Fnatic find themselves in the very enviable position of having had IEM Katowice, overall 13 games, to gain some important match practice and learn from some of the best teams in other regions. We have no doubt they will have learned a huge amount from playing almost an entire LCS split across 3 days, and playing against tough international competition, particularly in the form of SKT. Team Vitality come into this having had a break over the IEM week, and that may help or hinder them; a week of scrimming and vod reviews can help a team iron out issues, but they haven’t been competing at the level Fnatic have this week and could suffer from a lack of comparable match practice. We don’t think Vitality were a team that needed a week off however, and may be a little cold moving into week 8.
Febiven had a hard carry performance in his first game of week 8, and him recapturing his form from last year could be a big part of Fnatic making a deep run in the playoffs this year. Gamsu is definitely not the carry threat that Huni was, and a lot of the playmaking has fallen on the young mid laners shoulders, which we feel he has struggled with. Team Vitality will be looking to nullify Febiven and keep mistakes to a minimal, as the incredibly talented line up that Fnatic have will take a mile if you give them an inch. Get Fnatic into positions where they have to make tough macro decisions and rotate well however, they will struggle unless they have a lead to play with. We expect Vitality to be able to keep Fnatic at bay, however an early snowball could see Fnatic take this game. Before IEM, we would have Team Vitality every day. With IEM in mind, this seems a wash and could go either way. We are going to go with form in this instance, and Fnatic’s impressive run at IEM should see them take the victory over Vitality.
Fnatic to win at 1/1 with bet365 and Betfair (2.0)
Roccat (2/1 with bet365, Betfair and William Hill) vs. Origen (4/11 with bet365 and William Hill) – 22:00 CET
Origen, whilst having the benefit of the IEM Katowice practice as well, had an underwhelming event in Poland. Failing to make it out of the weaker of the two groups will not have pleased the OG squad, and only winning 1 game versus TSM will be in the back of their minds coming into this week. Roccat are one of the group of bottom teams in EU LCS right now, although the talent on their squad makes their current placing disappointing.
This game will boil down to the macro game; both teams have good individual talent, and the lanes could go either way in every instance. Xpeke coming back into the lineup for Origen in place of PoE is probably a mechanical downgrade, but he could give them some decisive shot-calling that has been desperately lacking in a lot of OG’s games. Also, a shot caller who has played with Soaz for years and knows how to eke advantages out of his constant overextending could be key in making better use of a mechanically talented if tilt prone player. Roccat will need to figure out how to use the pieces in their arsenal, and a weeks break with their coaching staff could definitely have lead to an improvement in this area. Considering Origen’s poor performance at IEM and the unpredictability of the Xpeke factor, we actually have to go with a Roccat upset in this game. It’s a risky bet, but one that could provide a tidy profit to the brave better.
Roccat to win at 2/1 with bet365, Betfair and William Hill (3.0)
By: Arron “King Dempz” Dempsey – @arrondempers