G2 Esports sits alone at the top of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) following big wins against Origen and Vitality in Week 2. Fnatic, Origen, and Rogue are all tied for second place after mixed results in the second week of action.
Let’s take a look at some of the most significant moments from Week 2 of the LEC.
Fnatic defeats Schalke 04
Fnatic vs. Schalke 04 was one of the most anticipated matchups of the week, with Konstantinos-Napoleon “Forg1ven” Tzortiou up against Martin “Rekkles” Larsson.
Rekkles and Forg1ven are arguably the best ADC’s Europe has produced, so seeing them face-off is always going to be something to watch. Forg1ven has come back into the LEC with a lot of expectations on him — after previously being regarded as one of the best in the position.
The last time he faced Rekkles was in 2016, and his age showed in Week 1 where he picked some ‘older’ picks instead of the current meta picks. You could argue he had quite a shaky start with Shalke finishing the first week of the Spring Split 0-2, but with a KDA of 7/6/9 you cannot put it down to Forg1ven. His mechanics aren’t all there, his positioning had been questionable at times, but he still holds promise especially with the incredible reactions we have seen. Once Schalke 04 have had time to iron out any creases, they can jump onto Forg1ven’s back. Forg1ven can, and will, shine. Especially once those cobwebs have been shaken off.
We talk about Forg1ven’s old picks in Xayah and Varus, and then Shalke 04 first pick Senna for him against Fnatic, blowing that conversation out the water. Sett was also picked up by Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau, with Aatrox picked into it which had done well in the matchup earlier in the day. With Tim “Nemesis” Lipovsek on Cassiopeia, Shalke’s answer of Jarvan IV and Leblanc was a strong response, but this is Nemesis’ Cassiopeia.
The game started with a pause, soon followed by a level 3 gank bot from Fnatic. Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabrov’s Thresh was clean, a lantern to Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek’s Gragas ended in a kill onto Minkook “Dreams” Han’s Braum. Selfmade then walked to the river to get the Scuttle Crab, but Hylissang wasn’t finished. Just half a minute after the kill on Dreams, who was still walking to lane, a Flash Flay onto Forg1ven gave Fnatic, and Rekkles, their second kill of the game, with Selfmade walking over wards to help secure it. We can praise Hylissang for the play, but Forg1ven should not have stuck around in what was basically a 1v3. This is one of those mistakes he needs to clean up.
Schalke seemed a bit slow on the tempo, getting Rift Herald but saving it rather than dropping it before Fnatic could respond. When it was eventually dropped, none of Shalke were nearby to earn the gold from the Turret Plates being destroyed. Even when Schalke was being proactive, Fnatic was reading it and predicting it. A play from Jarvan IV and Leblanc onto Nemesis ended with the entirety of Fnatic around the midlane, and another kill going over. By 6 minutes Rekkles was 2/0/2 on Miss Fortune, with a steady 2k gold lead over Forg1ven.
Fnatic closed the game within 22 minutes, with 14 kills and just one death. The hype matchup did not quite live up to the hype.
Origen defeats Rogue
The first game of Friday saw these undefeated teams clash. Origen continued their trend of drafting scaling, ranged comps and aiming for 30-minute team fights. Meanwhile Rogue blind picked Sett for Finn “Finn” Wiestål. As mentioned earlier, Barney “Alphari” Morris’ answer was Aatrox, whilst Elias “Upset” Lipp and Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm swapped Tristana and Syndra between each other, finally settling on taking the mage and Nautilus into the bot lane whilst Nukeduck took the Yordle into Emil “Larssen” Larsson’s Azir in the mid lane.
Although Kacper “Inspired” Sloma initiated a split map having invaded Origen’s Blue Buff, isolating the Sett vs Aatrox lane, Alphari continued his Week 1’s premier performance, solo killing Finn and freezing the lane, meaning that he had complete control and starved Finn of farm and experience. Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir, on the other hand, was where he needed to be, right place, right time. In his first 10 minutes, he ganked 3 times, giving Origen three kills and a 4-0 lead.
