With the exception of Fnatic vs H2K, I'm choosing to believe none of the European LCS games actually happened today. All remaining games were riddled with indecisive plays, throws, and extremely questionable builds.
Fnatic's command over H2K today made it all worth it. Well, maybe not SK Gaming vs Elements, but most of it. The crushing power of Fnatic began in draft phase and flooded the game. While Origen made one misplay that snowballed in Fnatic's favor last week, H2K continued to make tiny mistakes that lead to their ragged destruction when Fnatic capitalized.
Covering the important parts, let's begin with the draft. The initial key to Fnatic's victory was the first pick Sivir.
While most readers might be exhausted by my regaling of the glories of Sivir, it's safe to say that this composition is absolutely not about Sivir. Sivir was essential in enabling the composition, but she wasn't the star.
Sivir denied H2K one of their strongest picks, and the rest of the draft eliminated options like Kalista and H2K's favored dive champions, Thresh and Fizz, and the must-ban Ekko.
H2K's first rotation made a lot of sense. Removing Alistar from Fnatic's hands prevented the deadly Sivir-Alistar engagement combination, and Odoamne snagged one of his and Huni's best champions.
The reaction to Fnatic's next move spelled disaster for H2K. After selecting both Olaf and Jayce, Fnatic's composition became extremely clear. They wanted to run a bullet train composition around Reignover. Ragnarok speeding through Jayce's Acceleration Gate with an additional boost from On the Hunt makes Olaf impossible to stop. From there, it became easy to expect Lulu or Janna to round out the composition.
H2K reacted in perhaps the worst possible way by drafting for poke. A Varus-Corki composition can only hope to get a couple cooldowns off before getting flattened by the stampede. When Fnatic has Sivir, Olaf, and Jayce, there's no opportunity to extend a siege, especially from behind.
Fnatic finished off with Ryze and Janna. The Ryze was surprising, as it normally would force Fnatic into a power trough with double Tear of the Goddess, but again — this composition isn't about anyone but Olaf. As soon as Olaf builds his jungle item and attains level six, he can scale easily off missing health and stick to targets for picks regardless of whatever Jayce and Ryze build.
Following draft, Fnatic completely demolished H2K in the lane swap. Sivir pushes easily, allowing Reignover to continue farming while H2K went for the 4v0. After Fnatic and H2K destroyed their turrets and reverted their lane swaps, Fnatic reset the wave to push back toward their side of the map. This forced H2K's duo lane to extend forward for CS and set loulex top lane to guard them.
On the other side, H2K completely failed to set their wave correctly. They shoved the minions onto H2K's turret, making it easy for Fnatic to dive him for free. To make matters worse, first blood went to Reignover. Fnatic grabbed another turret and a dragon.
With turrets equalized, H2K made the best decision they could and left Odoamne top to freeze his lane and catch up for the next time dragon spawned. Unfortunately, H2K again mismanaged the wave, and Odoamne ended up in a position to get picked off. Reignover picked up another kill, and assist gold went over the Huni's Ryze, setting Odoamne even more behind.
Following this, Fnatic's Huni froze the wave top at his second tier turret and was able to free farm instead. This is actually the worst possible thing that could happen to H2K in the early game.
The benefit of Corki is that if a composition prioritizes dragons, he can scale well with the buff in terms of dealing both magic and attack damage. H2K had a composition set up for taking dragons, so they remained fixated on that one possibility by securing vision in Fnatic's red side jungle before the next dragon spawned.
H2K tried to get back into the game by making dives and picks, according to what they usually like to do, but the speed on Fnatic's composition was so punishing that it always allowed them to get the better kill trade. As a result, they also won the objective at the end of each exchange.
When H2K didn't try to create their own picks, Fnatic sent Rekkles to split push and relied on Jayce, Olaf, and Ryze to collapse when H2K spread out to deal with him. This underlined how this composition required Sivir, but wasn't about Sivir.
Sivir could split push easily and use her ultimate to disengage safely, but the Jayce Acceleration Gate, Ragnarok, and Janna's passive still allowed Fnatic to get picks and kills onto their main carry threats in Olaf and Ryze.
Fnatic continued to deny H2K the dragons they needed to get their compostion off the ground, going so far as to steal the third dragon with an Olaf axe. Once Fnatic got the third dragon with the movement speed buff that synergized with their composition even further, the game was more or less at an end.
Double Tear items maxed out, and Febiven could instantly force H2K off objectives with long range burst damage.
Things went wrong for H2K in a string of moments. Their first misstep was not banning Sivir. At this point, it sounds like a joke because I've said it so often, but Sivir is a huge boon to this composition, and when she dictates exactly what kind of game you play, it's best to just do away with her.
The second mistake came when they didn't properly react to the telegraphed movement speed pick composition around Olaf. Fnatic made it clear what kind of composition they wanted to run, and given H2K second rotation picked Alistar and Rumble, they could have salvaged a draft. Instead, they went for a poke composition.
But why? Jayce's long range makes Varus an attractive answer, but he isn't the only answer. Another high scaling burst mage with longer range poke like Viktor can work. Usually, Viktor goes well with Sivir himself, since she allows him to position optimally, but the recently buffed Talisman of Ascension works in a pinch. Getting into position to drop Chaos Storm could have turned fights.
H2K also really mismanaged minion waves. Understanding minion flow in lane swap situations is key to not setting a top laner behind. Especially in a matchup between Odoamne and Huni, the two best top laners in Europe, it's important to get that advantage.
In response to the Double Tear and Olaf composition, Rek'Sai was still the best possible jungle pick. With more side wave control, loulex could have better pressured Olaf before he hit level six and gotten H2K an advantage against relatively defenseless solo laners.
Just ban either. Fnatic showed last week that they enjoy Olaf and Sivir compositions and have also played it with with Lulu. Until they found that stride, Fnatic have looked less clean. Since Reignover favors Olaf, I'd advocate going so far as to ban it — or just the enabling Sivir for her versatility. If Gambit wants a chance of preventing Fnatic from claiming a new European LCS win streak record, they really should deny the pick.
It's still not a Sivir comp. It's not a Ryze comp either. You've heard of the Juggermaw? Fnatic effectively runs the Juggerlaf.
Despite Huni chants ripping through the audience, Fnatic's win today was about Reignover. The greatest assets for this team continue to be their jungler and support, and YellOwStaR's poise on the risky Janna was just as impressive, directing his team around the map, effectively out-macroing H2K.
A word of advice to Gambit Gaming for tomorrow? Forget Huni. It's the other Korean you have to worry about.
Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore eSports. You can follow her on Twitter.