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Excel takes down Fnatic in 2022 LEC Spring Split

Photo Twitter @EXCEL

Excel Esports defeated Fnatic in week four of the 2022 LEC Spring Split, moving to 4-5 for the season.

Excel had a 3-5 record entering into Saturday’s League of Legends match versus Fnatic, who was ranked second place and strong favorites to win. With Excel just outside of a playoff berth, a win would move them closer to the top six, while a win for Fnatic would help them break away from G2 in the standings.

Fnatic aimed to shock Excel in the draft by selecting Rell to team up with Upset’s Jhin. Upset evened out the kill when he scored a blind skill shot on Mikyx while basing after Hylissang gave away first blood to Excel AD carry Patrik.

In an interview following the Excel game, Hylissang stated that “it’s always fun” to play against Mikyx – someone with whom he shares a common playstyle, resulting in a classic Western standoff every time the two have played.

“We always feel like we’re thinking the same thing in the game,” he said, “and whoever is a bit faster wins – or dies first and loses the game – but usually we’re doing the right things.”

Despite losing to Mikyx and Excel, Hylissang has already re-established himself as one of the league’s top players this season, earning four MVP honors.

Excel upset Fnatic: Recap of the game

Around the nine-minute mark, Fnatic tried to invade Excel jungler Markoon around his red buff, resulting in the first fight of the game. Excel had an early kill advantage, but it was evened out when Fnatic got lingering kills on Markoon and Nukeduck.

Although the early game was reasonably close in gold, Fnatic began to gain control of the tempo because of jungler Razork’s determination in snowballing a lead onto Upset. Fnatic deployed bottom lane pressure and captured the first turret of the game, securing control of the bottom half of the map.

Excel responded by prioritizing control of the top side and capturing their first tower in the top lane. Markoon exploited top control to engage Hylissang, killing two on Fnatic’s side.

Excel then executed four Fnatic members who attempted to kill the dragon. Excel, however, grabbed it away from them, followed shortly by the Baron.

Excel had a 6,000 gold advantage and Baron-powered lanes rushed into Fnatic’s base, but Fnatic tried to stop Excel’s final assault and killed Patrik. However, this was insufficient to entice him to return. Excel then slaughtered the rest of Fnatic and wrecked the Fnatic Nexus, securing the victory.

Fnatic’s defeat against Excel is their third in the last two weeks, dropping them to 6-3. Excel strengthened their regular season position, finishing the first part of the Spring Split 4-5 and in the all-too-familiar seventh slot.

Excel will attempt to build on their surprise victory over Fnatic in week five, when they face Team Vitality and BDS, as they continue to push for their first playoff berth. In their pursuit of exclusive ownership of second place in the LEC, Fnatic will begin the week against SK, followed by a showdown with Vitality.