Evil Geniuses and Fnatic wrote their names in the latest chapter of the EU vs NA rivalry.
The 2022 League of Legends World Championship has officially kicked off! In what is one of the great LoL rivalries, fans were present in Mexico to witness a great best-of-one between Evil Geniuses and Fnatic. Both sides would see their young stars make their debut at the World Championship. The question is, which young guns would be the ones to step up to the plate this time around?
No practise time? no problem for Fnatic
Fnatic without playing a single minute at Worlds was already put into a difficult situation. With Upset arriving less than 48 hours before their scheduled match, no one was expecting Fnatic to come out of the gates swinging. The German AD Carry tested positive for COVID19 prior to the team's expected travel period for Worlds, meaning he was not expected to start the World Championship.
Due to Hylissang also testing positive for COVID19, it was up to Fnatic's LVP support Rhuckz to make the jump from the European Regional Leagues to esports biggest event. Both Rhuckz and Upset were critical in the dismantling of the LCS Spring Split champions. The way Evil Geniuses had drafted meant their biggest, and probably only win condition was through their bottom lane. Fnatic knew this and shut them down with ease.
Fnatic cruised towards the nexus
Although Fnatic opted into a slower-paced team composition, the game ended before the thirty-minute mark - a sight which has been a rarity across the major regions this year. According to Oracle's Elixir, Fnatic had the second-highest average game-time in the LEC playoffs at 34.2.
Despite putting pressure in the bot lane and earning a 1k advantage through Caitlyn+Lux, Fnatic was able to punish Kaori and Vulcan pretty hard, securing first blood onto Miss Fortune and excelling her strength ahead of Caitlyn.
Before the twelve-minute mark, Rhuckz and Upset combined for what was essentially a 2v2 kill again onto the Evil Geniuses' bottom lane. With EG losing everywhere else naturally across the map, their once-ahead bottom lane was now seriously behind, putting EG on the back foot for the rest of the game.
With the bot lane now neutralised, Fnatic had the ability to do as they liked without much pushback on the side of Evil Geniuses. Fnatic had summoners rift at their feet, controlling the neutral objectives and pushing EG further and further into their base. It only took one team fight at the top lane inhibitor for Fnatic to take down Evil Geniuses to start the play-ins 1-0.
Where does this leave Evil Geniuses in Group A?
Evil Geniuses by all accounts did not show anything to write home about in their debut game at Worlds. The draft felt underwhelming with their only power position being in the bot lane. And while an early gank allowed for Caitlyn and Lux to secure a few tower players, there were too many macro blunders for it to matter.
As for where Evil Geniuses go from here, barring Fnatic being upset by one of the emerging regions, Evil Geniuses should have their eyes firmly locked on finishing second in the group. Finishing second should see them avoid facing off against RNG or DRX for a chance at making the group stage.