After a tumultuous split full of highs and lows, the EU LCS Finals are finally here. It’s the perennial favorites vs the newcomers as Schalke takes on Fnatic.
This summer has been deemed the ‘year of the duck’ as Nukeduck shined early for Schalke. But lately, it’s been all about Upset. Schalke have faltered on occasion, but they’ve also looked like the best team in Europe at times and that’s often thanks to the incredible play of Upset.
Over the course of the season, Schalke have beat all of the league’s top teams, all of them except Fnatic.
Fnatic has had Schalke’s number all split. They beat them in week one with Rekkles at the helm and again in week six when Bwipo when 5/0/7 in the bot lane on Viktor. That same game saw Nukeduck’s worst performance of the season as he put up a 0/5/1 scoreline on Yasuo. Caps and Broxah targeted him early, getting off ganks under turret and turning his life into an inescapable hell.
Schalke and Fnatic in the EU LCS Summer Finals
It’s been nearly two months since the teams last met though and things have changed quite a bit. In week six, Rekkles was still benched and the meta was a different beast entirely. Upset hadn’t broken out of his shell yet and Amazing and Vizicsacsi were just getting by. Since then, Schalke when on a massive winning streak, nearly all of their players have stepped their game up to another level, and Fnatic are trying to figure out what to do with six highly skilled players and only five starting spots.
But one thing hasn’t change, and his name is Caps. Throughout summer caps has been the best player in Europe. He’s popped off on everyone from Kai’Sa to Vayne and Fnatic wouldn’t be where they are now without him. If Schalke want any hope at winning, they’ll have to shut him down first.
Minus Caps, the Fnatic vs Schalke match is almost dead even. But with him, Fnatic are heavy favorites. Amazing and Nukeduck need to find some way of keeping him under control and it’s probably not going to happen through the draft. Nukeduck and Caps are easily the two most versatile mid laners in Europe and neither is likely to let champion select be their downfall.
The other key to victory for Schalke is their bot lane. That’s the only place where Schalke might be able to squeeze out an advantage large enough to snowball the game. But to do that, Upset and Vander will have to go through Hylissang and Rekkles first.
One thing is clear, Schalke have an uphill battle if they want to claim the title of best team in EU.