After covering all of the teams in the play-ins and the main event, we are down to the final two squads in the Amazon EU Masters 2021 summer season. Representing France’s La Ligue Française, defending EU Masters champions Karmine Corp will square off against the Northern League of Legends Championship’s long-time powerhouse, Fnatic Rising.
Before diving into tomorrow’s finals matchup of the always exciting EU Masters event, Upcomer sought the opinions of four experts within the vast European Regional Leagues (or ERLs for short). As part of our preview roundtable, we spoke to Laure Valée (LFL and League of Legends European Championship), Mikkel “Guldborg” Guldborg Nielsen (NLC), Ainhoa “Noa” Campos (League of Videogames Professionals SuperLiga) and Michał “myha” Francuz (Ultraliga) to get their predictions and analysis on how the finals between KC and FNCR might unfold.
Karmine Corp starting roster
- Top: Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet
- Jungler: Jakub “Cinkrof” Rokicki
- Mid: Lucas “Saken” Fayard
- Bot: Matthew Charles “xMatty” Coombs
- Support: Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé
- Coach: Yanis “Striker” Kella
Fnatic Rising starting rosters
- Top: Mahdi “Pride” Nasserzadeh
- Jungler: Magnus “Maxi” Kristensen
- Mid: Oliver “Dajor” Ryppa
- Bot: Louis “Bean” Schmitz
- Support: Rúben “rhuckz” Barbosa
- Coach: Paweł “delord” Szabla
Who will win? Predictions for the Amazon EU Masters 2021 summer finals
First things first, we spoke to each of our four experts on their expectations for how the Amazon EU Masters 2021 finals will unfold. The members of our roundtable were unanimous in their predictions, down to the game score.
Guldborg: You know, it’s been a good journey for Fnatic. It’s been very good, but it ends here unfortunately. Karmine Corp, I think, have stronger individuals and have more experience together. While Fnatic’s run so far has been excellent and fantastic to witness, Karmine Corp just has the edge and they’ll take the finals 3-1.
Laure: I think it will be 3-1 to Karmine Corp.
Noa: This will sound harsh because I think Karmine Corp are favorites, by far. I think no one expected Fnatic Rising being here, more so after they defeated Misfits Premier. It looked like a 3-0 in the beginning even though it finished 3-2 for Fnatic. It’s hard because they have never been the favorites in any of the series they’ve played. That is very, very hard and the favorites for the final are Karmine Corp. I think Karmine Corp is going to be the first organization to grab two EU Masters titles and it’s possibly a 3-1 again for Karmine Corp, but my heart wants another 3-2 series!
Myha: My prediction for this final is pretty simple, yet brutal for Fnatic Rising. Although I have mad respect for their insane run, Karmine Corp will probably beat them swiftly, both individually and teamplay-wise. The French really seem like probably the best meta readers of this tournament, while Fnatic sometimes struggle and resort to their comfort picks, which sometimes may even lead to some extremely unplayable scenarios. I expect Karmine Corp to be the first team in the history of European Masters to defend their title in a 3-1 series.
How do Karmine Corp win the finals? Why are they the favorites?
Guldborg: I think their way of playing the early game through their lane priority is just insanely good. I think because they’re so willing to be aggressive so much of the time, it’s really hard for their opponent to play the game and if their opponent at any time let’s go of the grasp of the tempo, they’ll literally just get run over by Saken pushing the mid lane then going toward either the bottom or top lane.
I think that’s what’s really scary about Karmine Corp as well. Against BIG, they displayed that yes, we can play toward topside for Cabochard if we want to, but we can also play toward bot lane and make sure that the enemy’s bot lane is going to be miserable. When they get that early game lead, it’s insanely hard for the teams to claw back.
Laure: What I like the most about this team is the fact that every player can carry and they become deadly when they fight together. Karmine Corp can take control of the map very early in the game and when they have an advantage, they just don’t let it go. That’s how they win the EU Masters, throughout well orchestrated team plays.
