Today is a somber day for Fnatic fans, but an ecstatic day for Schalke 04. The boys in blue made short work of Fnatic, sweeping them to stay strong in their run through the 2021 LEC Spring Split playoffs.
Fnatic’s elimination from the playoffs means the org has finished outside of the top three in Europe for the first time since the 2016 Summer Split. Back then, the org’s League of Legends roster looked very different with Kikis, Spirit, Febiven, Rekkles, and YellOwStaR and they were swept by H2K Gaming.
Schalke, on the other hand, looked clean, precise, and decisive throughout all three games today. Not a lot of fans expected this team to play as well as they have been this postseason, but they’ve gone from forcing G2 Esports to play five games to eliminating Fnatic with a dominant sweep.
It felt like Schalke knew exactly how to capitalize on Fnatic’s weaknesses in this series, especially after their first game where Schalke turned Fnatic’s overaggression against them. This problem plagued Fnatic all season long and it reared its ugly head once again today.
One huge example of this was in the third and final game of the series when Fnatic won a big fight in the bottom lane. They decided to continue diving behind a turret for an additional kill on Abbedagge, but the 21-year-old mid laner turned the fight and picked up a game-changing triple kill instead.
This isn’t to take away from Schalke’s performance, though. They were the better team today and it showed with their confidence to take fights and their level of patience. They could have made the same overaggressive mistakes as Fnatic, but they were able to keep a cool head and make smart decisions without having to throw their lead.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of question marks surrounding the future of this iteration of Fnatic. With their worst season finish since 2016, it’s clear that something drastically needs to change to help push this team back in the right direction.
Looking forward, Schalke will now face off against Rogue in their next matchup of the 2021 LEC Spring Split playoffs. This will be another tough series, but from what we’ve seen, anything is possible in the LEC.
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