Facing the team that stopped its journey in the Spring Split playoffs, Vitality were looking to take revenge. With the recent draw vs. Splyce also still on their minds, the Vitality squad wanted to prove themselves even more. Fnatic, with YellowStar back from his NA tryst, weren’t looking to give out any points, however.
The picks and bans for game 1 didn’t provide us with many surprises. Vitality banned out the usual suspects Vladimir and Kindred, also taking a potshot against Ekko, having no desire to almost certainly have to face it in top lane. Fnatic got rid of the usual Nidalee and Trundle, while also taking away Ryze. Vitality picked Maokai Top, Graves Jungle, Lissandra Mid, and the Ezreal/Karma bot lane, which worked out so well against Splyce. Fnatic surprised their opponents with Majinn Buu himself, Zac Top with a pink chroma skin, Lee Sin Jungle, Azir Mid, Lucian ADC which didn’t surprise anyone at all, and The Great Moustache, Braum Support.
The Ezreal + Karma botlane is very strong against short-ranged enemies, which was perfect vs. Lucian + Braum. In dynamic queue, Lucian would just push Ezreal to the tower, hopefully denying creeps and taking pot shots with Q, protected from return damage by Braum’s moustache and E. This doesn’t really work the same in competitive, because it’s more organized. Mindless pushing is often punished by the enemy team. This works to Ezreal’s advantage, making it less weak against Lucian. Left alone, Lissandra wins against Azir almost 50 percent of the time, however, with some decent camping by Graves, it has an easier time of getting ganks to succeed, when compared to Azir + Lee Sin because of Liss ult and W. Once cc’ed, Azir is a sitting duck for Lissandra and Graves’ burst.
In theory, Vitality’s lineup should have had a stronger early game. The biggest issue was to figure out if they would actually be able to get the lead and keep it. As it turns out, they did. Getting an advantage in the early game, Vitality managed to hold on to it in later stages of the match. Their advantage didn’t reach astronomical levels, however, they did use it to methodically close out the game against Fnatic.
After falling to Vitality’s team comp, Fnatic took appropriate steps against the champions that won VIT two games in a row over the first week of EULCS. Before the second game of the series, FNC banned Lissandra, Maokai, and Karma, to take out the sails out of the scary comp. This is the beauty of best-of series. Teams can ban out the comp played by their opponents, asking “Got more?”. Compared to Fnatics aggressive bans, VIT got rid of Ryze, Ekko, and Vladimir, targeting OP champions instead of trying to disrupt Fnatic’s strategy.
With the bans in mind, teams ended up with Gragas Top, Nidalee Jungle, Zed Mid, Kalista (what a surprise, Rekkles on Kalista!) ADC, and Braum Support for Fnatic and Trundle Top, Kindred Jungle, LeBlanc Mid, Lucian ADC, and Thresh Support for VIT. With no Karma, YellowStar felt safe picking his Moustache Lord as first pick. Vitality took Lucian and Kindred, which left Nidalee open for Spirit and Kalista for Rekkles. Giving the spear mistress to Spirit might have turned out to be a big mistake, because the Fnatic Jungler is VERY comfortable on it. On their rotation, VIT went for LeBlanc and Thresh, while Fnatic got Zed and Gragas. Cabochard elected to play Trundle into Gragas.
Looking at the comps, the game promised to be much shorter than the one played before, because bot Zed, Leblanc, Kalista, and Lucian fall off in very late game teamfights. They are best in early and mid game, meaning that the outcome should have been decided at that time. As it turns out, this is precisely what happened, because Fnatic won before the 26th minute mark, with Febiven and Spirit having the most kills, as well as the over best KDAs.
It looks as if the Maokai, Lissandra, Ezreal, Karma comp is the one which is the most comfortable for the Vitality lineup. The team looks worse when it plays something else, so that is something to work on for the next week of LCS matches.