The Spring Split finals of the European League Championship Series ended in a decisive victory for Fnatic over G2 Esports, taking home their sixth domestic title.
Fnatic cruised to their first title in three years with a convincing 3-0 win in front of 8,000 fans in the Copenhagen Royal Arena.
Excellent performances by every single team member, from rookie top laner Bwipo to their superstar carry Rekkles, rendered the quadruple champions completely helpless, and ended their two-year reign over other European teams.
In addition to the €80,000 prize, Fnatic will be rewarded with precious Championship Points, which are a treasured resource in the race for the 2018 World Championship, and a trip to the Mid-Season Invitational, the second-largest tournament in the world of competitive LoL.
This victory is hugely important to the most popular esports organisation in Europe, who have been heavily struggling to live up to their historical success over the past couple of years.
Many fans and experts have slowly lost faith in the team, citing numerous failures in the management, scouting and coaching departments as an argument to prove that Fnatic’s days of glory are long gone. However, the new title marks a beginning of a potential new golden generation of Fnatic, which consists of both home-grown young upstarts (Caps, Broxah, Bwipo) and seasoned veterans (Rekkles, sOAZ, Hylissang).
Fnatic will go on to face champions of other regional leagues at MSI, which takes place on their European home soil starting March 3.
In their first appearance at the tournament since 2015, Fnatic will try to paint an even better picture of themselves and the EU region, defending a 2nd place finish by G2 last year. Doing so will be a great challenge, considering how strong the Korean and Chinese teams have been looking, but NA’s Team Liquid and the LMS’s most probable champions Flash Wolves can’t be overlooked either.
The entirety of the EU LCS was definitely a tier below Fnatic’s level for the whole Spring Split, barring the first couple of weeks.
G2 will need to seriously reflect on their performance in the finals, this being the first time in the org’s history to not win a domestic title.
In order for EU to have more chance at the upcoming Rift Rivals tournament, both G2 and the third-placed Splyce will have to step up their game in order to match the strongest North American teams, who looked much closer in terms of strength over the majority of the split. However, outside of Fnatic, the remaining EU teams were very closely matched, and the battle for Worlds in the summer will be a pure treat for the viewers.
The 2018 Spring Split is likely to be widely considered as one of the most entertaining LoL competitions in recent years, and the true revival of the EU LCS, with online viewer numbers surpassing last year’s final significantly, which could prove to be attractive to potential sponsors.
With franchising coming into the league very soon, this split could be a crucial piece of evidence for the prosperity and further potential of LoL esports. As more and more big names take part in the EU LCS, the European esports community can excitedly look into the upcoming bright future.