Fnatic secure final EU seed for Worlds

Fnatic celebrate after its victory over H2K in the EU LCS gauntlet. Provided by Riot Games

The Regional Qualifier for the European League of Legends Championship Series came to an end Sunday morning, and the result was no surprise for fans and analysts. Fnatic, the favorite, triumphed over H2K in a quick 3-0 series and secured the final European seed at Worlds 2017.

Unfortunately for H2K, the series was about as one-sided as the game score would indicate. Put simply, Fnatic demolished H2K in Games 1 and 3, and while H2K looked like it might turn the series around in Game 2, a few crucial mistakes ensured that the game too would end up a Fnatic victory. When it came time to push its early game advantages, H2K simply fell short, and its decision to attempt to take Baron with Fnatic's jungler, Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen, alive cost it the game as Fnatic were the ones who walked away from the pit with the Baron buff at no cost. As a result, it was simple for Fnatic to survive its mediocre mid-game and skip directly to the late game, where Martin "Rekkles" Larsson, Fnatic's ADC, and his Sivir practically 1v5-ed H2K with the help of Jesse "Jesiz" Le, his support.

The other two games in the series were far less competitive, as both opened with Fnatic finding extremely early kills in the bottom lane. In fact, the entire series kicked off with Rekkles and Jesiz killing both of their opponents in Game 1 in a 2v2 fight early, which highlighted the skill discrepancy between the two lanes and made the game essentially unwinnable for H2K four minutes in. Game 3 proved no better, as a gank from Broxah punished an early engage from Choi "Chei" Sun-ho, who paid the price for his mistakes in blood, once again setting up Rekkles to win the game nearly on his own.

The player of the series was, as a result, Rekkles. To say that he was the biggest playmaker over the course of the series would almost be an understatement, as the only player to even come close was Broxah with his clutch Baron steal in Game 2. Even then, it was Rekkles' truly masterful play on both Tristana and Sivir that sealed the series for Fnatic. This series made it clear that Rekkles remains the heart and soul of this team, a trait that may soon become a weakness at Worlds, where Fnatic will need to contend with far more formidable competition in the bottom lane.