If you haven’t seen the base race that ended the Fnatic vs. G2 LEC match today, watch the replay. It was that crazy. Here, we have it pulled up for you:
Now that’s one way to end a game of League of Legends: A mad scramble for Baron followed by two teams splitting in opposite directions toward their respective enemy’s base. It was an amazing way to finish what was one of the most hyped LEC matches of the year.
This is exactly how it happened.
Fnatic vs. G2 was only a good match because Fnatic somehow clawed their way out of a 2-6 start to the year, a brutal stretch that ended with a lopsided loss to G2. Since then, Fnatic have gone on a tear, winning eight of nine. After this latest victory over G2, they might just be the best team in the region.
But much of the game was a test of G2’s comeback ability, not Fnatic’s. It all started when Fnatic walked up to the G2 base 24 minutes into the game, took the bot lane inhib with Baron buff, and looked to end the game. If you caught the time stamp on the first video, you know they didn’t succeed—in fact, we hadn’t even reached the eventual halfway mark.
At 34 minutes, Fnatic took that inhib again. They needed to finish quickly because their team comp was falling further and further behind G2’s. Without some sort of backdoor, it was hard to see how Fnatic could win a straight teamfight. That desperation led to quite the merry chase around the Baron pit as Fnatic tried to give their minions time to take down the G2 base. One Nexus turret fell, and then the other, but the G2 Nexus survived.
The casters were out of breath, the studio audience could only laugh at what they just witnessed, and still the game wasn’t over. This was long past the point where Fnatic’s gold lead mattered. One fight was all that stood between these two teams and victory or defeat.
G2 found that fight around Elder Dragon, but Fnatic had a backup plan, sending support Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev on a solo mission deep into the enemy base.
Somehow, Hylissang managed to take that bot lane inhib for the third time before giving up his life. The time stamp on the inhibitor would be absolutely crucial: 48 minutes and five seconds into the game was when it would respawn.
With superiority in the five-man unit, G2 should have been able to roll around the map. But they couldn’t leave their base—with no Nexus turrets, they always had to be afraid of the Fnatic backdoor. That’s why when Fnatic started Baron again a couple minutes later, G2 couldn’t really contest. Their strongest champion, top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen’s Ryze, was stuck in the bottom lane clearing super minions.
That’s when G2 made a desperate call of their own: Give up Nashor and go for Fnatic’s base. Wunder used his ultimate to warp himself, bot laner Luka “Perkz” Perkovic, and two caster minions into the base. But there was a problem: G2 didn’t bring an AD champion. Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s Zed was tasked with stopping Fnatic’s backs instead.
What they didn’t expect was that Fnatic had no interest in backing. Remember, for 26 minutes, Fnatic watched as their team comp fell further and further behind. Hylissang and bot laner Martin “Rekkles” Larsson instead made a beeline toward the enemy base.
There are so many things that could have gone wrong for Fnatic. If G2 had a couple more minions, they could have finished Fnatic’s Nexus turrets faster. If they stopped Fnatic mid laner Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek’s recall, they could have pushed faster. And finally, Fnatic’s duo lane finished off the G2 Nexus at exactly 48 minutes and one second. Just four more seconds and that bot lane inhib would have respawned, giving G2 the game. This is how close it came:
But at the end, there was just one thing that led to Fnatic’s victory today: They were the more desperate team. For the last four weeks, they were stuck in must-win mode with their playoff life on the line. The whole split, they’ve watched G2 run amok through the LEC with Caps, their former teammate. For nearly an hour against G2, that desperation showed in the way they threw everything at the G2 base. Even at the end, G2 hedged on how many people to send at the Baron pit and how many to go with Wunder to the base.
Fnatic didn’t hedge. They rushed the Baron and as it was dying, Rekkles and Hylissang were already on their way out. They never even tried to hit the “B” button. Looking back was not an option. Fnatic were the ones who kept their eye on the prize, who played desperately, and that’s what led to their victory.