League of Legends European Championship (LEC) is underway! Finally we are back to the EU action. But before we cover any of the games, this article is meant to catch everyone up to speed who are actually playing for the teams. How the rosters changed since Spring and what can we expect out of these teams.
Reminder of the standings of the Spring Regular split:
1st G2 Esports 14-4
2nd Rogue 14-4
3rd MAD Lions 10-8
4th Schalke 04 9-9
5th Fnatic 9-9
6th SK Gaming 8-10
--- Playoff Cutoff
7th Misfits Gaming 8-10
8th Excel 7-11
9th Astralis 6-12
10th Team Vitality 5-13
The Playoffs however showed a slightly different story, as G2 Esports crashed and burned.
Spring Split Playoff top3 standings:
1st - MAD Lions
2nd - Rogue
3rd - G2 Esports
Now let's take a look at the teams!
After finishing in 9th place, Astralis decided to not change much of their roster. Just nukeduck is out. He went to Excel. A team with just one win above Astralis in the spring split. After week one of LEC, Astralis won two games and lost once to MAD Lions. So far they are not doing bad at all.
Excel underwent a few more changes. Czekolad and Tore were replaced by nukeduck and denyk. First week of play was not the greatest, only winning one out of their three games. Excel will need to show quite a bit of improvement to make it to the playoffs this summer.
Schalke 04, after finishing Spring Split in 4th place, announced that they will get rid of their esports roster and will sell their spot. Which is very strange considering they replaced two players and were showing that they can hang with the big teams in the first half of the season. Gilius was replaced by Kirey and Abbedagge by NUCLEARINT. After going 1:2 in the first week of LEC, they didn’t look too bad, but would need to perform way better to “go out with a bang” in summer.
Fnatic replaced Selfmade with Adam. But Adam isn’t going to the jungle, to replace Selfmade, he is going to Top lane. Meanwhile, Bwipo's role was swapped to Jungle. A move that makes sense to some and is criticized by others. Fnatic didn’t have the easiest week 1 of the split. They lost to Misfits Gaming and to MAD Lions. But won against Rogue. So it's going to be interesting to see if Fnatic will find their rhythm. Fnatic seems to still be looking for their identity ever since Rekles left.
Yeah, G2 Esports aint changing anything. Sure they had issues in the Bo5 series in the Playoffs. But they did win the Spring Split regular season. I think they just need time to figure their problems out and hopefully quality and represent the EU at worlds as they did for so many years. The start to the split was not bad for G2 Esports too. They won two out of three of their games, only losing to Schalke 04.
Another team that has no real need to change anything. Winners of Spring Split. Straight out of MSI. MAD Lions look to repeat their success and continue growing. If they have another strong performance in Summer, they will establish themselves even further and start building their legacy as Fnatic and G2 Esports once did, as the EU Gods.
Misfirts just barely didn’t make playoffs in Spring. The organization decided to give another split to its members to grow and hopefully improve their results. And so far it seems to work. Misfits is the only team that went undefeated after week one. They won three games against Fnatic, SK-Gaming and Vitality. Obviously they were lucky enough to dodge G2 Esports, MAD Lions and Rogue, but nevertheless a very strong start that might just catapult them to playoffs in Summer.
Very few changes in these teams. Rogue obviously second in both Spring regular season and playoffs. Nothing to really change, just improve their very reliable play-style and strategy and work out any issues they still had. Rogue went 2:1 in week one, just losing to Fnatic in a freak game that prevented Rogue from executing their strategy at all.
So first of all, Treatz changed role from Support to Jungle. Previous jungler TynX was removed from the main roster. Jesiz, came to play support from Head Coach position. A not very common move I got to say. After that Blue was unable to start with the roster due to medical reasons, so twohoyrz, a temporary substitute is starting mid laner for SK Gaming for now. After just barely making playoffs in Spring, SK Gaming surely has lots to figure out in Summer. They went 1:2 after week one of LEC.
A ton of changes to the last place team in the Spring split. Almost a complete rework of the team roster. Szygenda, Skeanz, Milica and Comp are out of the main roster. Either moved to the academy or went inactive. SLT, Selfmade, Lider are in as starters. Team Vitality went 1:2 in the first week of LEC. They will need to grow as a team very fast if they want to be contenders in Summer.