After a five-game losing streak, Fnatic finally takes a win against BDS, placing them in seventh place, tied with Astralis. The standings are very close, and every game counts. Does Fnatic have what it takes to secure a spot in Playoffs, or will this be the first time in the history of the organization where they can't make it?
Fnatic has always been seen as a top competitor in the European scene. They peaked in 2018 when they reached the World Championship Finals in South Korea against the Chinese team Invictus Gaming. Even though they haven't managed to achieve the same success in later years, Fnatic has gotten a spot in the LEC playoffs every year since the organization's beginning.
We now see a Fnatic who just got out of the longest losing streak the organization has ever had and now has to prove themselves as a worthy candidate for playoffs. So, let's look at some aspects that can influence Fnatic's chances of making it.
Is All Hope Lost?
No, even though a shared seventh place does sound grim for Fnatic fans so close to the last week before Playoffs, it is essential to look at the standings as a whole. We can then see that there is only a two-win difference between second and seventh place!
What does this mean for Fnatic? On a positive note, they are not far away from achieving a playoff spot. Six teams can make it to Playoffs, and they are only one win away from being in a tied fourth place. It is, however, critical to remember that, because of this closeness, many teams are trying to secure their spot and will fight extra hard to make this work. It also means that every game counts, and there is not a lot of room for mistakes, upon which is a point where Fnatic can definitely improve.
Last Week: Fnatic goes 1-1
In Fnatic's first game last week, Fnatic met the top-standing team in Europe, Mad Lions. Even though the match ended in a loss for Fnatic, Fnatic's jungler Razork mentioned in a breakdown segment from Fnatic's Twitter that he felt like the team has improved despite the loss.
During the talk, Razork said, "I felt like they were one step ahead in the game, but we actually managed to come back and then threw the game ourselves." This statement shows that despite making mistakes, they do have the ability to come back in a game, even against the top-performing team in the LEC.
For the weekend's last game, they got a convincing win against Team BDS. Even though BDS is at the bottom of the standings and a win against them isn't really a compelling argument for making playoffs, getting this win and removing the losing streak is an essential factor in order to help with the team's mental.
Next Week's Challenges: SK and G2
On Friday, Fnatic will meet SK Gaming. SK is a team below Fnatic in the standings and if Fnatic wants to convince everyone that they still are a relevant contender for Playoffs, this is an essential win.
On Saturday, Fnatic will encounter their long-time rival G2 Esports. At this point, G2 is above Fnatic in the standing, but if we compared the two teams' performances last week, we see that, although both teams managed to win against Team BDS, G2 had a way closer game than Fnatic did. Also, the last time they met in week 5, despite what many believed, Fnatic managed to take the win against G2.
Let's look at the G2 Esports and Fnatics' stats throughout the split:
|Gold Difference per Minute|
|Gold Difference at 15 min|
|Win Rate when ahead at 15 min||71,4%||100%|
Considering the meta and looking at the teams' stats, we know that early game will play an essential role in the game. Even though none of the two teams are significantly good in early game, both teams have a high win rate when they do manage to get ahead after fifteen minutes.
For the weekend, it will be exciting to see if Fnatic can beat both SK and G2, or if the team has fallen off after their long losing streak, only taking a win against the team on the bottom of the standings.
Do you think this will be the first year Fnatic doesn't make it to playoffs?