I can speak for a lot of people when I say that I was shocked that Noxiak got replaced on Fnatic. He certainly was not the weakest link on the Fnatic Team, but like all the previous succesfull roster swaps they did, you just have to remain faithful in Fnatic and hope for the best!
What did Noxiak do wrong?
Noxiak’s biggest assets were definitely his mechanics. His best performing champion by far was alistar, as numerous times his perfect headbutt-pulverize combo would guarentee a won teamfight. However, I feel like Fnatic expected a lot more from Noxiak than he delivered. Noxiak’s aggressive style in the laning phase paired with Rekkles passive style, made them one of the worst bot lanes in Europe. They both had different approaches to the game. Noxiak believed in a more aggressive laning phase and try to get a cs or even a kill lead off to try to snowball that way. Rekkles remained with his old ways and took a more passive approach to the laning phase and believed in a more explosive mid game and tried to outplay their opponents with better teamfighting. They could not find a middle ground and it showed in their early game performance. On top of this, the synergy between the support and jungler is very important in this Meta, particularly for warding the enemy jungle, catching someone offguard, etc. was also non-existent. Very rarely you would see Spirit and Noxiak being on the same page and roaming together. I think this problem comes primarily from the fact that Spirit is more farm oriented and not enough gank focused, that’s why in my opinion you would always see Noxiak and Spirit trying to make plays on their own. The shotcalling role was also a big problem on Fnatic, I am pretty sure that Noxiak was doing a minimum of shotcalling in teamfights, because that’s very important on champions like alistar, where you need to have perfect synergy when alistar goes in. The problem in my opinion was their shotcalling in the mid game. Fnatic would look lost and not know what to do. Rekkles can’t shotcall at that moment, because he was probably getting farm in the side lane, so at that point the jungle-support duo should the ones be shotcalling, but as I pointed out there was none of that. As a result of this, fnatic would just draw their game out and try to outfarm the enemy team and win the game off of one good teamfight. This would work against weaker teams, but against stronger teams that would abuse Fnatic’s weak mid game and pretty much outclass them from there. A lot of people blame Noxiak for the fact that Fnatic has a bad ward coverage, but that problem can easily be fixed if the communication between spirit and Noxiak was there, because it was non-existant the spirit-Noxiak duo would place less wards than the other team’s support-jungler combo.
Can Fnatic Klaj perform?
We’ve only seen 2 games from Klaj, so I will be judging his performance off of those games. The first game made a tear shed in my eye, it was one of the first time since the reignover-yellowstar combo where I’ve seen spirit and klaj working together and warding the enemy jungle together. We could tell that the Fnatic staff was putting a lot of work in that jungler-support communication. I really liked the ZZ rot portal-strat as it would give fnatic something to set up for in the mid game, where they usually would look lost. They won the game off a fight, where the enemy top laner was late, because he had to clear the zz rot. The second game started well, but Fnatic looked lost again once all the outer turrets were taken. They knew they didn’t have enough pressure to do the baron lie the previous game. They didn’t do much until UOL found the best moment to strike in teamfights and win the game. You can’t really blame Fnatic as it is only their second game with Klay, but you wonder if they’re going to be able to make it work.
What does Fnatic Need to get back in shape?
- They need a strong shotcaller during the mid-game, who can lead the team in the right rotations around the team, so they can catch someone or take a tower lead. In this Meta, where objectives are very important, you need to be pro-active and NOT reactive. Fnatic right now looks more like a reactive team and they can’t trade efficiently in that way. They will only trade evenly at best!
- With that strong shotcalling they also need a strong engage or a good tp flank. It is not a secret that Gamsu’s TP’s are very poor at the moment, we can see it improving, but it is still not at the level we would expect fnatic to be on. They need Gamsu or Klay to be that front force in teamfights. We saw Febiven engaging when he was on champions like Lissandra, but I don’t think that’s the right was to go on it. Last year Febiven was always the very reliant damage dealer after Reignover or yellowstar would engage a fight. I feel like it should be the same on this team, because the few time he did engage he would get instakilled, because they we’re not on the same page.
- They need Spirit to put more pressure on the map and be pro-active on the map. Spirit just seems to be doing less than the enemy jungler in all of their games. He needs to be starting the snowball on Fnatic side. I would love to see Spirit back in his Samsung days, where he was a lot more aggressive, sometimes It would backfire, but he would actually be doing something on the map that is not farming. I feel like it would be naive to put all the blame on Spirit, as I think the lanes aren’t giving him enough information. We’ve seen Gamsu solo killing the enemy top laner twice now, imagine if spirit would be there, it could mean a greater snowball on Fnatic’s side.
All these points come hand in hand and would relieve a lot of pressure off of Rekkles and febiven, which would lead to a greater Fnatic!