NEW YORK -- After a 2-1 start to the League of Legends World Championship group stage, Fnatic came into Week 2 with a realistic shot at making a surprise run to the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, that same magic that propelled Fnatic to a three-way tie was not there in Week 2. For Fnatic bot laner Elias “Upset” Lipp, it was a heartbreaking moment of wondering what could have been.
“We didn’t really scrim much at all and we probably scrimmed the least because we got sick after a big break following summer,” Upset said. “We didn’t practice very much, and I think we had trouble practicing efficiently together. I think we never really reached our full potential just because of the way we approached practice.”
Fnatic’s Worlds 2022 campaign got off to a turbulent start after it was revealed that Upset and support Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov had tested positive for COVID-19 right before the start of the Worlds play-in stage. They came together and qualified for the group stage, but it was an uphill battle throughout the entire event to play at their “full potential.”
That lack of practice became apparent in Week 2. Upset said he didn’t feel he was doing anything “especially bad,” but there were moments when he could predict what would cause them to lose.
“In the second game against T1, I was definitely feeling quite frustrated because I felt like I knew what was going to go wrong before it went wrong,” Upset said. “I communicated that in-game, but we still ended up dying to it, so that is always a pretty bad feeling.”
Photo credit: Riot Games
It was a combination of little individual moments that caused a snowball of lost teamfights and games for Fnatic. Now, after being eliminated from Worlds, Fnatic’s 2022 season is over. That is something that Upset is still trying to process.
“We can’t really do too much about it other than move on and try to stay in the moment,” Upset said. “That’s what we are trying to do.”
Still, when asked about his career from a big-picture perspective, these past two years have been some of Upset’s favorite moments.
“There have been a lot of ups and downs in my career, but even though there were some really difficult moments, my life has been great these past two years,” Upset shared. “I’m happy to be in a place in my career where I am always competing for the top and that was something I always wanted in my career.”
To close out his time at Worlds, Upset had one final message to send to the Fnatic fan base and the remaining European teams at the tournament.
“Thank you to the Fnatic fans. There’s definitely so much support always coming our way. I hope you guys are nice to the team, teammates and to the staff because we have been doing our best,” Upset said. “I’m really sad that we couldn’t make you more proud. The team itself never really got to the point that I could have seen it, but it is what it is. I hope the other European teams can represent our region better than we did.”
The Worlds group stage will end Sunday. Group C teams will finish playing Saturday and Group D will conclude their games Sunday.
Lead photo credit: Riot Games