Noa: How Karmine Corp will win it… it’s probably again through Cabochard’s 1v9 skills even against all odds. Cabochard, for me, has been playing an awesome tournament. He’s been playing out of his mind. He’s campaigning to return to the LEC and he’s been very convincing for sure, especially when he plays Lee Sin!
They have a very strong bot lane duo but I think the clash in the bot side could be very, very tight. It will be all about the aggression and the early game and I think Karmine Corp will be playing their style again, like they’ve always done, and it looks like no one can stop them.
I think it’s going to be them performing well individually (but) the way they understand each other as a team is also incredible. Cabochard playing out of his mind and their usual strong early game. This is the way I think it’s going to be in the finals and this hurts me because I really like how Fnatic Rising plays, and I also know rhuckz from when he was playing in the LVP SuperLiga.
It’s so hard because in my heart — and this is something I won’t confess again — I would really like Fnatic to win their first European Masters title, but I think it’s going to be Karmine Corp winning it.
Myha: I think Karmine Corp goes to the series with a heavily favored top lane matchup. If they address it in the draft, banning or countering Pride’s comforts in Kennen and Gangplank, Fnatic Rising probably will not have a leg to stand on in topside. This game might be yet again a great opportunity for Cabochard to prove his excellence in this tournament. He really had some great super-carry performances and I maintain that he is the best top laner of this whole season. I expect three man dives in top lane coming into this series.
Draft-wise, I think Karmine Corp need to primarily address comfort picks for Fnatic Rising like Varus, Twisted Fate and Lee Sin, as those three form a true menace, not only in the early game but also in the later teamfights.
How can Fnatic Rising win the Amazon EU Masters summer finals?
Guldborg: I think BIG actually showcased what you can do against a team like a Karmine Corp if you’re able to withstand (their) pressure, because while Karmine Corp’s strength is that aggression, some of their weaknesses can also be said aggression. Sometimes if a play doesn’t work, they’ll keep over-forcing to the point that it will go wrong for them. Funnily enough, I think Fnatic in the LEC is a good example of this. Sometimes when they play too aggressively, they go too far forward and it ends up biting them in the butt.
I think that can happen as well here if Fnatic are able to play with a calm and collected mindset and wait for the right windows. Bait this aggression out from Karmine Corp (and) play around the fog of war. I think specifically (playing) around bot lane and Bean is something they’d be able to utilize. But the problem is that it’s a five game series, right? I think that it’s going be hard for Fnatic to withstand that pressure for so long.
Laure: Fnatic will win the EU Masters if they come prepared with creative drafts like they did in semifinals. They found ways to shut down Misfits Premier with team compositions and how they play around each other. The fact that they are not scared is their biggest strength I feel. They won’t shy away from going for a play and they have very good individual talents to be able to pull that off.
Trying to dive US? Think again! First blood for Fnatic Rising!
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) September 15, 2021
Noa: Maybe this is something that happened to Movistar Riders and also to Misfits Premier I guess, they both might have underestimated Fnatic Rising a bit. I don’t want to say that Karmine Corp is going to underestimate them since Fnatic have evolved so incredibly fast.
I think the players from Fnatic will be going back to the training chamber like in Dragon Ball and they are going to evolve to their next form for the finals, because for me it’s incredible from where they began. They lost a Worlds tier mid laner in Fabian “FEBIVEN” Diepstraten and they brought in a rookie mid, and this guy is playing amazing after all the problems they had during the NLC. He could be one of Fnatic’s keys with his champion pool. He’s been very good on the Twisted Fate, for example, and even though Saken is the more complete player, Dajor could thrive in the series.
For me, Fnatic Rising is winning this game through the bot lane. Bean is playing amazing and he had an incredible series versus Misfits Premier with the Varus, even though the champion is incredibly broken. Rhuckz has been playing incredible too with all his roams and having great synergy with jungler Maxi. And Maxi on his comfort picks, like Nidalee versus Misfits, is a very big threat. I think Misfits leaving it open was a big mistake.
