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2017 World Championship Group Stage: Fnatic has a miraculous run, joins Longzhu Gaming in Quarterfinals

South Korean champions Longzhu Gaming and European third seed Fnatic from Group B are the first two teams in the Quarterfinals after an exciting Day 1 in Week 2 of the Group Stage.

Both teams were on the opposite side of the table coming into the day. Longzhu Gaming sat on the top of the group with a 3-0 record coming into the week. While Fnatic sat in the bottom of the table with a 0-3 record after a horrible Week 1.

 

Certain things had to happen if the Europeans wanted to contest for the second spot. This included the South Koreans and themselves winning against Immortals and GIGABYTE Marines. But what truly opened the door for Fnatic was the win of GIGABYTE Marines against Immortals to start the day which put them tied at 2-2. If the North Americans, Immortals had won, they would’ve separated themselves from the bottom two with a 3-1 record making it impossible for the Europeans to catch up.

The GIGABYTE Marines surprised Immortals with an Urgot pick for their top laner Minh “Archie” Nhựt Trần. Despite the game starting with Immortals getting early kills, they made missteps throughout the mid to late game to cost them the game.

After a loss to Longzhu Gaming, the Europeans was set to start their battle towards forcing the tiebreakers. And they did just that after they clawed their way back into a fight against Immortals. In the end, it came down to a massive team fight in the bottom at 36 minutes which gave the Europeans the momentum to close out the game shortly after and get their first win of the Group Stage.

The Vietnamese, GIGABYTE Marines weren’t done with their surprises for the day as they decided to bring out Rengar and Zilean against the Koreans, Longzhu Gaming. Playing as aggressive as ever, the Korean top seed found themselves behind in a 10k gold lead from the Vietnamese team. The Koreans started winning team fights at the 30 minute mark and fought their way back into the game. The Elder Drake was the last stand for either teams as the game hit the 47 minute mark and Longzhu took as much as they could and closed out the game. This was the biggest comeback of World Championship history.

Fnatic took care of business against GIGABYTE Marines to get themselves tied with the Vietnamese with a 2-4 record.

The fate of the three teams in Group B was in the hands of two teams, Immortals and Longzhu Gaming. This time around the Koreans was more prepared especially their AD Carry, Kim ”Pray” Jong-in who dealt as high as 1500 damage per minute and dismantled the North Americans. This win completed the undefeated record for the South Korean champions and also forced the tiebreakers.

Fnatic and Immortals faced off yet again with their hopes of continuing their journey to the Knockout Stage. This time around, the Europeans had a trick up their sleeve and it was the Malzahar for their mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther. They used this to get pick after pick and ended the journey of the North Americans.

The GIGABYTE Marines stood between Fnatic and the Quarterfinals. The Vietnamese showed the early pressure that they’ve showed in previous games. This gave them the edge but through the early game. Some crucial picks from the Europeans would put them back in the game but ultimately it was missed Command: Shockwaves from the Vietnamese mid laner Văn “Optimus” Cường Trần that would give Fnatic enough to close out the game and be the first team to make Quarterfinals after a 0-4 record.

Many had counted out Fnatic after their losses in Week 1. But after showing up in Week 2, they made the impossible, possible. They now look to scout the rest of the teams as they await their opponents in the Quarterfinals along with Longzhu Gaming.

 

Photos courtesy of lolesports

 

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