Jul 4 2014 - 12:57 pm

The anatomy of Fnatic's undefeated Super Week

Only one team has ever won the League Championship Series in Europe, but Fnatic sure hasn’t looked like the three-time defending champions this split
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

Only one team has ever won the League Championship Series in Europe, but Fnatic sure hasn’t looked like the three-time defending champions this split. Until now.

Fnatic ran the table in Super Week, going 4-0 while destroying their League of Legends competition to jump into second place in the standings with an 11-7 record.

Best of all, they capped off the week with a stunning victory over the seemingly invincible Alliance, who fell to 14-4. Fnatic became the first team ranked in the top half of the standings to beat Alliance, showing that there’s some competition this season.

Fnatic’s xPeke hits a four-man Syndra stun to secure two kills vs. Alliance.

Wins over ROCCAT, Gambit Gaming, Millenium, and Alliance ended a surprisingly consistent streak of mediocrity, as Fnatic went .500 in every single week so far this season to enter Super Week with a 7-7 record.

All it takes is one solid week to turn a season around, though, and Fnatic now enters the second half of the LCS with newfound confidence.

The team racked up 65 kills, 28 deaths, and 170 assists during their rampage, good for a 8.39 KDA, but their objective control was the real gem. Fnatic took eighteen of twenty dragons, a 90 percent rate, and five of six Barons.

Historically Fnatic is a team powered by their strong solo laners. Top laner Paul “sOAZ” Boyer and mid laner Enrique "xPeke" Cedeño Martínez both had solid weeks, putting up 7.0 and 5.86 KDAs respectively. Boyer pulled out some creative but effective picks for his lane, like Ziggs and Yorick. Martínez took advantage of Orianna and Syndra to turn the tides of team fights with area of effect crowd control. But the real driving power of Fnatic this time was their duo lane.

Martin “Rekkles” Larsson's superstar potential was obvious when Fnatic called the young marksman into the lineup to star last split, and he’s finally starting to realize it. The 17-year-old put up a 24/4/24 line good for a 12.0 KDA with 428.40 Gold Per Minute and a 73.85 percent kill participation. Larsson’s monstrous Lucian went 7/2/8 in the huge game against Alliance and put up 19/4/19 line in three games, only outdone by his 5/0/5 Vayne.

Larsson’s bottom lane partner Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim was also a large factor in his team’s success. His 9.67 KDA was second best on the team thanks to a whopping 52 assists and a ridiculous 89.23 percent kill participation.

The Fnatic duo lane has quickly become a dominating force, and perhaps part of their struggles as a team has been transitioning from one so solo lane centric to a more balanced approach. It's certainly paying off, as now Fnatic once again looks like the team that wins Europe every year.

“I think the timing is good to be improving, but at the same time I’m really disappointed for our midseason and early season," said Larsson, after the match. "We’re disappointing our fans and ourselves as well, because we aren’t giving everything we have. It’s not the best mentality to save everything you have for the end.”

Just as Larsson says, Fnatic certainly needs to make sure they don't rest on their laurels. The Super Week environment favors a team with amazing mechanical and laning talent like Fnatic, as teams who focus on individual match preparation have less time to prepare for individual matches. Fnatic often finds themselves in peaks and valleys during the season, like last split's 7-0 start giving way to seven game losing streak.

But as long as this week means Fnatic isn't peaking too early, it looks like Alliance will no longer reign alone at the top of the LCS.

Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube

Jan 20 2017 - 9:02 pm

The Blood Moon hangs in the sky—and Blood Moon Jhin could be League’s next skin

In an eerie tweet, Riot hints at the next champion in the Blood Moon skin line.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Images via Riot Games | Remix by William Copus

The latest skin in the League of Legends Blood Moon skin series, Blood Moon Jhin, could be in the works.

Earlier today Riot tweeted out a teaser, in which the crimson moon can be seen through an archway of sorts with Jhin’s gun suspended in the air, making it almost certain that he’s the next champion to receive a Blood Moon skin. The red haze covering the scene really adds to the creepy factor.

