where we played the International Wildcard Finals against Pain Gaming. Since then I have been studying Cinema in Hamburg and creating content on youtube and twitch, besides writing for respected sites in Esports. You can find me on the social networks under @drpuppetlp and on Twitch under DrPuppet.
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