I wanted to get a full blog post up about this, but too many other things got in the way. The short version:
- Cloud 9 does a fantastic job of picking apart opposing teams’ picks and bans, while also having a wide range of champions they choose from.
- C9 is “at home” and has been watching all week while Fnatic ending their second week “on the road.” That stuff matters over time.
- C9 Meteos’ attack lines, aggressive warding (with backup) and consistently high level of technical play in team fights positions them very well. There was this great feature on the site that talked about how anyone on the team can make a call and they all go for it and that trust has been earned. Meteos is just sick.
- Fnatic’s jungler, Cyanide, is very good. And against anyone else in the top 8, I would focus on him being a key to victory. But in the end, I’d guess that Meteos is going to try to help the bot as much as he can, especially when they are on the blue side of the map, and that will let them take the early part of the match. If Cyanide also focuses bot I give Fnatic the edge in a 3v3 situation down there, but Meteos (and the rest of C9’s warding plays) should prevent that from happening.
That said, Fnatic is really, really strong and if C9 doesn’t beat them, I have them going all the way.
- My favorite geeky stat right now is team gold per minute, and Fnatic has been improving over every single game over the group stage — averaging about 1800GPM and almost cracking 2000GPM in their final game. It is about 150GPM more than the other four teams that advanced.