Although Origen was ahead, it didn’t feel it for a lot of the game. Team fights kept seeming to go Rogue’s way, even if Origen got the dragon, Rogue would walk away with a kill and Origen just seemed scared. And then there was a Baron fight; following from a huge flank from Alphari, Origen turned for Baron with Rogue giving Origen a couple of kills as they tried to contest, and another kill as Origen walked to the dragon, and then they finished the game.
Baron goes down at 34:25, Nexus goes down at 35:35 with Origen leading the kills 13-4, and Nukeduck and Upset still deathless in the 2020 Season.
G2 defeats Origen
The match of the week saw the deathless run of Origen’s midlaner and botlaner ended in Saturday’s game against G2.
The Casters mentioned that when you say something negative about G2 and their players, they take it personally. So when we’ve been putting Origen in the limelight and saying they could be on the same level as G2, they sought to prove everyone wrong and show that nobody is on their level. The second Soroka pick of the week for Martin “Wunder” Hansen, and Luca “Perkz” Perković back onto Leblanc. We know that G2 can be a little carefree and arrogant, they know they are the best in Europe, and this has either lead to mistakes and them falling behind in the early game or snowballing out of control. This game was different, whether they were taking it more seriously and were, therefore, more reserved, or Origen was just a match for them. This was a clean, calculated game of League of Legends.
Origen was fighting, the Soroka healing being the only reason Wunder didn’t die to Alphari a couple of times. Xerxe was proactive, and Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw kept trying to make things happen on his Rakan. The Soroka just genuinely turned into a huge issue, the Wish keeping everyone alive, whilst the silence from Eqionox simply stopping Origen in their tracks, halting engages and just generally being frustrating for the likes of Nukeduck on his Sylas.
Nukeduck’s first death of the Season was just under 16 minutes into the game, after a fight over Rift Herald, whilst Upset was later hunted down, taking down Wunder whilst Perkz tried to end the deathless run. But Upset turned it around for the double kill before finally being slain by Rasmus “Caps” Winther’s Senna. He tried to turn the 2v1 and takedown Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle’s Thresh before Caps arrived, but was cut down for the first time, 18:40 into the fourth game of the Season.
In general, this felt like G2’s game, but Origen made sure it was close. 20 minutes into the game it was 9-3 in kills favoring G2, but Origen continued to fight, diving the tower bot to grab another couple of kills. Even with their lead, G2 just couldn’t get Baron. Sure G2 would win the fight and get some kills from it, but one fight didn’t go their way. G2 kept going for these Baron baits, with Perkz’s Leblanc on the flank looking for kills. It worked once, so G2 go for a rinse and repeat, turning back for Baron whilst Nukeduck was dead. This time, it didn’t go so well. Perkz was caught, and the rest of G2 peeled off of Baron to fight the 4v4, but this ended in three kills going to Origen as well as the Baron. But not even this was enough, the Leblanc was fed and G2 got the Infernal Dragon Soul.
In classic G2 fashion, the game had exploded. 20 minutes into the game and it was 9-5 in kills and relatively close, 15 minutes later and it’s 21-9, with a 9/2/9 Leblanc and 6/1/13 Senna for G2. This was truly a great game to watch, I would thoroughly recommend finding the VOD for it.
Fnatic defeats SK Gaming
This is another game with a bit of history. SK Gaming vs Fnatic, with Selfmade facing his old team. Bwipo picked up his signature Rengar, whilst Nemesis took Ornn mid. Rekkles’ Alphelios was banned again, probably a trend we’ll see continue, putting him down to Senna against Jus “Crownshot” Marusic’s Miss Fortune and Dino “Limit” Tot’s Braum.
Bwipo did his thing, solo killing the Gangplank within the first five minutes of the game, and SK Gaming responded by sending 2 mid to help Janik “Jenax” Bartels and get a kill on Nemesis.
