The Fnatic everyone expected to see at the League of Legends World Championship finally showed up today. They’ve pulled off two convincing victories over Cloud9 and Invictus Gaming by showing their their explosive ability to build early leads, and are now one win away from advancing to the quarterinals.
Last week the European rookie of the year struggled in his debut on the Worlds stage, a large part of why Fnatic started the event slow with a 1-2 record. Seo “Huni” Seung-hoon looked like he was playing solo queue, ignoring his teammates in favor of making individual plays after making odd and seemingly cocky champion selections, like playing Yasuo into Darius. It was a disappointing performance from a player who said he wants to be considered the best top laner on the planet by the event’s end.
Forget about that Huni. Today, that rookie of the year was back.
Against Cloud9 he again faced the Darius that thwarted him last week. But this time he took Gnar onto the Rift, playing a tank champion and solid lane counter to the pick, putting together a solid performance that shows he can fit in a team even if he isn’t carrying.
And then he showed what makes him so exciting as a player. Against Invictus Gaming, Fnatic saved their final pick and took a Kennen flex spot to give Huni options. And they settled on Riven into Invictus Gaming top laner Liu “Zzitai” Zhi-hao‘s Olaf.
Then, 10 minutes into the game, Huni showcased his brilliance. In a messy bottom lane fight he teleported into battle and pulled off one of the plays of the tournament.
That’s the kind of confident individual play that makes Huni such an exciting player to watch. Granted, later he made one of those solo queue-esque mistakes, pushing into the jungle to try and force a one-on-one fight, giving up a kill. But when you make plays that win games, sometimes that risk is worth it.
Later, Fnatic’s new weapon, AD carry Kennen, finally got a chance to shine. Picking it against Cloud9, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson posted a 4/0/7 KDA, but it was quiet one in a game that was an absolute stomp. Against Invictus Gaming, Fnatic had a similarly large lead, but this time Kennen scored the kills that won the game.
Rekkles was on his way to a pentakill before his support swooped in to ruin his moment.
The victory moves Fnatic to a 3-2 record in the group, putting them one step away from advancing to the quarterfinals. They still have a match on the docket with Taiwan’s ahq eSports Club, and the winner of that match will win themselves a spot in the quarterfinals.
With the way Huni and company are playing today, Taiwan’s veteran team will be hard pressed to pull off a win. Fnatic will need Huni in good form, too, considering how Chen “Ziv” Yi has played today.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr