Fnatic vs SK Gaming
This is where things get a whole lot more interesting. This, in many ways, is the "Match of the Week." You could make a case for Rogue vs. MAD Lions as well, but this match-up carries a lot more significance, not just for the two teams competing but for the playoff picture as well. Plus, Rogue are heavily favored over MAD Lions (which doesn't mean they're guaranteed to win), whereas the gap between Fnatic and SK Gaming isn't nearly as pronounced.
Both of these teams are not only tied for fourth place, but they've also shown lots of promise throughout the last couple of weeks. Still, they're not consistent enough to actually challenge for a spot at the very top of the region (not yet at least), but they're not far off either. They are, in many ways, each other's biggest threats. Fnatic have a lot more long-term potential (not to mention a higher skill ceiling), but that doesn't mean much at this point in time — they're still growing as a five-man unit and, as a result, their play is often riddled with numerous egregious mistakes.
There's a lot on the line here: a guaranteed playoff spot. And while both teams are basically locked in already, there's still a reason to tryhard. Finishing fifth, for instance, is a lot different than finish fourth. It's all about playoff seeding right now, and both teams want as a high a ranking as they can possibly get. Playoff byes are out of the question, but there's still a lot to fight for.
Fnatic are favored, and there's a good reason why that's the case. They are by no means the epitome of consistency, but they're stacked with talent and experience, and they have all the right tools to not only take SK Gaming down but even leave a mark in the grand scheme of things. Their road thus far has been fairly flawed, but they've had numerous flashes of brilliance, and whenever they happened we were not left indifferent. They're a veteran roster and they can definitely pack a punch. Losing Rekkles obviously hurt their identity quite a fair bit, but they've been playing a lot better than most of us expected. Upset has slotted in quite nicely, and the same can be said for Nisqy who, while not exactly a mid lane behemoth, has been empowering this Fnatic line-up in all the right ways.
Still, whenever push comes to shove, they tend to fumble and fail. It doesn't always happen, of course, but when it does it tends to cost them the game. This is the result of a team that is still growing as a unit. They still haven't gotten on the same page, and more often than not they engage and play on their own individual terms. These flaws are mostly visible whenever they're up against top-tier teams. If they're facing someone who's weaker or less capable, then they pretty much steamroll through 'em without breaking much of a sweat. So it takes a top-tier team to truly punish Fnatic and their inherent weaknesses.
SK Gaming, on the other hand, have already found more success than anyone thought was possible. This, in many ways, is a rookie line-up with only two semi-experienced players (Jenax and Treatz). How they've been able to perform so darn well without any pre-existing synergy between them is anyone's guess. They're talented, surprisingly capable, and more than willing to throw down regardless of the odds. They are, however, inexperienced -- especially when compared to a seasoned veteran line-up like Fnatic. That doesn't mean they won't be able to trade blows and make things insanely competitive, but sooner or later, the former "Kings of Europe" should be able to get the win. They're better across the board, and even though their play often leaves a bit to be desired, they're undoubtedly one of the best teams in Europe and will surely prove it yet again tonight.
In any case, regardless of the final outcome, expect an absolute barnburner!