The 2021 LEC Spring Split is finally here which means it’s time to go over a couple of predictions — starting with Fnatic vs. Rogue! Simply put, this is an endlessly alluring clash between some of the best players Europe has to offer. If you’re into top-tier play (and a bit of chaotic skirmishing), then this game will be an absolute must watch!
Barring any unforeseen twist, Fnatic and Rogue are all but guaranteed to reach Top 3. If that does end up happening, they’ll probably finish in second and third place, respectively. Number one, of course, is reserved for G2 Esports — the best and most stacked team ever assembled on European soil. Next to G2, both Fnatic and Rogue pale in comparison, but it’s not like they don’t have anything to offer.
On the contrary! And that is precisely why so many people will tune in with open eyes on Saturday: to see these two top-tier competitors duke it out on the Summoner’s Rift. Both teams want to start 2021 off with a statement win. Fnatic, perhaps above all else, want to prove their doubters wrong (of which there are many); Rogue is pretty much in the same boat, although the community expects a lot less of the boys in blue.
In any case, fireworks are all but guaranteed! So, without any further ado, let’s get down to business!
Fnatic vs. Rogue Predictions
The first thing that needs to be said, and it regards both organizations, is that they’re entering the 2021 season with noticeably different line-ups. And this isn’t just a matter of synergy (although that’s endlessly important as well) but rather of identity. When someone says “Fnatic” the first player that comes to mind is, of course, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. Without the Swedish bottom lane veteran, Fnatic will look nigh unrecognizable. Now, they won’t be underpowered, mind you, but they’ll need to readjust in more ways than one. In-game roles will inevitably change, now that Fnatic has both a different marksman and mid laner — both of which have noticeably different playstyle than their predecessors.
Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer is probably an upgrade over Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek, but the same cannot be said for Elias “Upset” Lipp. The German marksman is good, if not even great at times, but he lacks that clutch factor for which Rekkles is so known for (especially once those playoff Best of 5s come along). But it’s not like Fnatic needs another such superstar — they already have talent and mechanical prowess in spades! After all, they have Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov within their ranks — both of whom are considered second best if not the best players in their respective roles.
They have a superstar carry in the jungle, a flexible top laner who can play weak side (if need be), an engage support who’s half crazy half ingenious, a consistent marksman who won’t make any mistakes (neither in positioning nor in team fights), and a mid laner who can enable the rest of his team by sacrificing his own laning phase.
Frankly, there isn’t anything missing. Whether or not things will pan out still remains to be seen, but the potential is certainly there. Of course, we’re talking about long-term potential here — Fnatic will probably fumble and fail in a myriad of ways over the coming weeks and months until they learn how to play as a five-man unit.
And the same goes for Rogue.
A Race Towards Cohesion
The two changes Rogue made resemble those of Fnatic’s — one makes a whole lot of sense, and the other doesn’t quite compute. By signing former H2K veteran Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, they’ve literally fixed their biggest weakness: top lane. So, on that front, they’ve done incredibly well. Odo is by no means as good as he was back during his heyday, but he’s still more than consistent and dangerous enough to rub shoulders with the best top laners the LEC has to offer.
Promoting Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus, however, isn’t quite as logical. The AGO Rogue support is by no means bad (in fact, he’s pretty darn great), but he’s no Oskar “Vander” Bogdan, a seasoned veteran support who empowered Rogue in all the right ways last year. His consistency and shotcalling were integral in their success, and it’s surprising that they’d let him go that easily.
Vander is one of the few players (and this venerable list includes Odo as well) who’ve persevered over the years despite the ever-changing meta and constant influx of promising rookie talent. Most of Vander’s teammates have faded into obscurity long ago, and yet he’s still at the top of his game, refining and honing his skills to the best of his ability.
Will Rogue be worse off without him? We’ll have to wait and see.
A Clash for the Ages
By the looks of it, Fnatic won’t be able to compete with G2 Esports. Heck, no one will. So, their biggest threat is none other than Rogue and, perhaps, MAD Lions. This was true last year as well, and it’s certainly true today. The only difference — and it might be a big one — is that Fnatic regressed in potential (based on everyone’s preliminary power rankings) whereas Rogue improved.
Predicting the outcome of this match (with confidence, at least) is nigh impossible. It can truly go either way. Fnatic is the better team on paper, but that doesn’t mean all that much at the start of the season. Growing pains (on both sides) and inevitable which means it’ll all boil down to preparation. In reality, this is a 50/50 kind of game, but we’ll side with Fnatic because of their experience and presumed higher skill ceiling. In that sense, they’re the safer (and slightly more logical) bet, but if you’re feeling somewhat adventurous, you might as well go with Rogue (+121) — they definitely have a puncher’s chance!