The Blood Moon skins have been pretty awesome—even the early iterations of the series like Akali’s Blood Moon skin. The Blood Moon skins are all colored red in some way, and feature demon masks based on “The Red Demon”—a version of Japanese “oni” which is a spirit that brings strife, disease, disasters, and deceit. In addition to Akali, there have been five more skins in the series: Thresh, Yasuo, Kennen, Kalista, and Shen. Jhin’s will hopefully be no exception to that pattern of awesomeness.

If the skin turned out to be a dud the community wouldn’t take it too kindly. Why? Well, two reasons. First of all, the community has been asking for another Jhin skin since his launch in January last year. He has only had the skin he was launched with, High Noon Jhin, since he actually came out. It is a pretty cool skin, but fans want more. If they finally see Jhin get his new skin and it sucks? Well, I’m sure you can imagine how that would go down.

With ADC mains sending death threats to Riot staff over not enjoying ADC gameplay, imagine what they’d do if their favorite champion received a bad skin. And that brings us to the second point. Jhin is one of the favorite ADCs in the game right now.

Jhin sports almost an 18 percent rate of play, which means he is in nearly one-fifth of all ranked games. In the ADC role, there are only three other ADCs that compete with that play rate out of nearly 20 ADC champions: Vayne, Caitlyn, and Ezreal. I know you were expecting me to say “Ziggs,” but Ziggs isn’t played all that much in the bot lane (yet).

Fortunately, Riot’s skins have been very cool lately. Just look at the Worldbreaker skins, and even the new Lunar Revel set. With the track record of those awesome skins and the previous Blood Moon skins, we’re hoping Blood Moon Jhin will be as badass as it deserves to be.

Jan 20 2017 - 1:25 am

Get your Red Envelopes ready—the Lunar Revel event in League starts today

Riot is kicking off the 2017 Lunar Revel with some slick new skins.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Image via Riot Games

The Lunar New Year is a sacred, historic holiday that is celebrated by nations in the far east. It marks the beginning of the year based on the cycles of the moon. There’s dancing, festivals, parades, but much more importantly: A special League of Legends event. Why is that so important? Because you can get sweet new skins, of course!

The Lunar Revel Event is a yearly occurrence in League that features shiny new goodies to buy in-game. The event was announced and started today, so after you update the client, you’ll be able to take part in the festivities.

1) Free Icon

That’s right, for the small cost of going to the official Lunar Revel web page, you can claim a free Summoner Icon! The interactive home page acts as the hub for the Lunar Revel event, and you can click through the menu to see all the features. There’s even some lore tying each of this year’s Lunar Revel skins to their respective champions.

2) Champion Skins

There are three skins coming out for the Lunar Revel event this year: Garen, Azir, and Vi. Each has a matching Summoner Icon available in the store.

Garen’s sword and rad man-bun make this skin what it is: Awesome. When he spins to win, a green dragon swirls around him. When he ults, the giant sword that falls from the heavens... well, it’s green.

Azir seems to be more of a themed skin specific to this year, as it’s the Year of the Rooster—and Azir is as rooster-like as any League champion gets. His soldiers are also made to match his skin, sporting golden armor.

Vi’s theme is “the green demon” and when she ults, a big green dragon swirls up into the air and slams back into the ground as she does. This one’s our favorite, but mostly because it’s the only time we’re ever going to see Vi in a ponytail.

Not only are those three new skins available now, but past Lunar Revel skins and bundles are in the shop as well.

3) Crafting

A brand new Lunar Revel crafting system will also be in the client until the end of the event. It uses the same crafting page as usual, where you open chests with keys you earn from playing games and combine shards to form skins and champions. You can buy a Revel Red Envelope for 250 RP and visit the crafting page in your client to turn it into a skin shard and one random relic.

The relics come in three types: the Pauldron Relic, the Golden Relic, and the Gauntlet Relic. Once you have all three, you can combine them into Epic Skin Shards (1350 RP skins), random skin permanents, Gemstones, or Hextech Chests and Keys.

4) Merch

Finally, you can visit the Lunar Revel merch store to check out some IRL event goodies. Want a shirt featuring each Chinese Zodiac with League champions instead of the usual animals? Well it’s in the merch store, as well as a collectible figurine of Lunar Revel Azir.

The event is running from now until Feb. 2, so be sure to log into the game and check it out!