This weekend’s LEC matches between Fnatic, Origen, and G2 were expected to be amazing. These were clearly the best teams in the league at the end of the 2019 Spring Split, and fans were undoubtedly excited to see them face off in Rotterdam. Most expected close, exciting series where the teams brought their best.
The only problem so far, though, is nobody told Fnatic that. They seemed to have left their games back home in Berlin and fell into a 0-2 hole against Origen in the semifinals. And the reason for their struggles? That damn, pesky Sona-Taric bot lane that’s been all the rage.
In case you haven’t noticed, Sona-Taric is a major thing. The two champions bring a ton of late game teamfighting strength and the duo was wildly successful in last weekend’s LCS semifinals.
So you can’t blame Fnatic for bringing that out in the first game against Origen. But what should have been a major advantage turned into a monumental weakness. Origen responded to the Fnatic draft with a kill-oriented bot lane of Varus-Blitzcrank.
It was a little unlucky for Fnatic that they gave up first blood on a level one invade by Origen. But what happened after wasn’t luck. Origen support Alfonso “Mithy” Rodriguez hit hook after hook, setting up kill after kill on the hapless Fnatic bot lane. Every major neutral objective went to the side of Origen and by the time Fnatic started to fight, their Nexus was already beyond saving.
So after seeing how to beat Sona-Taric, what did Fnatic do? They left it up for Origen. But any pretenses that Fnatic learned about what to do against that duo lane was dispelled in the game two draft when Fnatic decided to pull out Twitch-Annie.
That’s basically the opposite of what Origen did in game one. Fnatic got whooped and apparently learned nothing. To nobody’s surprise, Fnatic’s shenanigans didn’t work. Their bot lane was basically even with Origen’s in the lane phase.
Fnatic did rotate their duo around for a series of turrets, but unlike in the first game, they were unable to snowball out of control. They did get the first Baron of the game, but Origen fought off their siege and got a perfect teamfight around the second Baron. Fnatic crumbled in crucial moments, with various players clearly on different pages. Meanwhile, Origen just had to group together with the power of Sona-Taric to win the game.
It’s concerning that Fnatic are down to match point against Origen. But it’s even worse that they had weeks to prepare for this bot lane situation and clearly haven’t solved it. They’ve lost both with and against Sona-Taric, and were forced to just ban Sona in the third game. We’ll see if that leads them to victory and survival in the series.