Rogue have been playing incredibly calm and collected League of Legends in the opening weekend of the LEC. After taking down Excel Esports yesterday, they looked to much tougher opponents in Fnatic for the region’s Match of the Week. The pair’s history looked grim for Rogue, who were knocked out of the LEC’s 2020 Summer Playoffs by Fnatic in a clean 3-0.
But today Rogue proved those playoffs to be ancient history, with a clean 28-minute victory that saw Fnatic look completely lost on the map. The game never felt like it was out of Rogue’s control, and from minute one it looked as though they had Fnatic exactly where they wanted them—minus some jungle shenanigans in the early game. Spearheading that victory was mid laner Larssen, who seemed as relaxed as ever after his team’s quick victory.
Larssen’s Twisted Fate was one of the highlights of the game for Rogue. The Card Master had been keeping a relatively low profile in the season 11 meta before the start of the LEC, but Larssen justified the pick in an interview with Dot Esports.
“We got stomped by Damwon Gaming at Worlds with Twisted Fate, and since then I’ve been on the TF hype train,” Larssen said.
It looks as though Rogue fans have ShowMaker to thank (partly) for Larssen’s performance this week, as the mid laner put on a 6/0/12 masterclass into Nisqy’s Galio. Larssen’s consistent use of Destiny to apply global pressure made space for Inspired to work his magic on Pantheon. The duo wreaked havoc across the map for Fnatic, who, despite securing some early kills from jungle skirmishes, were unable to truly translate those kills into a meaningful lead.
Rogue’s mid/jungle duo was the team’s strong point throughout their reign of dominance in the 2020 Summer Split, but this game was the second installment of what has been an impressive debut for Trymbi and Odoamne on the roster. Trymbi picked up his signature Rakan for some risky, low-health engages that just seemed to pay off every single time. With the meta power pick of Kai’Sa for Hans sama, Rogue’s bottom lane duo were everywhere on the map at once, with their high mobility allowing for quick rotations to chaotic skirmishes across the map.
This game puts Rogue at a 2-0 opener alongside G2—a strong start for an organization that until last year was considered one of the LEC’s weakest. After their Worlds run, perceptions of Rogue have definitely changed, but Larssen said he’s unfazed by these community expectations. To him, the opinions of outsiders are a distraction from the “bubble of improvement” Rogue have created for themselves.
“I don’t really feel any pressure,” he said, “because I’m not really on social media and I don’t really like to hear what people have to say about us.”
Ignoring the pressure is easy when you’re winning; it might be a little more difficult for Fnatic to ignore the social media outcry after their 0-2 opening run. The team looked uncharacteristically chaotic, and Rogue were able to make quick work of them from the first minutes of the game. This, Larssen explained, was partially down to the strength Rogue acquired in the drafting phase.
“It was a bit of a typical Yamato draft, where he gives really overpowered picks to the enemy team,” he said, highlighting the coach’s proclivity for strange bans since his days on Vitality. “Fnatic is quite a weird team. They’re a fan of taking big coinflips and you can see a lot of inting going on … sometimes they get stomped, and sometimes they will stomp.”
It was Rogue that did the stomping this time around, and they’ll be looking to ride that momentum into a 3-0 start in the LEC’s opening super week. Rogue will face SK Gaming in their next game on Jan. 24.
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