With Rift Rivals over, and Europe crowned as the most dominant western region, the LEC will return from its hiatus on Friday, July 12. Splyce enter week four as the only third place team in the LEC, and they'll face some of the best competition in the league on Saturday in Fnatic.
Splyce continues to be criminally underrated, but if any team can break into the upper echelon of the LEC, it's them. Aside from their inaugural split, Splyce have consistently made playoffs in every split they've participated in, and have been a stalwart presence in the top four half of the league.
When we left off in week three, there was a clear divide between the top three from Spring and the rest of the league. Out of the seven teams pining to stand in the same ring as G2 Esports, Fnatic, and Origen, Splyce seemed to be the closest to closing that gap. They need to beat Fnatic to seal the deal, but how will the two teams match up?
Fnatic have been ramping up as of late, and showed in their recent victory against G2 that they're not afraid of trying new strategies. Their solo laners Gabriel "Bwipo" Rau and Tim "Nemesis" Lipovšek have also leveled up, and they no longer rely on Martin "Rekkles" Larsson to carry. Fnatic's biggest strength this split, however, has been Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen's MVP-level performance.
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Splyce hit their stride this split in a similar manner. Tamás "Vizicsacsi" Kiss's proficiency on zoning frontliners with safe laning and Marek "Humanoid" Brázda's comfort on mid-game spiking mages are integral to the team's ability to control the pace of the game. They play around their side lanes better than most teams in the league, and know how to play to a set win condition.
We saw in Fnatic's match against exceL Esports that when Broxah was unable to get his laners rolling, they fell apart in the mid game and would've lost if it not for exceL's inability to close. As a team that thrives in the late game, Splyce has the tools to offset the early aggression from Fnatic's top side and scale into victory.
The determining factor in reaching that point will be how well Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir tracks Broxah early on. If Splyce allows Fnatic to poke too many holes in their defense before their comp gets off the ground, they'll run into trouble.
Splyce play Fnatic on Saturday, July 13 at 12 p.m. PDT.