In the biggest matchup between EU and NA ever on a League of Legends stage, Fnatic and Cloud9 squared off in the Worlds 2018 semifinals, looking to keep their tournament dreams alive. Here is a recap of how Fnatic punched their tickets to the finals.
Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau – Top Viktor
Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen – Jungle Lee Sin
Rasmus “Caps” Winther – Mid LeBlanc
Martin “Rekkles” Larsson – Bot Sivir
Zdravets Iliev “Hylissang” Galabov – Support Rakan
Eric “Licorice” Ritchie – Top Ekko
Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen – Jungle Xin Zhao
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen – Mid Lissandra
Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi – Bot Tristana
Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam – Support Braum
It didn’t take long for the action to start in this semifinal matchup. Despite Cloud9 having the early priority in their solo lanes, it was Fnatic that attempted the first gank.
"ME BROXAH, ME SMASH!"
In the mid lane, Caps Flashed forward onto Jensen to land his Ethereal Chains, which Broxah then followed up on to secure first blood for his side.
Cloud9 attempted to respond a few minutes later with a gank in the top lane, but it went horribly wrong for them.
After forcing Flash out of Bwipo, Svenskeren continued to chase him even after he was under turret. Unfortunately for Svenskeren, he would not survive the turret aggro and gifted a kill to the Fnatic top laner.
Meanwhile, Broxah and Caps were executing a counter-gank onto Licorice. Caps once again landed the root from his Ethereal Chains and Broxah was able to dash forward for yet another kill.
At 15 minutes, Fnatic were ahead 10 kills to one and held a 6k gold lead. Although Cloud9 has shown the ability to comeback from large deficits in the past, they would not be able to do so in this game.
Fnatic was able to move around the map and take objectives at will, including a 20-minute Baron. The end of the Baron buff saw Fnatic with a 15k gold lead, and just a short minute later they would destroy the Cloud9 Nexus, claiming game one of the series.
Bwipo – Top Jayce
Broxah – Jungle Xin Zhao
Caps – Mid Azir
Rekkles – Bot Sivir
Hylissang – Support Rakan
Licorice – Top Aatrox
Svenskeren – Jungle Graves
Jensen – Mid Lissandra
Sneaky – Bot Viktor
Zeyzal – Support Leona
Unlike game one, the early game of game two was remarkably quiet. First blood would not come until the twelfth minute when Hylissang was caught out in his bot jungle clearing a ward.
However, Fnatic were able to claim first turret gold for themselves. With the rest of his team skirmishing with Cloud9 in the mid lane, Rekkles was able to take down the bot lane turret and free himself from a difficult laning phase.
The two teams traded turrets and fought over Baron vision throughout the mid game, until an explosive fight around the mid lane at the 26:30 mark.
Bwipo charged forward onto the isolated Cloud9 bot duo and was able to take out Sneaky, but then the rest of the North Americans showed up. Three of them hard-committed to chasing down Bwipo, however, this left Licorice to his own devices against the rest of Fnatic.
With Sneaky and Licorice dead, Fnatic then turned to the Baron. The remaining Cloud9 members moved forward to contest, but were in reality walking to their deaths. Fnatic easily killed them and then took the Baron.
The end of the power play saw Fnatic with a 6k gold lead and total control over the map. In the final team fight of the game, Caps came away with a quadra kill, putting an exclamation point on the Fnatic victory and 2-0 series lead.
Bwipo – Top Viktor
Broxah – Jungle Rek’Sai
Caps – Mid Aatrox
Rekkles – Bot Xayah
Hylissang – Support Rakan
Licorice – Top Ekko
Svenskeren – Jungle Xin Zhao
Jensen – Mid Lissandra
Sneaky – Bot Lucian
Zeyzal – Support Braum
Fnatic were able to claim an early advantage in this game with first blood at four minutes in the bot lane.
Sneaky mistakenly walked into the Bladecaller stun of Rekkles and was quickly bursted down then finished off by the Ignite of Hylissang.
Fnatic once again built up a lead for themselves throughout the early game, but Cloud9 were able to turn the tide in their favor with a counter-engage in the mid lane that netted them kills onto Broxah and Hylissang.
Unfortunately, that was the closest Cloud9 came to winning the game.
In the 24th minute, with both Baron and an Infernal Drake on the map, the teams grouped around the bot side river. Fnatic were able to get a kill before the fight even started onto the split-pushing Licorice and then turned their attention to the rest of Cloud9.
The crowd control out of Bwipo, Broxah and Hylissang locked down the North Americans, rendering them helpless as Rekkles threw free damage into them. Only Sneaky would escape with his life and Fnatic then took an uncontested Baron and Infernal Drake.
The Europeans were able to take a 4k gold lead at the conclusion of the buff, but the game was still balancing on a knife’s edge.
At 31 minutes, Fnatic started up the next Baron and were able to take it at the expense of Bwipo and Hylissang who kept Cloud9 out of the pit.
With a numbers advantage, Cloud9 then chased down Fnatic, but Broxah would not allow his team to go down quietly. In the resulting team fight, the Fnatic jungler came away with a triple kill, ensuring that the Baron buff would stay on himself and Rekkles.
As the power play came to a close, Fnatic pushed onto the Cloud9 Nexus and got themselves one last ace before closing out the game. Finally, with their 3-0 sweep, the Europeans will now take on Invictus Gaming in the final to determine the best team in the world.
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