Fnatic come into this series as the underdogs, having had a disappointing regular season by the organisation’s historically high standards. The high profile signing of Spirit wasn’t enough to offset the loss of franchise player and team captain Yellowstar, and Fnatic struggled with their macro game throughout the season. Despite their shotcalling issues they still won plenty of games with sheer mechanical skill, able to snowball games off of mistakes made by opponents during the early game. Team Vitality are a very different beast, being one of the more impressive rotational teams in the EU LCS, but also able to match most teams in the laning phase. Cabochard in particular has been bossing many of his top lane matchups, and in the early game he tends to be the player to go off for Vitality.
The regular season finished with a 0 – 2 week for Fnatic, and they come into this matchup the undisputed underdog. Early snowball will be the name of the game in this quarter final for them, as they will not be able to match the strong rotations that Vitality will bring in the mid game if the match is at an even pegging. Getting Febiven rolling in mid may be the best hope that Fnatic have to take this series, as whilst Nukeduck has been a solid player for Vitality he is not the same mercurial talent that he was for Lemondogs in season 3. Allowing Febiven to play make on champions like LeBlanc with a lead could see Fnatic do enough to win 2 games. Otherwise, Team Vitality are the more rounded and consistent team, particularly in their macro game, and they will be favoured to take this series.
Team Vitality to win with William Hill at 1/2 (1.50)
Origen (4/9 with bet365) vs. Unicorns of Love (13/8 with bet365)
Origen turned a disappointing season around towards the end of the split, charging into the 4th seed with a 4 – 0 record in the last two weeks. The main difference for Origen this year has been the dramatic fall off of Amazing in the jungle, who has struggled to adapt to the meta changes for this year and has seen his game impact diminish significantly. With Soaz still inconsistent and prone to large death numbers, Origen looked to be a much weaker prospect coming into playoffs. The return of Xpeke gave renewed decisiveness to the Origen squad and now they look a real threat. UoL fell off a cliff in terms of form in the final weeks, going 2 – 4 in the final three weeks compared to a 6 – 2 start in the first four. Issues in the jungle have been the bane of the Unicorn’s season after losing Diamondprox to visa problems, and their skirmish heavy style really relies on jungle impact in the early game.
This game will hinge on two things; can UoL snowball early enough to win the game, and if not can Origen make the decisive mid – late game plays that became their hallmark in the final weeks of the split? We favour Origen as the overall stronger team, particularly considering the end of season form, and it should be enough to overpower UoL. The Unicorn’s will want to focus on getting early jungle skirmishes with Amazing and put him under pressure, as he has been Origen’s most consistent weak point this season. If this doesn’t happen, expect Origen to take the victory.
Origen to win with bet365 at 4/9 (1.44)
By: Arron “King Dempz” Dempsey – @arrondempers