I think this was one of those Hylissang games, he engaged bot and Kangyun “Trick” Kim was there to turn it on him. He went to help Nemesis mid and completely missed the Dredge Line onto Jenax. He was maybe trying to predict a flash, but he then took some unneeded turret shots and barely escaped with his life as Trick came in on a Taliyah wall.
This also put Rekkles behind, 11 minutes into the game and the Fnatic Marksman is down on CS, and SK Gaming had dropped the Rift Herald bot to which Fnatic didn’t respond, giving 2 towers to SK Gaming and the associated Turret Plating gold to the botlane.
I may criticize Hylissang for some mistakes and missteps, but he makes up for it 13 and a half minutes into the game. Fnatic are split, with SK chasing Hylissang and Nemesis. The Fnatic support decides to turn it, Dredge Lining Trick under the midlane tower, and the rest of Fnatic collapses, giving Hylissang a double kill and another kill going to Selfmade.
Nineteen minutes into the game and not much had moved until Hylissang got a huge engage. But it’s a shame Rengar is useless at this point, and SK gets out with a kill onto the cat without losing any of their own. With the numbers advantage, they turn for the dragon, but Bwipo is able to teleport into a bush behind them, with SK caught between Rekkles and Hylissang, Selfmade and Bwipo, with Nemesis in the middle of it all. Unfortunately, Fnatic found themselves in a corridor around the tri-brush against a Miss Fortune ultimate. They did a lot of damage and got a kill onto Jenax, but they had to back out of the Bullet Time that was raining onto them, until Selfmade’s Elise Flashes over a wall and cocoons Trick’s Taliyah, sinking the spidery fangs into the man who had replaced him, with his friend Nemesis coming over the wall to finish off the kill as Bwipo picks up another, whilst Rekkles throws out the Last Embrace onto Toni “Sacre” Sabalić’s Gangplank to give Fnatic their fourth kill of the fight.
It felt like that would seal the deal, and it was Fnatic’s game. But Bwipo bit off more than he could chew. He nearly kills Sacre in a 1v1, but with Trick’s arrival, it takes Nemesis’ Ornn horn to finish it off. Nemesis and Bwipo then find themselves in a sticky situation when the rest of SK Gaming show up, killing Bwipo as they try to escape.
Twenty-five minutes into the game, we see another magnificent engage from Hylissang, but Sacre Grand Starfall-ing into the fight cut off Fnatic’s backline. Whilst Nemesis dived in and held off four of SK’s players, Fnatic was failing to kill the Pantheon. After killing the Ornn, SK press on, chasing Fnatic down the lane with a numbers advantage. Hylissang tried to turn it again, Limit had slightly overstepped so a Dredge Line should have got a kill and let the Nautilus escape, but it didn’t, as Hylissang falls with Bwipo following.
SK Gaming turned to Baron, but the 3 surviving Fnatic players contest it. Nemesis Flashes into the pit, finding a knock-up and using Bellowing Breath, he gives Rekkles a double kill; and with Trick and Crownshot stuck in the Baron pit it was a triple for Rekkles, Selfmade picking up the fourth kill to steal the quadra kill. SK Gaming had handed over Baron with a quarter of its health left, an easy pick up for Fnatic. Along with Infernal Dragon Soul, Fnatic push in. Diving bot for 3 kills and finishing the game.
SK Gaming showed a strong early game, but Fnatic was able to exploit mistakes and find ways back into the game, showing promise for both these teams. Fnatic again showed a quick game time, finishing the game in under 30 minutes with 18 kills and 8 deaths, and Rekkles and Selfmade having perfect KDA’s, 7/0/10 and 3/0/10 respectively.
The game of the week will surely be G2 vs. Fnatic on Saturday, February 8. This will be a game you won’t want to miss.
We also see G2 face Rogue on Friday, another second-place fighting the currently undefeated team. This week will also be filled with lower teams facing off against each other, so we should start to see the weak teams separated from the middle teams.
Alistar is an English and Linguistics graduate, and he's been playing video games for as long as he can remember. He started playing League of Legends in 2011, and has been obsessed since. Hopefully that passion turns into knowledge, which can fuel his writing.