Since the first week of the North American League of Legends Championship Series, fans have been making comparisons between the Immortals and last year’s Fnatic line-up. The similarities have multiplied over time, with Immortals putting up consistent and dominant performances in their region. But which of these two line-ups is really the stronger and smarter super team?
Fnatic’s Strong Points
Throughout their record-setting 18-0 run in the EU LCS, the old Fnatic lineup expressed many qualities that made them arguably the best team to ever come together in the Western League of Legends scene.
During their dominating performance, Fnatic showed us that having a decisive leader and shot-caller is very important. YellOwStaR was a pivotal player when it came to making the Baron calls that the team became so well known for. Their very impressive macro play, along with a very controlled aggression, was also in no small part thanks to this veteran support.
While YellOwStaR’s part on this team was huge, he was definitely not the only superstar playing for this European powerhouse. Mechanically, there was no weak link in this lineup, and therefore, as we saw in the later stages of this team, they could rely on any lane to carry their games. Febiven became a shining star thanks to his ability to win his lane and roam to the side-lanes, providing great pressure for his team. Rekkles, along with his before mentioned support, was always ready to take control of objectives while the rest of the team made plays elsewhere on the map. And lastly, Huni and Reignover’s partnership was by far the strongest pillar holding up this team’s play-making potential.
The Weak Points
While the old Fnatic was definitely a dominant force in the Western region, during the World Championship we quickly saw that they were not unbeatable. Even though their shot calling was very decisive, their communication was often not up to par with other teams. This was mostly due to the Korean duo: Huni could still speak very little of the English language at the time and often heavily relied on working with Reignover. This resulted in many teams adapting their play to focus on these two players, setting Fnatic behind.
The second biggest weak point for the team was at the same time one of their biggest strengths. Huni’s regular over-aggression was always a very make-or-break type of play for the team. While it did often work out, allowing Fnatic to snowball their leads further ahead, we also saw the other side of the coin. When Huni got caught out while attempting to make a play, we could often see him tilt, or even try to repeat the process to make up for his mistakes, only giving the enemy more opportunities to work with.
Immortals Strong Points
This year’s North American newbies, the Immortals, have so far had a very dominating performance. The team did not lose a single game until the 7th week of the split, to Counter Logic Gaming. They have shown a strong macro play similar to that of last year’s Fnatic, yet they still have a very different play style to the European team.
Immortals have thus far shown that they can play around all of their lanes. Whether it’s their carry top laner, impressive mid laner or their destructive bot lane, this team can do it all. Yet, even though the team is overflowing with star names, there is still a player that has managed to outshine the rest: WildTurtle has so far been performing above everyone’s expectations. With 92 kills this season so far, this ADC is 18 kills ahead of the next closest ADC in the league. Along with his 7.7 KDA ratio, he has been the best performing ADC of this split in North America.
Tying Immortals to the old Fnatic began with the very controversial move of both Huni and Reignover to North America. The players, especially Huni, have looked much more mature in the way they play the game this year. Huni has been making less mistakes in his lane and rather capitalizes on the enemy’s misplays, while Reignover has been able to work not just with one but every lane, playing around the team’s leads and carries.
The Weak Points
While maybe not looking as high in potential as the Fnatic squad, Immortals have been much quicker in finding synergy and therefore have less weak points in their play, but no team is without their flaws. Even though he has not been playing poorly, Pobelter has so far not lived up to the standard he created last year. With only a few outstanding performances, it will be interesting to see how the team performs if WildTurtle breaks his stellar form.
Both of these teams have proven to be the best in their region at a point in time. They have both shown dominant performances, but which team is the stronger of the two?
The short answer is Immortals, but why? While not necessarily having better players, Immortals have shown a much faster growth in their style of play and better communication than Fnatic had during their time together. The drastic change in Huni’s play also makes a huge difference. As he has gained more experience, we see that he no longer overextends in lane and doesn’t make misplays after dying. Immortals are this year’s Western hope.