Fnatic fail to make LEC Playoffs for the first time in history following loss against SK Gaming
Fnatic end their Winter split with just two wins in nine games
Fnatic has been eliminated from the LEC playoffs stage for the first time in their history following their exit from the 2023 Winter split. The team won only two out of the nine games played and failed to beat SK Gaming in their last game to force a tie against Astralis.
Fnatic are one of the oldest teams in European League of Legends and they won the first-ever World Championship in 2011. They are also the second most accomplished team in the LEC behind G2. However, the team have struggled since 2018, when they won the summer playoffs and made it all the way to the Worlds finals.
Fnatic’s exit from the regular winter split means they will not play in the LEC for the next month. As a result, they will also miss valuable best-of-three series opportunities in the winter group stage.
Fnatic finished the 2022 LEC season in fifth place during the regular season but fought their way through the losers bracket for a spot at Worlds. Fnatic cruised through the play-ins stage and lost only once to LOUD. Although they did not make it past the group stage, they defeated T1 and looked dangerous at the beginning of the group.
What went wrong for Fnatic in the 2023 LEC Winter split?
Fnatiic decided to change their entire bot lane for the 2023 season. After Rúben "Rhuckz" Barbosa's impressive cameo at the beginning of the Worlds Play-In stage, Fnatic promoted the support player to the LEC roster. They also sold Zdravets "Hylissang" Galabov to MAD Lions.
Furthermore, their star AD Carry Elias "Upset" Lipp explained that he could not go to the teams he wanted, leaving him on the bench. Meanwhile, Fnatic decided to put their faith in Martin "Rekkkles" Larsson and welcome their legend back to the organization. Even though he did not have the best split with Karmine Corp in the LFL, fans hoped that returning to the LEC would improve things.
Unfortunately, Fnatic did not have the best start to the winter split. They won only one game against KOI in the first week and another against Excel in the second. With their group stage hopes depending on Week 3, the team failed to show up. Their loss to Astralis on Sunday all but confirmed that they needed a miracle to advance, and they were not able to find one against SK Gaming.
While there are many things Fnatic need to work on, their early game throughout the split looked lackluster. They often fell too far behind to be able to come back in the game, even with good late scaling compositions. They also failed to be on the same page for team fights and did not take fights even when needed. Moreover, both top and bot lane playing weak side did not help their situation.
With a month to rethink their strategy for the upcoming spring and summer split, Fnatic has enough time to become much better in the LEC. However, they may need to make roster changes to achieve those changes.
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Rashidat Jimoh is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience covering FIFA, R6 Siege, mobile games and general industry content. She loves to play FIFA and also spends time on Free Fire and Wild Rift