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LEC Match Of The Week: Rogue VS Fnatic - Hype Hangovers Or Bounty Hunters?

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Written by 

Jack Marsh

Posted 

27th Aug 2021 14:05

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The conquest for League of Legends world supremacy has taken its many tolls in the LEC this year, with giants of the game having their plane tickets snatched from their grasps by the foes they had previously been overshadowing.

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MAD Lions' pride have gnarled their way through to back-to-back Regional Grand Finals as cubs transition to leaders of the pack. Rogue unsheathed their stealthy assassin-esque logo prior to the Spring Split and has harnessed its devotion to silence to sneak up on their enemies. Fnatic has continued to reignite their fizzling embers to become a roaring flame once again, torching the Samurai in a one-off game for Worlds Qualification.

Both Rogue and Fnatic have pinched the last two European Worlds 2021 slots, as G2 Esports fell victim to their poor start to the split. Now, the two must face off in the LEC Playoffs, where emotional hangovers of their individual successes must be transformed into confidence to avoid the gauntlet that is the Play-In stages.

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For Fnatic, their joy, celebrations, and tears, that poured out after beating their old rivals, have to be pushed to one side. The mental fatigue that comes with such a victory can often take its toll on teams, especially with the nature of their comeback clutch. Despite having secured qualification to a championship that will unexpectedly be played on home soil, only four out of ten teams proceed from the Play-Ins, a fearsome fate that MAD Lions fell to last year. This is not a game that can be taken lightly, as the stakes are higher than what may be perceived at first glance. 

As for Rogue, their celebrations are long gone, and they come into the fixture on the back of a loss that will have stung. Whilst Fnatic are riding high, Rogue will have been refining exposed cracks in their gameplay that MAD Lions ripped apart to move to the Grand Finals. Having topped the table with just five losses all-split round, Rogue will be determined to bounce back from this unfamiliar feeling. 

Throughout the split, each side took one game from the other. Fnatic's Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau was the pivotal player in the tie, getting an early advantage over his counterpart Kacper "Inspired" Słoma which swung the pendulum towards Fnatic in every team fight. A Quadra-Kill from Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer around the baron proved to be the nail in the coffin for Rogue, even though a giddy Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov was killed by the turrets on two occasions.

In their second match-up, it was Inspired who took over the map and walked away with eight kills and the MVP award. The arm wrestle between the top-tier Junglers was grasped by the Rogue bounty hunter, who caught Bwipo as a lone ranger too many times and dived into individual battles to thwart the overall Fnatic progression. A rampant Steven "Hans Sama" Liv was also influential, being one of very few players in the LEC that have got the better of Elias "Upset" Lipp this year. With nine kills and a further seven assists, the established Frenchman showed why he can also be considered as the best Bot-laner in Europe.

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In this upcoming match-up, the winning factor may lie within the jungle. In both games we've seen so far, the jungle on top was able to spearhead their respective teams to success. Whether it's Bwipo gathering an early CS lead and staying within touching distance of his teammates or Inspired getting aggressive with solo dashes to isolate the Fnatic man, each team was reflective of their Jungler's performance.

The Bot-lane will also be an area to watch, as Upset has been arguably the best player in the entire LEC with his wife-buff activated. With Hans Sama being one of few players to counter the German so far, the individual battle here could be decisive in where the Junglers can look to pounce. Should both players be in fine form, the experience of Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu will be pitched against the rookie hunger of Adam "Adam" Maanane to see who can capitalise on their detached roles.

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Ultimately, the victory for either side will secure Group Stage Worlds action and a match versus MAD Lions for the title of best in EU. 

Whether a heart-on-his-sleeve Bwipo can bring Fnatic's jubilation back down to earth or party mode remaining activated will be definitive between a closely contested tie or a Rogue whitewash. 

 

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NA's Teams At Worlds Will Be The Strongest In Region History Yet

Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

16th Sep 2021 17:30

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