Tuesday, May 15th was a very emotional day for western league of legends fans.
After watching Fnatic fall from their amazing performance into being “Kabum’d” by VCS representants Evos. Team Liquid let us dream about North American representation in Paris. However, this clash had to be decided by the hands of another EU vs NA clash in the last tiebreaker of the day. So after the match, Fnatic’s coach Dylan Falco joined us for a chat about their day, qualifying for the Paris stage and Fnatic’s draft issues during the tournament.
DrPuppet - You guys started so well yesterday, obviously it was expected for you guys to have a relatively easy schedule today, so what happened?
Dylan - I don’t think that any day that you play Kingzone is an easy schedule. *laughs*
We came into the day pretty stressed out especially after the match against Team Liquid yesterday, because we knew we had given up the easiest way to make into the playoffs and have controls over our destinies. Even though we were pretty stressed out, we did do a good amount of preparation for our Kingzone match, which we lost. So after that people started getting even more stressed out because there was a realistic chance of us not making it to Paris. Then we played EVOS and in my opinion, the main reason for our losses today was draft related and we had a very good in-depth discussion about what we had to fix for our last match. We fixed it and we put out carries in a better position to carry and we won.
Let’s talk about the drafts then, because one of the things that I noticed was the problems with the Jhin pick. Not only did Fnatic have problems with it, but also Team Liquid for an example. Also taking it into account of players not performing as expected.
Obviously, it is also a meme by now, but can we call it “better bot lane” wins or was the Jhin problem a completely different story?
First of all Jhin is a very good laning champion. So usually you’ll have better scrims with it. That being said in our Jhin game (referring to day 5 against Kingzone), we could have used the Jhin pressure, but also the pressure from winning mid to win the game.
So if played correctly I definitely think you can win. That being said there are a lot of champions outside of the bot lane that is good against Jhin. For example, Team Liquid played Jhin against Ornn, which I thought was extremely hard for Doublelift to play the game. In the end, it is a very good laning champion and in a vacuum can be good in certain bot lane matchups, but can be countered by many other champions in the game, for example, Vladimir or Ornn.
The meta has changed a lot throughout the days. Like in day one everybody seemed fairly comfortable on the Jhin pick and throughout the tournament the teams would slowly shy away from this pick. For example, you guys would switch back to Rekkles comfort zone and pick Sivir or Tristana, but other than this, in my opinion, the picks of the tournament so far have been Xayah and Rakan. Besides the Kai’sa, that was banned most of the time. What do you see in those two picks, that obviously, all the teams have been valuing a lot, despite this lane setup dropping lane priority to certain matchups, even more, if one of the reasons people valued the Jhin was to have the lane pressure on their side?
Ezreal, for example, seems to pressure the map like crazy and this throughout the whole game. His one real weakness, which used to be scaling is not even a big weakness anymore due to the seraphs build. He scales a lot better now. So it is basically the same champion with better scaling and then with the teleport, he has the ability to pressure the map even more. About Xayah & Rakan, the OP part is actually the Rakan, it’s not an ADC thing it is more a playmaking aspect and the playmaking ability is insane for team fights.
We had a game against RNG where we were 5 to 6k gold ahead and we lost not only but mostly due to good Rakan play.
One of the things Broxah mentioned in our interview together was even the “mental” advantage this champion can bring. Obviously, it is not that easy to avoid it or you have to give up other power picks to pick or ban the Rakan. Besides Morgana, do you see any other counter picks for this champion?
I think there are answers for the Rakan for sure, we scrimmed and played against it a lot. I rather not say what I think they are. I can say at least that Team Liquid used Caitlyn Morgana pretty effectively.
So let’s move to the tiebreaker against Team Liquid and a bit more closely about it. We saw a very interesting match prior to that from Team Liquid where they had a few draft difficulties and they tried to go for a similar scaling composition around Kog’ma against you in the tiebreaker, you could even say almost “copying” the RNG composition.
What was the preparation from Fnatic going into this match psychologically but also for the draft phase?
First, we wanted to be able to put our bot lane in a better position from what they’ve been in draft wise. Since they have been destroyed quite often and one of the reasons was the draft. The second was to be able to secure a strong early game for Caps and Broxah so they could take over the game from there. Those were the two things we were prioritizing in the draft.
What went through your head after the draft was done? What did you feel?
Many times I walked off the stage and was not too happy with what ended up happening. After the draft against Team Liquid, I was actually pretty sure we were going to win.
Could you watch the game a bit calmer? Then everybody watching at the venue was so tense, how was it for you to watch this match?
After we died level I thought we would go home if they played well, but then looking closer at it I realized that the situation got Broxah behind but not our top laner as it would have because they used ignite. So Impact didn’t have teleport to get back to the lane, so it wasn’t that bad. Once Caps was roaming around the map I was...
(Dylan took a small break and got slightly excited. Then calmly says )
I’ve seen this game too many times to know what happens.
So it is a normal thing by now if you see Caps popping off, you know you are going to win?
Yeah (laughing). They also didn’t have a lot of tools to deal with it, so he can keep doing it over and over again.
So, one last question, what was this Sejuani pick?
There was a lot of support bans so we weren’t sure what to pick. We also had four melee champions that can proc the Sejuani Frost, The Yasuo, Trundle and our top laner as well and it has a lot of kill threat against Jhin Thresh. I do not think it was the greatest pick, but at least there is some reasoning for it.
Anything you want to say to the World, to your fans and what to expect from Fnatic in Paris?
Every time we played RNG we were consistently ahead. We’ve played 6 games against them in the past year or so and I think in at least four of these we were up over 5k gold at one point in the game. So we can win for sure. It’s 100% winnable, we just have to have a good drafting strategy against RNG. Since they have a team very good strengths but also very clear weaknesses, I think the drafting phase will be extremely important.