The defending League Championship Series (LCS) champions in Europe kicked off the LCS Summer Split with a victory today in Berlin.
Fnatic avoided Unicorns of Love’s traps and built a lead by securing early dragons and three kills in the top lane, with Rekkles securing two of them and first blood in his return to the Fnatic lineup. Rekkles may not have hit any solid Enchanted Crystal Arrow ultimates with Ashe, the newly reworked AD champion, but he showcased her solid damage while posting a 7/0/3 KDA line on the champion.
The match looked very methodical compared to a typical Fnatic and Unicorns of Love affair. The Unicorns are infamous for pulling a game into their crazed pace, baiting opponents into fights in difficult situations. But Fnatic seemed more prepared to deal with the Unicorns’ play, only giving up 4 kills through the entire match despite Unicorns’ ability to engage with the champions Annie and Maokai.
The match ended with Unicorns of Love caught in the mid lane and Fnatic’s top laner, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, showing he can still make plays without a damage-heavy top lane champion. He landed a four-man stun with Gnar, allowing mid laner Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten to land ridiculous area damage with Leblanc’s Distortion, securing four kills.
“We always thought we were a stronger team than Unicorns of Love, but we never figured out how to correctly play against them,” Febiven said after the match. “But we finally figured it out. I knew we would win.”
While Fnatic beat the Unicorns in the Spring Split finals 3-2, they lost both their regular season bouts against the team. But this time, Fnatic had control of the game from the champion select.
The Summer Split, though, is now a different story. After a solid performance at the Midseason Invitational, Fnatic looks like a team capable of transcending their status as Europe’s champs to become an international challenger. The first step will be not just winning their local region, but dominating it.
So far, so good.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr