Is Making Playoffs Enough?: LEC Excel Esports Summer Preview

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Is Making Playoffs Enough?: LEC Excel Esports Summer Preview

Excel Esports didn’t change a single thing in their roster – does that mean 6th is enough for them?

There are only a few teams that didn’t sign any new players before the 2022 LEC Summer Split. Some, such as G2 Esports, Fnatic or Rogue didn’t feel the need to change anyone, because they were successful enough in the Spring, or in the case of Rogue and Fnatic, they can definitely do better. But in the weaker teams, such as SK Gaming or Excel Esports, not switching anything up begs some questions.

Pro LoL player Erlend "nukeduck" Våtevik stands with an Excel Esports jersey on and his gamertag in orange in front of him.

Excel Esports had an incredible showing last Spring – they made playoffs! The British organization joined the LEC in it’s inaugural Season back in 2019, but failed to qualify for the real deal of the Split’s before. The team in which Marc “Caedrel” Lamont got a name for himself finished 9th in 2019 Spring and in last place in Summer, then took a step forward, finishing 7th in both 2020 Spring and Summer.

They had a bit of a setback in 2021, as they finished 8th in both Splits, even after signing Erlend “nukeduck” Vatevick Holm, who has tremendous experience in competing, as he’s playing non-stop since 2011 – but hasn’t won a Major title.

The organization also brought Mark “Markoon” van Woensel onboard in June 2021, and the rookie jungler has come a long way since his joining. But after trying so hard but only getting so far, the team decided that it was time for a breakthrough. They signed Finn “Finn” Wiestal before and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle during this year’s Spring Split, and with this roster, the team did what no one believed it could: they qualified for the Spring Playoffs.

Excel Esports got 9 wins last split, beating Fnatic and MAD Lions once, but Team Vitality twice during the 8 weeks. Winning against the French superteam also meant that they won the tiebreaker without playing it, so not only did they got into the playoffs, but they also got close to starting the second half of the Split in the Upper Bracket. However, they didn’t make it very far, as Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and co. took their revenge, beating Excel in a close set 3-2.

But this roster was definitely an upgrade from last years’ ones, not just in terms of achievement, but in terms of performance as well. Patrik “Patrik” Jiru, the only remaining member from 2019 has made the third LEC All-Pro team, all of which only had players from Rogue, Fnatic and G2, apart from Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla. As always, this achievement wouldn’t be possible without a great Support, so Mikyx should also get some credit.

But the organization didn’t swap any players out in the offseason, which could be a bit problematic. While Excel Esports made playoffs, they didn’t perform that well among the best teams. MAD Lions are expected to make a comeback, and Team Vitality should be a lot stronger in the Summer Split as well – have Excel practiced enough to make playoffs again with the same players? Or is making playoffs enough for the organization?

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