Pride has a very uncomfortable job because he’s the one that’s going to deal with Cabochard. Every single Karmine Corp game has been top gap. Every single game. There’s no other top laner like Cabo in the European Masters. It’s hard and Pride could play hand-in-hand with Maxi but I really don’t expect this, since Maxi will probably play to Fnatic’s strong point which is their bot lane.
Myha: Although I don’t see them as favorites, I really think that there is a world in which Fnatic Rising takes this series. First of all, they might have an upper hand in the botlane, especially during laning phases. Bean and Rhuckz have shown great understanding of early aggression, which sometimes leads them to create windows that normally are not possible in certain situations and matchups. It was particularly visible versus Misfits Premier.
But the real game changer for Fnatic Rising will certainly be the drafts. If they once again resort to comfort picks like Gangplank and Nidalee that don’t really click together, then it is a lost cause as Karmine Corp will surely punish this. The NLC runners-up look like they require a lot of tools to teamfight properly, and those tools must be provided by head coach delord.
Which ERL or EU Masters players do you want to see make the LEC next year?
Guldborg: Huh, you know what? Is it time we give Saken a shot at LEC again? Is it time that he gets to try his luck with the rest of them? You know, I’d like to see it. I think there are a lot of times where Saken just outperforms a lot of the ERL mid laners and I’d like to see him up against LEC caliber talent again. I’d love to see Cabochard back as well but I’m not fully sure about Cabo just yet. I think when Cabo has his great moments he’s insanely f***ing good and he sure looks LEC caliber, but there are still some blunders that make me think, “okay… interesting.”
If I had to pick from Fnatic Rising as well, I would pick Rhuckz. I think Rhuckz is an insanely good player. Specifically, I think his understanding of the map and how to play around the jungler is really good. I think when Fnatic does something well, it’s due to the mid lane and the jungle and Rhuckz running around. Rhuckz with time could potentially turn into one of these top talents. Together with Bean as well, honestly the bot lane of Bean and Rhuckz is probably my biggest bets.
Laure: Targamas. He got his chance with Giants Gaming but he has grown so much since then. He’s mechanically gifted and can play so many different champions. He also adapts to what his team needs and he’s creative enough to be clutch when needed.
Cabochard's Lee Sin = Chef's Kiss 😘
— EMEA Masters (@EMEAmasters) September 17, 2021
Noa: There are so many talents that I want to say deserve the LEC spot: Tobiasz “Agresivoo” Ciba, Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian, Maik “Hades” Jonker, Steven “RKR” Chen… Ismael “Miniduke” Martínez Cortés, that would be a dream! Daniel “Sertuss” Gamani, Bean and Rhuckz, Rafa “Rafitta” Ayllón Zapata. Pedro “Plasma” Simões Ribeiro before his injury. Mateusz “Czajek” Czajka…
If I had to pick only two, and I really don’t want to say every single player from Misfits Premier and Karmine Corp, but I think top lane is probably going to be Cabochard for sure with his current performance this EU Masters.
I would also really love to see Lucjan “Shlatan” Ahmad as well make it to the LEC and, this is something I have been talking about during the LVP SuperLiga broadcasts, for me it’s weird that Shaltan hasn’t had a chance to play in the LEC. The guy is just collecting ERL titles everywhere! He’s won Ultraliga, he just won LFL… So for me he definitely deserves a spot in the LEC next year.
Myha: When it comes to future LEC players among ERL competitors, I would definitely look at some Karmine Corp’s representatives. Especially Cabochard and Targamas. I really think those two have proven their value in this split. They showed some incredible ceilings, but above all, very high floors, which will surely be cherished even by mid-tier LEC teams. They also fill those roles of high demand, (which) is why I think they would be an upgrade for some teams in the LEC.