In the second edition of "Gambit Analysis" our support player, Edward "Edward" Abgaryan, will be providing his perspective on our second match against Fnatic. Due to your requests, this time we tried to include more details in the analysis. Some aspects of the game were left out on purpose, because we would like to avoid sharing some of our knowledge for competitive reasons.
Strategy and draft
"I cannot say that we had a specific strategy in mind, when preparing for our second game against Fnatic. Overall, we aimed at getting a favourable draft oriented at overcoming them in the later parts of the game, while making sure to go at least even in the early and mid stages. I think the outcome of the draft allowed us to achieve it, so let's talk about it specifically.
We expected Fnatic to ban Kayle and Kha'Zix, because Alex Ich performs really strong with these champions, as well as Kassadin for obvious reasons. Three bans targeted at Alex Ich, who aimed at playing Zed anyway, left a lot of openings for the rest of us.
Our draft was pretty straightforward - we picked champions that we are good with and that are strong in the current meta. Overall, our draft allowed us to force objectives and disengage whenever necessary. The only champion that is worth mentioning is Evelynn, who recently got reworked. Many players were discouraged to play her after her E was changed to deal physical damage, but Diamond came up with a build that works. Even though, we didn't practice Eve in our scrims, we were sure that he will do well on her based on his experience of playing Eve overall as well as the fact that he was playing her extensively in SoloQ in order to come up with a viable build. Moreover, Fnatic tend to give up a lot of unnecessary kills when playing against Evelynn and Malphite.
Their draft was pretty standard as well, with the exception of a double AP composition. It caught us off guard during the draft, but we figured out that if we reach a certain item threshold, they will have a hard time fighting us for two reasons. First of all, they don't have a tank. Secondly, no matter what champions you go for with a double AP composition, it is easy to counter them when you get defensive stats and MR specifically, which is cheap nowadays. You also must make sure to build Banshee's Veils to render the mages almost useless."
"We were going for a blue invade once again, even though we did it the last time we played against Fnatic, and it didn't work out very well. Actually, Fnatic did a really smart thing that caught us off guard completely. They went for a lane swap, but Annie was hiding in their bottom part of the jungle, since they were expecting us to invade. When we saw Lucian top, we felt really confident that we can invade safely, but it backfired. We gave up two kills - it is almost impossible to escape from Gragas, when he lands his barrel. But Fnatic burned a lot of summoners - three Flashes and three Ignites. Yes, the invade itself was a failure, but we managed to capitalize on it nevertheless.
Things are about to go wrong...
First of all, by the time xPeke returned to his lane, Alex Ich shoved the wave into his turret. The giant XP and CS advantage allowed Alex to snowball and to toy with xPeke throughout the laning phase. Secondly, Darien was in a favourable position as well, because it took YellOwStaR a lot of time to get back to his lane. Moreover, they continued to push him heavily, which allowed him to get a lot of CS and XP under his turret. Whereas me and Genja where freezing the lane and zoning sOAZ. It makes no sense to push against Gragas anyway, because he has a superb wave clear. Thirdly, Fnatic made a couple of mistakes during the laning phase that allowed us to grab a couple of kills and even up the situation. Cyanide and xPeke died in the mid lane, whereas sOAZ, who shouldn't die because of his mobility, allowed me to land a Death Sentence, when Diamond came to gank him.
There was room for counterplay
We didn't play perfectly either, we got baited by sOAZ resulting in Genja's death. Darien overextended a couple of times, due to him underrating Gragas' and Fizz's damage output. But these deaths didn't really mean a lot in the grand scheme of things, because we were constantly pressuring them. We forced a lot of objectives and successfully got them. Our map control allowed us to slowly build a huge advantage by constantly farming three lanes and taking their jungle. From now on we were just waiting for an opportunity to close out the game without taking additional risks - you don't want to do it against a team like Fnatic."