Fnatic and Origen locked horns in an EU LCS game a few days ago, at the beginning of which little did they know that they would end up playing the longest EU professional LoL game, and tear down a bunch of other records too in the process. What’s even more interesting about the 2-game confrontation is that it didn’t start out like a game that would end up dissected and analyzed for weeks to come, but it certainly wound up there.
The first one of the two games saw Fnatic blow away their opponents…so there’s not a whole lot to discuss on that. Origen got everything wrong towards the end and they paid for their mistakes. The real magic started with the second game, more precisely at the point where Origen had a 5-4 lead and interestingly, the game wasn’t a mistake-free one this time either, only this time around, both sides committed blunders and they both sought to make up for them through aggression and creative plays. At the 34 minute mark, Origen decided to give up Baron, focusing their resources into taking down two inhibitors instead. That move gave away their priorities, which would focus on seizing structures and placing pressure on the enemy base.
The 53 minute mark saw further confirmation of this approach: Fnatic rushed Baron yet again, while Origen focused on taking down the third inhibitor thus unleashing double super minions on their opponents. With a Nexus tower going down as well, Fnatic found themselves confined to their own base and they would not be able to leave it till the end of the game. The 71 minute mark saw Fnatic on the ropes: Origen took a free Baron and they destroyed the three inhibitors again, unleashing yet again double super minions buffed by Baron. This way, it was only a matter of time till the final Fnatic turret would come down, and indeed it did at the 75 minute mark.
This is where the true magic began: with seemingly everything lost, Gamsu sold his Guardian Angel and brought in a Zz’Rot portal, right behind the Nexus. He then added a Banshee’s Veil. The voidspawns generated this way stopped the minion-rush, and as his teammates followed suit, adding their own Zz’Rot portals, the disaster was averted.
The final stroke came at the 80:28 mark: SOAZ and PowerofEvil took advantage of Fnatic’s distraction at their top turret to finally take down the Nexus and to lock in the 1-1 tie.
Apparently, the Zz’Rot strategy was not a rehearsed move on the part of Fnatic: they thought it up on the go, but it was indeed a stroke of genius which bought a little time for the ultimately lost cause.
Pete Wassenberg has worked for the top e-sport press outfit, GosuTeam, since 2004.