It was a battle of swings, execution, and just brutal League of Legends, but Fnatic (FNC) and H2K-Gaming (H2K) showed that a consolation match was everything to them.
The battle for third place in the EU League Championship Series was a story of two teams with two sides. Both lineups showed its Jekyll side with perfect game plans, drafts, rotations, and team fight execution in key moments for its respective victories. But, Hyde showed up as well. Whether it was dodgy champion picks, overextended team fights, passive defense, or just awful execution in key skirmishes, both teams made sure that the audience knew they were watching a third place match and not a championship bout.
FNC took the set, 3-2, but it was anything but pretty. The aim was laser-sharp in victories in objective control and team fight engagements, but perhaps the most impressive was the team's denial of H2K's damage-dealers. FNC shut down Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski's champion pool and preference for early game aggression, isolated AD carry Konstantinos "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou-Napoleon in team fights to minimize his damage output, and rotated repeatedly to shut down Yoo "Ryu" Sang-ook. It was perfect play through-and-through and reminiscent of FNC's signature suffocating and balanced style of play. With that, Fnatic took control of the first two games through amazing mid-game control and early rotations from both Noh "Gamsu" Yeong-jin and Lee "Spirit" Da-yoon to represent the team that fans wanted to see.
But, in Fnatic's two lopsided losses, the same issues crept up: weak lanes, indecisiveness, odd champion picks, and inconsistent team-fighting execution. None was more evident than the game three draft of Kassadin and a slower overall plan. The focus went away from a strong rotating, mid-game lineup and, instead, played into H2K's slower pace.
For H2K fans, the team showed occasional dominance in their two victories. It played H2K's style of League with a bulldozing lane phase into an overwhelming objective push. The pace was set by H2K -- Jankos' rotations in the beginning to reinforce Ryu's laning and FORG1VENGRE's dominating presence doing the rest. But, it just came too late. Its counter to the blitzkrieg that FNC brought to the matchup took two games too many and the deciding match was simply another FNC counter and outplay.
Overall, fans were treated to two teams that performed to their peak abilities in victories and fell absolutely flat in losses. It was a perfect representation of both team's splits. For FNC, there was flashes of brilliance, albeit in inconsistent waves. And, for H2K, it was just a lack of adaptability in a timely fashion.