Rogue came into the Finals weekend as the likely third place team. The squad defied expectations, however, first defeating Fnatic 3-1 and then taking down G2 Esports in a decisive 3-0 series.
The LEC playoffs entered their final stage this week. The three remaining teams - Fnatic, Rogue and G2 Esports - making the trip to Malmo would face off for a shot at the LEC crown. All three were already confirmed to go to Worlds, but a cup - and a chance to defeat their rivals - would make it all the sweeter. G2 come in as the heavy favorites after a very strong end of the regular season and quick victories against Misfits Gaming and Rogue. Fnatic, meanwhile, had made a long lower bracket run, and after a difficult start versus Excel Esports had dominated Misfits and MAD Lions for a shot at the lower bracket semifinal. There, they would face a Rogue that despite being swept by G2 last week remain one of the strongest teams in the LEC and would no doubt want a rematch with the spring champions.
Losers' Bracket Semifinal: Rogue 3-1 Fnatic
Fnatic started the series against Rogue in a way that no doubt left their fans pleased. Mid laner Marek "Humanoid" Brázda’s Sylas got several early kills and with the pressure he exerted, Fnatic controlled the mid-game. Rogue found no answer and even a 3v1 attempt to kill the Fnatic mid laner 23 minutes in ended up backfiring in what turned into a statement game for the team.
The spring finalists were not done, however, and in the second game it was Rogue who had the stronger early game and used it to take over the map. Led by Emil "Larssen" Larsson on Victor, Fnatic defended themselves furiously but in the end, a narrow teamfight victory for Rogue turned to be decisive. Now tied, the two teams came out for a somewhat bloodless third game, but as the teamfights started Rogue’s good coordination put them ahead. A kill on the Rogue jungler gave Fnatic the opportunity to take an early Baron, but they lost three in return and Rogue kept pushing until they broke the resistance. Now on the ropes, Fnatic opted for early skirmishes, but Rogue was able to parry those attempts. Eventually, a delayed ace in their own jungle catapulted them ahead. With a very fed Lucian piloted by Markos "Comp" Stamkopoulos and a Jarvan IV - Orinna combo rocking Fnatic’s backline, Rogue demolished their opponents in the decisive game and once more dashed Fnatic’s hopes for a spot in the Finals.
Finals: G2 Esports 0-3 Rogue
Rogue started with a great early game, picking up several kills in a series of fights around the map that culminated in an ace just 16 minutes in. G2 Esports never quite got their groove in the mid-game, and led by Comp’s Kalista, Rogue remained fully in control, eventually routing G2 in their base ending with a Pentakill for their AD Carry.
While the challengers had a good start to the second game, a few errors allowed G2 to equalize. However, a great trap by Rogue 26 minutes in led to four kills and a Baron that once again put them in charge of the game. A great engage by Caps 36 minutes in almost saved the game for his team, but G2 could not close out the game and Rogue permitted no more surprises on the way to their second win. G2 managed to score some small victories early in the third game, but soon, Rogue’s sidelines once more picked up steam. The challenger was yet again on another level once teamfights started, turning what looked like a G2 ambush 16 minutes in into a 4-0 as they reengaged and Comp’s Sivir was left to free-fire into the melee. An early Baron allowed them to break into the enemy base and two kills turned into the final assault that finally saw Rogue conquer their demons, win the finals and raise the LEC cup.
With that, the LEC concludes. For some teams, this is the end of the season. For others, it's just a breather before Worlds. In the meantime, follow our LoL coverage for more news and analysis!