Rekkles on victory over EDG: "We had it in the bag from game one."

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Fnatic showed no mercy as they dismantled their opponents, piece by piece.

The Fnatic that we saw go 1-2 in Week 1 of the Group Stage in Paris seems like it could be a thing of the past. The team had a very impressive showing at the Quarterfinals in London, going 3-0 against Chinese team Edward Gaming. Coming into this match, many believed it would be a close-run race, with a high probability of a five game series (and our beloved Silver Scrapes). But Fnatic showed no mercy as they dismantled their opponents, piece by piece.

This is despite an updated roster on the side of EDG, with the return of top laner Tong "Koro1" Yang, who has been out of action for a few months for medical reasons. We asked Fnatic's AD carry Martin "Rekkles" Larsson what he was expecting going into a game against Koro1, who was present when Edward Gaming took down SKTelecom T1 in the Mid-Season Invitational. "We thought [Koro1] would stick to his mentality that he had in his summer season. We checked all of the games he played...He was like, tanks and Rumble," Rekkles told us.

"And then he ends up playing Fiora four games. We prepared one thing and something else happened." But this only meant that Fnatic were forced to adapt, which is something they're famous for being able to do on the fly. "I feel like we were very communicative, even in the game, about how we would adapt. Game one was basically three Teleports and them being everywhere on the map. So we had to talk and make sure that we don't play their game."

This ability to communicate together quickly and clearly is something the team sees as a huge strength and has allowed them to come so far in the World Championship. "We talk about it. I think that's our strength actually. We just talk about everything. There's no hard feelings in the team, everyone likes hanging out with everyone. We can talk about these things without any problems." So how do the Chinese teams differ in that respect? "I've had this general feeling so far that the Chinese teams lack communication, and I think this makes them incredibly dependent on adapting in between games and it's so much about how you work as a team."

Given that all of the Chinese teams are now out of the tournament, perhaps there's some truth to this. Good communication isn't the only thing that led to Fnatic's 3-0 victory, however. We witnessed some incredibly strong mechanical play on the Rift today, too. "I felt like already in Game 1 we were the better team. If we just kept having good drafts or good game ideas and made sure we didn't play their game, I think we had it already from game one," Rekkles told us. But how does that feel compared to going 3-2, like in the EU LCS Finals? "If it's five games, there's a lot of tension, because you have this fifth game where everything matters. It's all or nothing. And you're super tense, and then when you win, it's like phew. But now we were 2-0 and were comfortably taking the series and I didn't feel this same relief."

"We had it in the bag from game one, so we didn't have to push ourselves. But then again that might be to our advantage. Because we didn't have to show all of our cards, we still have cards to show in the Semifinals," Rekkles continued. Cards like Kennen, perhaps? A pick which unexpectedly appeared during the Group Stage, but which Rekkles has had up his sleeve since he joined Fnatic again before the Summer Split. "I always said, even when I was playing in Elements, that I wanted to play Kennen ADC. It fits my playstyle very well. we actually planned on playing it in Week 4 [of the Summer Split]. We had it ready. But then the meta shifted away from the utility AD carries onto these hyper carry comps."

Whether Kennen ADC works in Fnatic's comps is one thing, but Solo Queue is another entirely. "I've had Twitter mentions telling me people are playing it in Solo Queue and it doesn't work because it does no damage, but for our team, it actually works really well." It's all down to team synergy and each player feeling comfortable in their role. "That's why we play it. I feel confident with it and therefore my team feels confident that it does well."

Despite all this, we saw Rekkles playing a few games with Jinx today. A champion that doesn't fit his usual utility ADC role. This didn't phase him one bit. "I'm a player who can play all the champions. I just put down a week of it and then I'm confident with it. This past week I've been spamming Jinx in Solo Queue and scrims, because many other teams were doing it and I could see the thing about it. It brings so much versatility as well. You can push top towers, you can hyper carry, you can burst with the W and the rockets, so there are many elements of Jinx that fit into our style."

With Fnatic heading into the Semifinals with fellow EU LCS team Origen, the European setting for Worlds this year feels even more apt. See who Fnatic will be facing off against when the KOO Tigers and KT Rolster compete tomorrow at 3:00 PM CEST / 14:00 BST / 6:00 AM PT and tune in to the Semifinals next Saturday starting at 16:00 CEST / 7:00 AM PT 


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