Usually called the El Clásico of League of Legends, Fnatic vs G2 Esports, will see rivals clash once again in the last week of Spring Split.
There’s only one week left of the regular season of the 2023 LEC Spring Split, which means that by Monday night, we’ll know which teams we can root for in the Group Stage. In the Winter Split, it was Excel Esports and Fnatic that missed two-thirds of the competition, as they failed to get enough wins to proceed to the second round. However, both teams are still in the run for top 8 – and Fnatic has a match worthy of being called headliner on Sunday.
Fnatic vs G2 Esports Preview
The black and orange squad has been in a bit of a rough spot lately. They barely made LEC Summer Playoffs and Worlds last year, but thanks to Elias “Upset” Lipp, they managed to bull through. They dominantly started the World Championship, but fell off after the first round of Group Stage, and got knocked out before reaching Knockouts.
Fnatic only changed one member before the 2023 Spring: they brought Martin “Rekkles” Larsson back again, putting Upset on the bench. This has proved to be a wrong move on their part, as the organisation which usually fights for the top spots only managed to secure 2 wins, thus getting eliminated from the championship. They had to make a change for spring, so they promoted academy players Óscar “Oscarinin” Munoz Jíménez and Mark “Advienne” Reijenga to the main squad, while benching Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen and demoting Rúben “Rhuckz” Barbosa to Fnatic TQ.
The team had an even worse start than in the winter: Fnatic finished the first week of Spring Split with and 0-3 record, getting steamrolled by Excel Esports, SK Gaming and Team Vitality as well. Oscarinin had a record-breakingly bad performance, and Marek “Humanoid” Brázda and Iván “Razork” Martin Díaz still wanted to do completely different things during laning phase. However, the team found their first win against Team Heretics on the second day of Week 2, in a match where everyone had a great performance. While beating Heretics is not the biggest feat in itself, FNC went on to dominate KOI the next day, which should be a warning to all teams Rekkles an co. face in the last week.
Even though they started to gain momentum, Fnatic is nowhere near their rivals, G2 Esports. The Kings of Europe brought in rookie Martin “Yike” Sundelin alongside returning lost son Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle and ex-Rogue hotshot Steven “Hans sama” Liv before the start of the season, and went on to win the Winter Split Shield. While they didn’t finish first in either the Winter Regular Season or Group Stage, G2 went undefeated in the playoffs, where it mattered the most: they beat KOI with a respectable 3-1 scoreline, while blowing MAD Lions off the Rift in the Grand Finals.
Naturally, G2 Esports didn’t change any members going from Winter to Spring, as the new members fit in great with Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther and Sergen “BrokenBlade” Celik, while also becoming better every match. G2 won 4 out of 6 matches so far in the Spring Split: titan slayers Astralis have managed to beat them, and KOI choked them out, leaving no space to get rolling, meaning that G2 didn’t achieve a perfect weekend so far.
But other than those two losses, Winter Split Champions have looked great. Yike is still one of the best candidates for Rookie of the Year, Hans Sama is unstoppable on Draven (and can play Twitch at an incredibly high level, apparently), Caps is embracing his wise old man role, while BrokenBlade and Mikyx are just there to wreak havoc – and to carry the team to victory occasionally.
While Fnatic is still finding its form, G2 Esports have been ready for weeks. Caps and his team can win through virtually any lane, and any member can step up if need be. Fnatic, on the other hand struggles to keep themselves together in some cases, meaning G2 can force mistakes from the orange and black squad and capitalize on them. The greatest rivals of the LEC met 21 times since the rebranding of the EU LCS, but which one of them will win bout 22? Tune in for the LEC on Sunday at 10PM CET to find out!