Christian V. October 17, 2020
Fnatic fell short against Top Esports at the 2020 League of Legends Worlds Championship in the first reverse sweep in Worlds history.
The battle between the Chinese champions and one of the most legendary European organizations unfolded at the Worlds quarterfinals, but with a big edge to the tournament favorites, Top Esports.
Both teams impressed during the group stage, but Fnatic still had a lot to prove if they wanted to go toe-to-toe with mid laner Zhuo “Knight” Ding and the rest of his crew.
Fnatic started out the quarterfinals showing no fear, picking Singed for top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau. It’s a very rare pick in professional games, but something Bwipo is known to pull out from time to time. For this game, he just had to stand his ground up top. Meanwhile, Fnatic put all focus towards the bot lane which did pay off with several kills.
Going even in lane with Top Esports was already a good sign for Fnatic, but Fnatic was not done. The Europeans kept taking good fights, outperforming Top Esports in them. Knight didn’t get to carry on his Zoe, while bot laner Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-bo got shut down. Fnatic took the first nexus in the series, proving that they came to play.
Top Esports got the early-game lead that they needed in game two, but Fnatic kept running over them in fights, simply playing better overall. Fnatic was against all odds up 2-0 in the series, one step away from taking down one of the biggest tournament favorites.
Top Esports managed to punch back in game three, where jungler Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan finally got the ball rolling. His Lee Sin worked out much better for him and managed to get his whole team ahead. Fnatic still had a few more match points, so Top Esports had to stay focused for two more games.
With Top Esports finding some confidence in games three and four, the series got intense and ended up being decided in game five. Fnatic had the chance to close out the series, but Top Esports kept punishing and finding the advantages they needed. The game five was therefore very intense with a lot on the line for both squads. But Top Esports got the best of Fnatic through world-class skirmishes.
Fnatic needed the last edge to make a deep run at Worlds 2020
Fnatic put up a much bigger fight against Top Esports than most would have expected but didn’t have the last push that it took to win. The first two games were fantastic by Fnatic, managing to shut down the bot lane through many ganks from Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek.
Everyone on the team performed at a high level, before Top Esports started to answer back. Top Esports figured out Fnatic’s strategy and started to punish them for overaggression. Karsa also woke up in the jungle and didn’t let Selfmade run him over as he did in the first two games.
Despite being knocked out in a reverse sweep, Fnatic can look back at their performance and be proud of it. The Europeans got the arguably hardest opponent in the quarterfinals and almost managed to deliver the upset. Their play in the group stage was also stellar but needed the last edge against Gen.G.
Even though Fnatic didn’t earn a spot in the semifinals this time around, they did prove themselves as a strong team yet again. Selfmade had a great showing at his first international event, while support Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov made a statement that he is still a top-tier support.
Top Esports is learning the 2020 Worlds meta
Top Esports has had some shaky games so far at Worlds but managed to show against Fnatic how hard they are to beat in a best-of-five series. Even after going down 0-2, they continued to play with confidence and adapt from game to game.
The bot lane of Top Esports was the biggest problem throughout the first two games in the quarterfinals, but JackeyLove and support Liang “yuyanjia” Jia-Yuan managed to withstand the pressure while Karsa found the rhythm on Nidalee and Lee Sin.
Fixing those problems made Top Esports a much scarier team. For the first time in the quarterfinals, they looked like a tournament favorite. Top Esports had some of the same problems in their loss against FlyQuest and continue to be punishable in some aspects of the game.
Going into the semifinals against Suning, Top Esports will most likely be a bit more comfortable since they have played against Suning many times. With that said, Suning is currently on fire, meaning Top Esports will have to show up individually to avoid a loss. Top Esports has proven that they are adapting to the meta though, which will make it very hard for Suning.
While Fnatic is out of Worlds contention, Top Esports will move on to face Suning in the semifinals in another LPL brawl on October 25.