The 2020 LEC Summer Split is entering its final week of the regular split, but one team especially has been struggling to find its usual success and is now in danger of missing the playoffs altogether.
Fnatic has been a dominating organization in Europe ever since the start of League of Legends esports, winning the first World Championship in 2011. Since then, Fnatic has won several domestic titles and achieved solid results on the international stage, but this season might be a different story.
While Fnatic played well in the 2020 LEC Spring Split, where they came in second place after losing the final to G2 Esports, the 2020 LEC Summer Split has not been the same. The solid results in the spring won’t even matter if Fnatic doesn’t make the playoffs, since it’s a requirement to qualify for the 2020 World Championship.
Fnatic is still in a position where they can qualify for playoffs, but with only three games left, they have to stay focused. They are sitting at 7-8 going into week 8, and Misfits, Team Vitality, and Origen are just one game behind them, all eager to get a chance in the playoffs. Even if they secure the fifth or sixth seed, it will be hard for Fnatic since they will have to fight their way through losers’ bracket.
When a legendary organization such as Fnatic struggles in their home region, fans and critics will always start to as hard questions as to why. And it’s difficult to give a direct answer as to why they are having a hard time since it’s most likely a combination of many things.
Fnatic being inconsistent is nothing new. Fnatic started the 2019 LEC Spring Split with an 0-4 record before bouncing back to finish third. This split seems to be different though, because Fnatic has been on an inconsistent pattern in some of the most important weeks of the split.
One of the potential reasons is that the overall competition in the LEC has increased since the last split. We are seeing teams such as MAD Lions and Rogue top the league, while the bottom-tier teams are producing unexpected upsets. No team in the LEC seems to be a free win anymore, which makes every game a challenge even for an experienced roster like Fnatic.
The meta might also have a say, as Fnatic has been struggling to find an identity during the last couple of patches. The team has been experimenting with all sorts of late-game team fight compositions, but the side's coordination has been off. Fnatic also tried to put their star player Martin “Rekkles” Larsson on mage or support champions, but didn't prove to be a solution either.
Fans in the community have speculated that the slide was a result of changes made to the roster and coaching staff entering the new year, even though the spring speaks against this idea. Former coach Michael “Veteran” Archer shot these theories down on social media, saying that the slump is not caused by roster changes but other issues which is not yet identified.
Fnatic will continue their fight for playoffs in week 8 of the 2020 LEC Summer Split, when every team will be playing their final three matches of the split.