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LEC Games of The Week: Can Fnatic and Vitality Leave Struggle Street?

29.07.2022, 10:19

Another week, another pair of exciting LEC games to look forward to.

Summer 2022Germany, Berlin, LEC Studio
$206,000Prize Pool
10Teams
MajorTier
Rogue
Winner
G2 Esports
2nd Place
Fnatic
3rd Place

Friday – MAD Lions Vs Fnatic

20:26Finished29.07.2022

Given Fnatic’s recent form, it’s tough to put them in a game of the week article. They need wins and they need them now, but a resurgent MAD Lions is no pushover. Coming off a pretty mediocre spring split, the Lions look like a new team in summer and go into this game as strong favourites.

Historically, you can never truly write Fnatic off, but they have looked out of sorts recently. This particular iteration of the team is really starting to look like one of the weakest the organization has ever put together. Tied for sixth place with just seven games to go is not where anybody wants to be, and Fnatic less than most. It’s not like they’ve just been unlucky, either. Stats paint an ugly picture, with Fnatic being middle of the pack in every area.

It’s hard to point to exactly what has gone wrong with Fnatic, and that also suggests that it’s a difficult problem to fix. They seem to be a team capable of brilliance, but prone to mistakes. One cannot simply say “do X better.” I believe they can figure it out and make it to play-offs, but the fact that I even have to say that shows you how far they have fallen.

Fnatic needs to turn the season around, then, but for MAD Lions it’s a matter of continuing what they have started. They already beat Fnatic once this season and seem like clear favourites to do so again. They are looking better in every lane, individually, but they’re also much more of a coherent team nowadays. It’s hard to be more specific because MAD Lions just look so much better than Fnatic right now. Indeed, I only picked this as a game of the week because of the names attached – and the fact that I didn’t want three double-headers in a row. It would be a considerable upset if Fnatic were to win this game; the safe money is on MAD Lions.

Saturday – Vitality Vs G2

18:50Finished30.07.2022

This one, on the other hand, has big names and evenly matched teams. The stories here are all well enough known by now that I don’t need to repeat them in too much detail. So-called super team, Perkz vs Caps, et cetera. It’s still an exciting prospect, though, and the fact that both teams have been underperforming makes it all the more fascinating. G2 are always good for one or two clown fiestas a season, and Vitality’s inability to mesh as a unit lends itself to that, too. Things could get messy.

G2 are coming into this game off their first 2-0 weekend since the start of the season, though, and it’s possible that they have finally gotten over the post-MSI funk. Beating Rogue certainly suggests that they could be back to close to their best, and Astralis are no pushovers either. It was a statement from G2. While their early-MSI form may still elude them for the time being, last weekend looked like a big step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, Vitality’s match history continues to look like red and green stripy wallpaper, with yet another 1-1 weekend for them. They also continued to win against teams lower in the table and lose to teams higher. One of those trends has to end this weekend, since they play two teams above them. I suspect it will be the 1-1 trend. Both of their opponents are coming back into a rich vein of form and G2 in particular seems like a tough ask for the unconvincing Vitality squad.

My approach to predicting Vitality fixtures has become quite straightforward, at least. If they are playing a team above them in the standings, bet against them. If they are playing a lower-ranked team, bet on them. That certainly goes for G2, who put the league leaders to the sword last weekend. I honestly think G2 are back to their best, or at least close enough as makes no difference. Either way, this looks like another G2 win to me. They have the form, they have the stats and they have the stronger coordination.

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