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After a heartbreaking loss against Hanwha Life Esports in Group C of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, Fnatic have officially dropped out of Worlds 2021. With only one team left at Worlds, it could be the first time since 2014 that the League of Legends European Championship (then European League of Legends Championship Series) fails to make top eight.

With Hanwha Life’s third win of the day, PSG Talon were eliminated as well, with one final game against Fnatic for a showmatch of sorts before their Worlds 2021 exit. With their elimination, this marks the end of the tournament for the Pacific Championship Series, leaving only the four major regions left for the event.

Fnatic fall at Worlds 2021

Fnatic entered Worlds as Europe’s scrappy second seed, but due to a personal emergency, bot laner Elias “Upset” Lipp had to go home before the group stage. His substitute, Louis “Bean” Schmitz, played an impressive tournament (and at times looked like the team’s most impactful member) despite being an Academy player with Fnatic Rising going into the event.

Entering his final day at Worlds, Bean ranked fourth among all bot laners in damage per minute at 477 and fourth in experience difference at 10 minutes at +164 according to Oracle’s Elixir. He was also ranked seventh in creep score per Minute, above the likes of Gen.G’s Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, Edward Gaming’s Park “Viper” Do-hyeon, Cloud9’s Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Royal Never Give Up’s Chen “GALA” Wei.

Fnatic’s performance at Worlds wasn’t solely defined by events outside of their control, however. The EU squad showed a severe lack of team play and coordination; mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer had some of the weaker showings on the team and struggled to have an impact in many scenarios that could’ve swung games in their favor. In Fnatic’s last match of the first Group Stage round-robin, for example, Nisqy’s Tryndamere was picked multiple times in the late game, which eliminated their split-push win condition. He redeemed himself in Fnatic’s win against Royal Never Give Up on Sunday by looking for creative Realm Warps with Ryze and neutralizing Yuan “Cryin” Cheng-Wei’s LeBlanc.

Fnatic at Worlds 2021
Fnatic pose before the Group Stage at Worlds 2021. | Provided by Riot Games/Getty Images

Fnatic’s Worlds 2021 run may be defined by what could’ve been in years to come, but the team has been vocal on social media about laying it all on stage and not making excuses. Coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi shared some supportive messages for the team heading into the final half of groups before they were eliminated from Worlds 2021.

“Everything we do throughout the entire year is to learn to rely on one another and to built deeper bonds,” YamatoCannon said in a pregame interview Sunday. “To remove a player from that aspect has been very difficult to deal with but with every challenge comes great responsibility and with great challenge comes great experience.”

PSG Talon fail to repeat MSI run

After losing their first two games in the second round robin, PSG Talon’s destiny was out of their hands, relying on an RNG victory over HLE to stay alive at the tournament. Unfortuantely for the PCS first-seed representative, RNG fell, which secured a quarters spot for HLE and eliminated PSG from the event.

Kaiwing backstage at Worlds 2021
Kaiwing backstage at Worlds 2021. | Provided by Riot Games/Getty Images

Thanks to their own performance at the Mid Season Invitational which saw the team through to the knockout stage over Cloud9 and Pentanet.gg, PSG was awarded a Pool A slot at Worlds 2021, allowing them to skip out on the first seed from China, Europe and Korea. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to repeat that success their second time around in Iceland. This marks the sixth tournament in a row that a PCS/League of Legends Master Series team failed to make it to the top eight, with the last time being Flash Wolves’ quarters appearance in 2015.

PSG Talon had a stellar year otherwise, with a first-place finish in the PCS spring split, followed by their strong MSI appearance and an undefeated regular season in the PCS summer split with yet another finals victory. With their Worlds 2021 journey ending, they head into the off-season till 2022.