The fourth week of the 2021 LEC Spring Split is right around the corner which means that a couple of predictions are in order — we’ll focus on Fnatic vs. SK Gaming this time around! Now, on paper, this isn’t exactly the definition of a premier match-up.
Well, that kind of deduction (made in haste) would be as off the mark as possible. This is definitely one of the most interesting match-ups of the day and is an absolute must-watch if you’re into highly competitive, skirmish-heavy League of Legends! As if that wasn’t enough, this is also a fight between the old guard and the “new kids on the block.” We have grizzled veterans on the one side, and a bunch of exceptional prospects and ERL talents on the other. What’s not to like?
Now, let’s not build any unnecessary suspense: Fnatic are favored and there’s a good reason why. Still, SK Gaming are far better than most people give them credit for, and if the boys in black and orange don’t prepare well and put their best foot forward, a seismic upset might be in the cards.
Fnatic vs. SK Gaming Predictions
This SK line-up is endlessly fascinating. It is, without a doubt, the product of intelligent scouting and a capable coaching staff — we’re not talking about five random players from the “little leagues” who were given the opportunity to compete on the biggest of stages.
Instead, it’s all about the fine details and the calculations that play such an integral role in the process of assembling a line-up. Their head coach (and former pro player) Jesse “Jesiz” Le already has a proven track record — he knows how to accomplish a lot with fairly modest means.
A former mid laner who decided to switch to top, a seasoned LEC/Academy LCS support who never really left much of a mark (to say the least), and a bunch of talented prospects from the European Regional Leagues — hardly anything worth writing home about.
And yet despite the odds (and all outward appearances) they’ve been playing at an incredibly high level throughout the first three weeks of the LEC. This is a team without any prior synergy whatsoever and yet you’d never be able to tell based on their performances.
They’re still rough around the edges, and their inexperience does come to the forefront from time to time, but what they lack in veterancy they more than make up for in determination and sheer grit. There’s this trend with LEC rookies, and it’s becoming more and more apparent as the years go on: they want a piece of the spotlight and they’re willing to fight for it right from the very get-go.
They don’t care much for the odds. In fact, they don’t care whatsoever. It’s also irrelevant whether it’s G2 or Fnatic atop the throne.
Such bravado has allowed the likes of Rogue and MAD Lions to shine and prosper beyond belief. They fight for every inch of the Summoner’s Rift and they bring a little extra something whenever they step foot on stage to compete. They play with a chip on their shoulder and they want to maximize the opportunity they’ve been given — and boy is it a treat to behold!
With newer players also comes a somewhat updated view on how the game should be played. This fact alone results in some exceptional League of Legends, especially once the playoffs come around. That’s when these disparate philosophies and in-game strats tend to collide the most, and it’s a load of fun, to say the least.
Temper Your Expectations
SK Gaming will not upset the long-established status quo. That’s pretty much a fact. But they’ll no doubt make waves, and right now, as things stand, they’re the ultimate dark horse. They’re young, hungry, talented, and mechanically gifted. They lack experience, but that’s something that can be offset (at least ever so slightly) by hard work and dedication — and this SK line-up is obviously willing to put in the hours.
According to a couple of post-game interviews, the G2 squad couldn’t really compete on even footing because of an unstable internet connection; whether that’s true or not is less important at this point in time. What is important, however, is that Fnatic are improving at a steady pace and are showing some true signs of greatness — despite not having their former marquee player Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. If their first three weeks of play are anything to go by, Fnatic fans definitely have a reason for optimism.
Betting against the boys in black and orange simply doesn’t make a lot of sense right now. And sure, they’re not particularly consistent, they make unforced errors at the most random moments, and they often throw caution out the window and skirmish like there’s no tomorrow (often to their own detriment), but they’re improving with each passing week and have done more than enough to warrant our benefit of the doubt.
They should, by all means, be able to get the win over SK Gaming. That said, it certainly won’t come easy — especially not if Kristian “TynX” Østergaard performs as well as he can. In any case, an entertaining, skirmish-heavy affair is all but guaranteed!