It has been a rather turbulent off-season in the LEC, as some teams have made drastic changes to their lineup heading into the Summer Split. Here’s how the teams are shaping up heading into the June 11 contests.
LEC Summer Split Power Rankings
10. Excel Esports
The infamous curse of “not hitting playoffs” continues: the British organization can’t seem to have what it takes to get there, and it looks like they’re not willing to put in the effort either.
The team underwent two changes in the off-season: mid laner Paweł “Czekolad” Szczepanik and support Tore “Tore” Hoel Eilertsen were replaced by Erlend “nukeduck” Våtevik Holm and Petr ”denyk” Haramach, respectively.
The swap in the support role was almost inevitable: Tore faced a lot of backlash during spring and needed a change from the toxic environment. He joined the MAD Lions’ Academy team.
The questionable move, however, is about nukeduck. The Norwegian mid laner also took a break in the last split due to poor performance in Astralis. His form wasn’t near his best and it looked like the start of a permanent downfall.
While he might be in better shape compared to the spring split, he may not be strong enough to consistently outperform other mid-laners. This, paired with XL’s recent poor results, makes them one of, if not, the worst team in the LEC.
Speaking of Astralis, the Danish organization was one of the few teams that stuck with the same lineup from the Spring Split. After a very poor start, AST were able to take some wins and end 9th with a 6-12 record. This was possible thanks to Carl Felix “MagiFelix” Boström’s arrival, who replaced the aforementioned nukeduck.
Considered by many the best soloQ player in EUW, the Swedish player showcased strong performances in the small time window he had. Nonetheless, that was enough to convince the team to keep him, and might help propel Astralis into dark horse category for the Summer Split.
8. Misfits Gaming
Similar to Astralis, Misfits Gaming didn’t make any important changes to the roster, except transfering denyk. Though they did show some promise during spring, the roster lacked consistency.
Of the five players, Shin “Hirit” Tae-min was the most consistent. He was arguably top 5 in his role in the LCS and his mechanics were on point. MSF must capitalize on that and work around him to win. His teammates must step up their level or risk missing out on the playoffs for the third time in a row.
7. SK Gaming
While most people thought that SK Gaming wouldn’t make changes to the roster, the German organization dropped a huge announcement a few days ago: they benched jungler Kristian “TynX” Østergaard Hansen and moved Erik “Treatz” Wessén to the role. SK’s previous head coach Jesse “Jesiz” Le, instead, will be the new starting support.
The unexpected change was caused by internal issues which “stemmed from a synergy perspective”. SK was unable to fix the issue and find a good replacement in the jungle role. This led to Treatz’s role swap and the return of Jesiz to pro play.
The announcement puts a lot of question marks on the team’s potential and what they can achieve on the summoner’s rift. Nonetheless, SK Gaming still remain a strong candidate for playoffs.
6. Schalke 04
Out of all the LEC teams, Schalke 04 was the first one to announce some of the major changes that had undergone to the roster.
First, mid laner Felix “Abbedagge” Braun left S04 and joined 100Thieves in NA. This allowed the org to promote its academy player Ilias “NUCLEARINT” Bizriken.
With Schalke04 facing financial issues (caused by the football team’s poor performance and subsequent relegation), Abbedagge’s transfer was inevitable. The organization needed to earn some cash íwith what they had and the German player was their most valuable asset.
Not only that, but they moved jungler Erberk “Gilius” Demir to substitute and added Thomas “Kirei” Yuen to the starting roster. The Dutch jungler is considered one of the big prospects from the ERLs that never made it to the LEC.
Now that he’s and NUCLEARINT are given the chance, they will have one split to impress everyone. Remember that Schalke 04 will likely leave the competition at the end of year: if the players want to stay in the LEC, they will have to showcase their best performance and convince other organizations that they are worthy of a starting position.
Fnatic was another team that made a lot of headlines during the off-season. There were many rumours regarding some of the players, with Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau role-swapping to jungle being the most notable one.
In the end, that rumour turned out to be true. Fnatic hired top laner Adam “Adam” Maanane from the ERL team Karmine Corp and allowed Bwipo to become the starting jungler. This left Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek effectively without a starting position and led to his departure.
These couple of changes raise some doubts about what FNC can achieve during the summer split. While their goal is obviously to make Worlds, there are still many questions about the “top side” of the team. Will they defy expectations? We will only know when the split will start.
Vitality is without a doubt the biggest winner of this off-season. going from one of the bottom teams to arguably a top 4 team based on their roster.
Selfmade’s departure from FNC allowed the French organization to pick him up, together with Enzo “SLT” Gonzalez and Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov.
SLT, similarly to Adam, comes from the ERL and showed big promise in the regional league: he has a wide champion pool and looks like a well-rounded player. LIDER, on the other hand, has been famous for having a very restricted champion pool, mainly revolving around assassins. This will largely impact the whole team’s dynamic, since it might make or break the lineup.
Nonetheless, these players have upgraded Vitality’s roster. Even if they might not be a top team yet, we expect them to comfortably make the playoffs: they surely have all the assets ready to get there.
Rogue has finally established itself as a top team in LEC. After another impressive spring split, ended in 2nd, they lost in the playoffs finals in a very close series against MAD Lions.
While the results weren’t what Rogue wanted, the team’s overall performance and consistency were clear to everybody. Even the rookie Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus, despite a rough start, became a top-tier support in a few months’ time, and he’ll play a large part in any title challenge to emerge from Rogue.
2. MAD Lions
When we first started making the list, we ranked MAD Lions below Rogue. Then, why are they second now? What made us change our mind?
Well, the answer is MSI. The international experience the team had, after last year’s Worlds, was a precious opportunity to learn from the best teams. MAD must’ve improved during the tournament and worked on their weaknesses.
For this reason, we rated MAD Lions above Rogue. While it might not matter during the split, the international on-stage experience will matter when best-of-5 series come around.
And if you disagree, think about how MAD Lions’ were knocked out at last year’s Worlds…
1. G2 Esports
Despite not winning the LEC Spring Split, G2 is seen as the top team in Europe. They might not be as dominant as the previous years, due to the competition stepping up, but they still have the highest potential out of all the teams in the LEC.
The organization is also showing more commitment than ever: in the last few days, they announced the new Strategic Coach Sng “Nelson” Yi-Wei. His knowledge and past experience in LNG Esports will augment G2’s push for their 9th LEC Championship, and potentially Worlds later down the line.