Gambit Gaming rode a four-game win streak into a match against the 7-2 Fnatic, who just beat SK Gaming in an epic showdown on Thursday. The Fnatic team was heavily favored despite Gambit’s recent run of strong performance.
But this week, upsets are king in the EU LCS. Gambit Gaming dominated the match.
The aggressive Fnatic team met their match with the equally skirmish happy Gambit. Fnatic took an early advantage when their jungler Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin scored an early kill on Gambit’s Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov. But when Fnatic greedily tried to push their advantage with an invade on Reshetnikov’s red buff moments later, they surrendered two kills, and Gambit Gaming never looked back.
The frenetic Fnatic usually pushes the pace of the match with a dazzling array of ganks and rotations that keeps their foes off balance, but today it was Gambit Gaming initiating play. Every game they play, Reshetnikov is looking more like the genius of the jungle, the man who revolutionized how it was played years ago. Kristoffer “P1noy” Albao Lund Pedersen is learning how to rein in his solid mechanics and use them effectively in team fights. Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet showed he can go toe-to-toe with the best top laner of the season so far statistically and come out on top, using Kennen as a weapon to initiate team fights and score kills. And they did it all with Felix “Betsy” Edling playing his second ever game in the LCS, posting an insane 10/0/13 KDA on Ahri.
Gambit’s season was hanging on a thread just a few short weeks ago. An 0-5 start to the season left them surrounded by questions of relegation. Would one of League’s most successful franchises fall out of the league?
Now, five straight wins, including victories against top teams like Fnatic, have fans reminiscing about the Moscow Five days, when the team was considered the best in the world.
Reshetnikov credits their new ability to practice and their coach, Jordan “Leviathan” Thwaites, for turning things around. The team has historically had a difficult time competing in the LCS format, often struggling with visa issues and travel between Russia and Germany. This season, though, they’ve got a local team house setup that’s allowed them to optimize their practice sessions better than ever before.
The victory does bring up an important question: Should Gambit Gaming keep Edling in the lineup?
Support player Edward Abgaryan said that it doesn’t even feel like Sebastian “niQ” Robak, the team’s regular mid laner who is currently sidelined due to health issues, is even missing. Just that there’s a different voice in chat during the game. In his first match, Edling turned in a 1/2/6 KDA against Meet Your Makers on Ezreal. But he exploded today against Fnatic as Gambit Gaming rolled over one of the top teams in the league.
Whether Edling stays in the lineup or not, Gambit Gaming made a statement today. They’re a team that Europe needs to take seriously once again.