Throughout the course of his career, Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten has utilized Azir better than almost any mid laner in the entire world. And this Spring, the Emperor of the Sands was by far one of the most influential picks that drove Clutch Gaming to a playoff berth. Now, as Clutch potentially sits just three wins away from a trip to Miami, Azir and Febiven will prove to be a powerful duo that could drive the team further into the postseason.

         Although Clutch barely squeaked into the playoffs, and the team looked highly inconsistent throughout the entire split, there was one constant during the entirety of the Spring: Febiven’s Azir. Clutch’s mid laner performed to the tune of a 5-0 record with Azir was in his hands, as the Emperor has proven to be an incredibly efficient comfort pick for Febiven ever since he started playing the champion in Summer of 2015.

        Since Febiven first locked in Azir over two and a half years ago, he has gone on to play the champion a total of 30 times, posting a record of 22-8. While an all-time 73.3% win-rate is certainly impressive, a 5.4 KDA and 69.2% KP certainly bolster his case as one of the best Azir players in all of North America and beyond. In addition to impressive raw stats, Febiven’s efficiency on Azir is nearly unmatched. He hasn’t lost consecutive games on the champion since June of 2016, and holds a record of 11-2 with Azir since that point, including 5 massive wins this season for Clutch Gaming.

          There have only been 4 instances out of 30 games where Febiven has died more than 3 times on Azir, as his ability survive while playing the champion is incredible. This split alone, Febiven has only died three times over the course of five games, while he’s posted a perfect KDA in three of them. His 17.0 KDA on Azir over the course of the season is the best out of all 11 players who selected the champion this season, and his DPM of 644.5 tops numbers posted by Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen. Febiven’s strength as a player was one of the key forces that drove Clutch Gaming into the playoffs, and now, as the organization sits on the brink of its most important series in its young history, their mid laner will certainly be the focal point of a team that many have already counted out. However, as long as Azir is available, and the Emperor of the Sands is in Febiven’s hands, anything is possible.

          For Clutch Gaming, Sunday’s series against TSM will prove to be one of the most interesting matchups of the postseason, as Clutch had TSM figured out in the early part of the split, posting a 2-0 record against them. But since their last meeting during week 5 of the regular season, TSM has torn up the entire league, as they’ve gone 9-1, including a blowout win over Clutch during last Sunday’s series of tiebreakers. Although SoloMid is riding the hot hand going into this series, Clutch still holds the season-long head-to-head against TSM with a record of 2-1, while Febiven, despite 0 Azir selections, holds a 5.6 KDA in these games. However, the Emperor’s presence has certainly been felt in all three of their contests, as Azir holds a 100% pick/ban presence throughout the two teams’ meetings, with one pick from Bjergsen and a ban from each team.

         On Sunday, look for Azir to play a major role as both Febiven and Bjergsen have put a major emphasis on the Emperor all season long. And now, with the fate of one of the youngest organizations in the LCS hanging in limbo, it’s only appropriate that Azir, a champion that Febiven has found success with throughout his entire career, could thrust Clutch Gaming directly into a date with destiny.

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