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Worlds: Fnatic defeats Gigabyte and Immortals in exhausting tie-breakers

LoL Michael “Zechs_” Radford

Fnatic went 0-3 in week one of Worlds, but today's results meant they had a second chance via tie-breakers. They grabbed that chance with both hands.

Going into the tie-breakers, momentum seemed to be with Fnatic who were 2-1 for the day. Xmithie’s level two Ezreal gank took down first blood in the top lane, however, and then went bottom to force a flash. Broxah, not to be outdone, went top with Caps’ Malzahar to even up the kills and trade one-for-one in towers. Fnatic then opened up a 1k lead with another tower kill, followed by a pick-off onto Pobelter’s Ryze and a free infernal drake. Another couple of picks for Fnatic led to a baron buff and the first noteworthy advantage in the match. Multiple towers went down, as did an inhibitor as the purple buff wound down, and the aftermath was a near-8k lead for the Europeans. Immortals made their final stand at their middle inhibitor but Fnatic was too far ahead. Immortals crumbled in a sub-30 minute game, as did their quarter-final dreams.

Gigabyte Marines were waiting for Fnatic, but the ultimate cheese strategy was apparently to pick a completely standard composition. Archie went top by himself as Maokai and Rekkles’ Sivir was the closest thing to a weird pick. Levi’s Sejuani brought a whole new kind of cheese to the top lane, however. His Sejuani picked up first blood and then stayed in the tri brush, waiting for Soaz to teleport, only to kill him a second time. The gold lead was minimal, though, as Levi skipped a lot of farming and Rekkles was doubling Noway’s CS in the bottom lane. The pressure from Sivir led to first tower gold for Fnatic and a complete reversal of Gigabyte’s early lead.

Fnatic was slowly pulling away with the game, despite having zero kills. They were happy to trade a third turret for Gigabyte’s third kill, and eventually got a kill of their own on the board, as well as a second mountain drake. The Vietnamese team clawed back some of the gold deficit by taking down a couple of towers and grabbing more kills, reducing Fnatic’s advantage to nearly nothing. Just as Gigabyte looked to be turning the tables, though, they were caught out by a flank and conceded three kills and a baron. A 5k power play put Fnatic in the driving seat and they traded an infernal drake for a second baron but they were unable to take down another inhibitor.

Another team fight went decidedly in Fnatic’s favour, but things got crazy from there. Broxah took down two inhibitors, but was unable to finish. Levi bought a lot of time with his Warmogs and Gigabyte was able to take down the elder drake. Fnatic collapsed in the river and took down the remaining players. Gigabyte respawn timers were immense at this stage of the game and the nexus died before they could ever get two players up to defend. From a 0-4 start in the group, Fnatic had made it to the knockout stage.

Michael “Zechs_” Radford

Michael "Zechs" Radford is an esports veteran and has been writing about professional gaming for longer than he cares to remember. He currently lives in Leeds and is hoping his upcoming offspring will be talented enough to play esports professionally rather than just write about other people doing it.

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