Fnatic vs Astralis
To close out the day, we have a somewhat peculiar clash between Fnatic and Astralis. Now, granted, this is by no means a historic match-up between two seemingly equal titans, but instead a fairly one-sided beatdown in the making. Still, for those who are partial to the former "Kings of Europe," this'll undoubtedly be an interesting match — a chance for the boys in black and orange to rebound after a severely flawed performance against MAD Lions.
Simply put, Fnatic are both hot and cold right now. When they set things up well, when they put their best foot forward, they're one of the most dangerous teams in the region. Heck, how could they be anything less with so many experienced veterans under their banner? On paper, this is the second most stacked line-up in Europe, and they've shown more than just a couple of flashes of brilliance over the last two weeks. The problem, however, is that these exceptional moments come in infrequent, hesitant bursts. They're inconsistent and cannot be counted upon which, to be fair, is quite problematic at this level of play. Fortunately, Fnatic has more than enough time to fix their most egregious flaws and they'll surely succeed sooner rather than later. They lack synergy and a cohesive identity to call their own. But they're improving at a respectable pace and will no doubt grow into the top-tier challenger everyone's expecting them to be. At their best, they're a force to be reckoned with. At their worst, however, they're too aggressive with no back-up plan in sight. They throw caution out the window and start throwing wild haymakers, hoping to connect. And, sure enough, sometimes they succeed, but agains the very best teams in the LEC, that just won't be enough. Which is why they need to diversify their arsenal, decide on their in-game roles, and start grinding like there's no tomorrow. They cannot waste any more time than necessary if they intend on challenging G2 Esports for the LEC throne. Heck, they'll first have to go through the likes of MAD Lions and Rogue before they can ever knock on G2's door.
Astralis, on the other hand, are about as mediocre and underwhelming as everyone expected. They're not exactly dreadful, but they're not far off either. Still, for a team everyone had ranked in tenth place, they're doing alright. Heck, they have a win on the board — a meagre consolation prize, but if you're Astralis you'll take it nonetheless.
Fnatic, of course, should prove to be an insurmountable challenge. Even though they didn't impress on a consistent basis, they're still an insanely capable team — despite making a couple of egregious mistakes throughout their first five games. Right now, at the time of this writing, they're arguably one of the most dangerous teams in the LEC (a shoo-in for Top 5, even in their current, weakened state), and even though their late game decision-making still leaves a lot to be desired, they're nonetheless worthy of everyone's respect.
That is why we're going to them give them our full benefit of the doubt on this one. They should, without a shadow of a doubt, be able to get the win over Astralis in fairly dominant fashion. The Astralis boys will surely compete to the best of their ability, but it shouldn't be enough. Fnatic is far from perfect at this point in time, but they're still more than capable of reaching the very top of the region, and they're surely motivated beyond reason to prove their worth, especially after their flawed showing against MAD Lions.