Back on Top of Europe: MAD Lions Win the LEC 2023 Spring Split

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Back on Top of Europe: MAD Lions Win the LEC 2023 Spring Split

MAD Lions win their third LEC trophy and secure themselves as EMEA’s first seed in MSI 2023 with the massive reverse sweep against BDS.

It was just two years ago in 2021, MAD Lions were the team to beat in Europe. After acquiring a then-rookie jungler Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla the Lions ended the G2 Esports dominance in LEC and won back-to-back trophies. But even winning the LEC twice, making out of groups at MSI and Worlds 2021 didn’t allow MAD to escape widespread doubt from fans.

Once they attended the Worlds 2022 without winning a Bo5 the entire year and got eliminated from the event in the Play-in Stage, a repeat of Worlds 2020, their reputation took a big hit. As the only EU team to ever get eliminated in a Worlds Play-in, and to do it twice, not a lot of LEC fans expected MAD Lions to be their second MSI 2023 representative, nor did they want it. Most of the Spring Split, LEC drew a lot of criticism online because their format almost allowed MAD to go to MSI, just because they made finals in Winter.

They even made it to the postseason thanks to a last-chance tiebreaker and found themselves in the lower bracket with a 0-2 loss to Vitality. But MAD Lions did not crumble under immense pressure. They made another massive lower bracket run, just like they did in Winter, beating favorites like G2 and Vitality to face an undefeated in playoffs BDS roster. MAD fell down once again in the Spring Finals as they lost the first two games, and once again they persevered through it all. In a performance resembling their first LEC title run back in 2021 Spring, they completed the reverse sweep to earn their third LEC championship along with securing themselves a Bracket Stage spot in MSI 2023. The Finals MVP was Kim “Chasy” Dong-hyeon thanks to his massive carry performances in the three games MAD Lions won.

The individual games of the Finals were as close as they could be without having a 3-2 series. Both teams came into today sticking to their gameplans they already showed throughout playoffs. MAD Lions leaned heavily into their tried and true aggressive and skirmishing mid-jungle duos while giving a lot of freedom to Hylissang to impact the map. BDS on the other hand stuck to drafting two hyper carries for Crownie and Nuc and tried to support them with the rest of their players.

Early game comps from MAD Lions looked really effective at times, especially in Game 2 when they took a strong lead and it seemed like they would be able to close it out. But as always, BDS as a team rarely made mistakes and followed their plan. The first game was a hyper carry masterclass from Crownie, culminating in another Pentakill from the player who has been resurging as one of the best bot laners in LEC.

The second game was much closer with MAD controlling most of the game, despite drafting a very hard-to-execute poke composition. MAD and Carzzy played 95% of the game near perfect, but one crucial mistake from the LEC-champion ADC gave BDS the opportunity they were looking for to get back in the game and BDS took full advantage.

Unaffected by the big throw, MAD Lions struck back with a vengeance. They decided to at least match the scaling bot lanes to give themselves a late game insurance, which proved effective in Game 3 with Carzzy getting a Pentakill of his own. But the deciding factor in both Games 3 and 4 was the MAD’s top laner. Chasy was massive on two different top lane champions, as his K’Sante carried his team into the late game in Game 3 and his Jayce was a massive point of pressure around the map, letting his team take the series to Silver Scrapes.

MAD Lions top side continued their dominance in the last game with Chasy once again on the forefront. BDS looked lost after the two losses, couldn’t answer any of the MAD’s plays or did not make any plays of their own. In one of the most dominant Game 5s in the LEC history, MAD Lions completed the reverse sweep without giving over any kills as they cemented themselves as the LEC 2023 Spring Split champions.

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Back on Top of Europe: MAD Lions Win the LEC 2023 Spring Split
Rohat Dicle Kılınç
Rohat is a writer mainly focused on the League of Legends esports scene, and an LCS hopeful.