How Fnatic can still make 2023 LEC Winter Split group stage

Fnatic might be 2-6, but the math still works in their favor.

Under the new format of the LEC, pro League of Legends teams can get eliminated from contention earlier than ever, with just a single round-robin standing in the way of the leagues group stage, where only the top eight teams from the first stage of each split will advance. Today, the final day of the Winter Splits round robin will conclude, with three teams still looking to sneak into the back end of the advancement table. 

Fnatic, one of Europes most storied League teams, stands on the brink of being knocked out of group stage contention, which would mark the first time the organization has missed the playoffs of a split. Since 2013, Fnatic have made the playoffs of every LEC/EU LCS split, and should they lose today, theyd break a 10-year-long streak. 

Fnatic have taken their sweet time getting on the right foot this season, as they hold a record of 2-6 through the first eight games of the single round robin. With one game left to play, its win-or-go-home for the orange and black. Heres how Fnatic can still make it to the Winter Split group stage. 

How Fnatic can qualify for LEC Winter Split group stage

Heading into the final day of the Winter Split’s first stage, Fnatic still remain in control of their own destiny, and the second and third games on the LEC schedule today will be all that matters for Fnatic. The second game on todays scheduleKOI vs. Astralisis incredibly important for playoff seeding, as it will be guaranteed to gobble up one of the two remaining group stage slots. Those two teams sit with records of 3-5 coming into the final day of the Winter Splits first stage, and the winner of that game will lock in a spot in the group stage, no questions asked. 

The third game todayFnatic vs. SK Gamingmust obviously result in a Fnatic win for Fnatic to remain in the race. If Fnatic do win against SK, theyll play a tiebreaker against the loser of KOI vs. Astralis. If they lose, they’ll go home empty-handed and the other team from the KOI/Astralis pairing will lock in the final seed.

Related: No excuses: Odoamne and Excel aim for LEC Spring Split redemption after elimination

According to the LEC rulebook (rule 8.15.10), a tiebreaker game must be played for eighth place in the opening round robin of a split, regardless of who owns the head-to-head between the two teams. Fnatic won against KOI in week one but lost to Astralis yesterday. 

Todays LEC action will begin at 11am CT with Team Heretics and Team BDS playing another match with playoff implications. 

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