The old kings meet the new kings in their first direct battle for the League of Legends EU LCS throne. G2 are in their fifth final in a row, after an up-and-down split that showed both their best strategies and their worst individual issues. Fnatic are coming off an impressive regular season, but without their starting top laner, they are up for their biggest challenge yet.

THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF: SPLYCE V TEAM VITALITY TIPS

Fnatic v G2 Esports team analysis and news

G2 won against Splyce in a more convincing manner than most expected, taking two games with a strong early game performance led by their jungler Jankos. The First Blood King was very aggressive compared to the reserved Xerxe, and ganking repeatedly for his laners granted them comfortable leads. G2’s mid/jungle synergy is what will be of huge importance in this duel: Perkz has been struggling recently, and might need help from Jankos in order to stay afloat against an in-form Caps.

Jankos will have to bring in his A-game to do more than Fnatic’s beast in the jungle. Broxah has been on a fantastic run since the beginning of March, and Fnatic’s wins against Vitality were a perfect example of that. He ran rings around Gilius, countering his heavy-ganking playstyle with even more ganks of his own, and showing up on both the carry-oriented Nidalee and the more supportive Sejuani and Trundle. Broxah’s terrific pathing provides Caps and Rekkles/Hylissang with tons of confidence and opportunities for aggressive plays, knowing that their jungler’s got their back at all times. Caps, in particular, doesn’t shy away from denying his opponent as much CS as possible, and he will be very hard to deal with if their jungler is not stopped by Jankos.

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Top lane is the place G2 will probably try to build an advantage in. Wunder was by far the most dominant laner in the league this split, and Bwipo has showed some weaknesses typical of rookie players, sometimes overextending in lane and easily dying to ganks as a result. Taking away some power picks for top lane, such as Gangplank, Camille or Swain will be a must for Fnatic, and G2 should use that draft advantage to secure a comfort pick for their ADC Hjarnan.

Rekkles and Hylissang, however, won’t fear Hjarnan even if he is playing Jhin or Tristana. Fnatic’s bot lane has been putting on a show for months now, doing amazing work both in lane and in teamfights. Rekkles is a player that cannot be banned out (Vitality tried their damnedest to do just that), and is probably the best player in the league. Synergising perfectly with Hylissang, these two create a bot lane that will be very hard to face for G2’s duo, who prefer to stand far back in lane and not take chances with offensive plays unless they’re in a 3v2 situation.

Neither team is very clean around baron, but I do think that Fnatic are quite a bit better once the game goes late. Their perfectly coordinated engages by the support or jungler followed by the rest of the team are currently unparalelled in Europe, and G2 (especially their mid laner) have shown some inconsistency in that regard recently. G2, however, are good at punishing major mistakes, and Fnatic will have to be careful not to flunk plays around objectives like they did in that infamous game against Vitality.

Best bet and odds

Fnatic: -111.11
G2 eSports: -125

The battle for the throne has a high chance of going to five games if both teams play to the best of their capabilities. I don’t think the teams are equal, however. Fnatic might have a young and inexperienced top laner going against a monster like Wunder, but in my opinion their 4-player core is by far the strongest in Europe and will be enough to take three games away from G2. The reigning champs will surely fight back, but I think Fnatic’s synergy and sheer player quality will be too much for them, and that Europe’s original kings will likely take back the crown with a win in the fifth game.

Best bet: Fnatic to win 3-2 in correct map score betting, paying +400 at BetOnline

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