Picks and Bans – Lulu makes it through and FNC pick her first. CLG respond with Kalista/Gragas, also very standard. FNC go back to Jhin/Thresh, and have even more ways to keep Jhin alive. CLG do what I thought they should have last game with Alistar/Corki for a lot of poke. They are building a teamfight comp, but they look like they want to do a fair bit of teamfighting anyway, and Corki’s midgame spike is very real. FNC finish with Lee Sin and Rammus – Like the Rammus but not sure about Lee Sin. CLG go back to Vlad to give them split push pressure and this time have a couple tanks of their own.
Early Game – Strange early game from CLG – they start Darshan and Xmithie away from the duo lane which swapped top. Gamsu can freeze the lane and pick up a lot of CS. But instead FNC swap back and complete cede tempo. A nice dive by CLG at 19:00 gets first blood for Stixxay. Gamsu burns TP to get down there but can’t accomplish anything – he should have been content catching a wave coming towards him and playing the TP advantage. If he wanted to TP to save his ADC, he should have done so earlier. FNC find themselves behind again in the early game AGAIN.
Stixxay gets another kill at 21:40, and here we are again: CLG are winning every lane, and as long as they avoid bad teamfights against Rammus and Lulu, should win this game. And just as I thought that they transition to Dragon at 22:50, Huhi gets zoned by Spirit and with Dragon doing a lot of damage, FNC pick up 3 kills. This early, you have to be extremely careful around Dragon without sufficient vision, even with a man down for FNC.
The next couple minutes were, again, better rotations from CLG to even the kills, get a Rift Herald, and take a Dragon. The problem for CLG is that Gamsu rushed a banner and getting that on the cannon minion means Vlad cannot clear it. FNC basically stop Darshan’s split push with one item. A catch on Darshan means a dead turret for FNC and the game slows down - a plus for FNC. CLG finally make a rotation, get the side waves pushing, and play the 4-1 for two mid turrets. They grab the Dragon on the way out. FNC are not communicating well and Gamsu's TPs was misplayed.
37:50 – Good concept for a FNC play to dive Darshan behind the bot lane turret but CLG are there very quickly and Spirit is dead almost immediately. CLG chase and pick up a wild 4 for 2 - without Kalista. The whole time, Stixxay is pushing mid and CLG are out-rotating FNC yet again. Still, I like the idea for FNC to flank CLG and punish the aggressive positioning in long lanes. Darshan is going to be stuck by himself for a long time as long as the banner is up on the cannon - FNC will have more shots at this.
41:00 – This play starts because FNC have matched the CLG rotation early and occupied Darshan with the banner minion. Gamsu TPs behind the team and even though Spirit dies early, CLG have burned a lot of cooldowns and don’t have all 5 members as Darshan does not match TP. The fight is disjointed from CLG – Xmithie is caught in the box while Stixxay is forced to retreat, and yet they don’t disengage. Staying around allows Rekkles to pop his ult and snipe Stixxay right as Darshan finally TPs, very late. He should cancel immediately, doesn’t, and CLG are Aced. Fantastic fight from Fnatic – CLG weren’t able to touch Febiven or Rekless and that was the difference in the fight. This is how you punish CLG for their hubris.
That’s a free Baron for FNC and a free push all the way down mid for the inhibitor. CLG try to punish FNC for overstaying, but instead of going in together for chain CC, die one by one. They are Aced again for the FNC win. I’m shocked. CLG turned one bad teamfight into a disaster by falling apart at the inhibitor defense. The looked completely unable to deal with Jhin, which will certainly be a problem when they go back to NA. Possibly even more problematic – if you can just rush a Banner of Command and stop the split push, it’s going to take a lot out of their strategy. It’s surprising that out of the two NA teams that came to Katowice, it’s TSM that improved their communication and coordination and made it out of groups. I agree with Monte – FNC didn’t necessarily play well, but found the right fights when CLG didn’t react. They made good calls with the flanks and executed the late game fights well. I'm a bit shocked that FNC made it all the way from down 0-1 and two Barons in Game 2 to CLG to the finals against SKT.