The LEC Summer regular season has ended and only six teams remain to compete for the title and spots at Worlds.
Last weekend the regular season of the LEC Summer Split has ended, we finally know who the six playoffs squads are! The competition was fierce, especially for the last spot, so let’s take a look at the teams who are still fighting through the LEC Summer Playoffs for the coveted World Championship spots.
6. Team Vitality
The team that made playoffs with a less than five percent chance, Team Vitality now aims even higher. The team had its ups and mostly downs in the regular season, almost getting knocked out by Astralis and SK Gaming. However, they pulled through in the closing weekend of the regular season, taking the last spot of playoffs.
They finished with an 8-10 record, proving everyone wrong in the last three days. Beating FC Schalke 04 was not a difficult feat to achieve, and they beat their biggest rival, Astralis, in the run for playoffs. However, they surprised everyone by beating Rogue, who finished in first place and was a difficult challenge even for the top teams.
Rogue gained control of the match in the first half but at the 22-minute mark, after a great skirmish, Vitality managed to take the Baron and chip down Rogue’s lead. After 20 more minutes of back and forth fighting, Team Vitality managed to knock down the giants of the Summer Split and secure their playoffs.
Even though Summer Fnatic made everyone forget the Spring Fnatic, the black and orange squad went 1-4 in their last two weeks. They faced the top of the league, played against Rogue, MAD Lions and Misfits Gaming, but also lost against SK Gaming. While SK was much stronger than at the beginning of the split, losing to them as a top team is not really a good sign.
Fnatic can be happy that they made playoffs looking better than last split, but they should work hard on fixing their mistakes in the small break before playoffs, as they looked much stronger before Weeks Seven and Eight. If they can get back in the form that they were in Weeks Five and Six, they should have no problem making it further into playoffs than in Spring. After all, they beat G2 twice and beat Rogue in Week One.
4. Misfits Gaming
Misfits were undisputable the biggest surprise of the Summer Split. Making first place on our first Power Ranking, they pushed forward, and while not making the playoffs as first seeds, they got in after a disappointing Spring Split.
Misfits Gaming achieved playoffs by making no changes to their roster, meaning that the players who failed last split just practiced a lot in the mid-season break and found new strategies and tactics in order to win games. That strategy was to focus on top side, as Shin “HiRit” Tae-min was the carry of Misfits multiple times. According to stats site Games of Legends, HiRit had the second-best KDA in the league while leading in damage dealt not just in his team, but among all LEC top laners.
As HiRit stepped up his game, Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié and Iván Martín “Razork” Díaz improved as well. Razork has the highest kill participation in the league with 78% and is in second place for Vision Score per Minute, while Vetheo has the best KDA and Average Kills and is second-best in Average Deaths.
Misfits have a problem with getting behind early and failing to come back, but if their bot lane can cover that angle, they should be an unstoppable force in the LEC.
Rogue’s placement on the list might come as a shocker to many, but the first-place team wasn’t so hot in the last few weeks. They lost against MAD Lions in Week Seven and failed to close out the game against Team Vitality in the last week. Besides these losses, they only lost both games against G2 Esports and the first match against Fnatic.
While Rogue is undeniably the best team in the LEC in terms of consistency, game knowledge and overall skill in League of Legends, they miss something that could be described as clutch factor. They also tend to fold under pressure and fail to regain control of a game once they’ve lost it, as demonstrated by the Spring Finals against MAD Lions or the recent match against Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov and Vitality. If they make Worlds, they will be one of the strongest contenders in Europe as the eastern teams are known to be more controlled than the western squads, but in the LEC there are a few teams who can upset Rogue.
2. MAD Lions
Spring Split Champions made playoffs so they can have another go at a title! While MAD Lions had a weaker start in the season, not having a clean weekend until Week Five, they stayed at the top of the league until the end, finishing the regular season in third place with a 12-6 record.
Javier “Elyoya” Batalla, the jungler of the Spring Champions, said that the reason they were struggling in the first few weeks was because of MSI. The MAD Lions finished the first big international event in third place, only losing to 2020 World Champions DAMWON Kia. The shorter break between MSI and the summer season hurt the team’s morale, and on top of that, they had to do a 28-day long double quarantine because some staff members caught the virus.
But after the hardships, MAD Lions came back to beat Fnatic and Misfits Gaming, also beating Rogue for the first time this year in the regular season. They finished the season tied with G2 Esports but took third seed because G2 had a perfect last weekend. Nevertheless, the Lions are still a force to be reckoned with, and they are still in contention for the title.
1. G2 Esports
The Kings of Europe made playoffs again after a Summer Split in which they really had crazy ups and downs. They started the season fine but couldn’t let go of the “losing to Schalke” meme, meaning after Week Two they had a 4-1 record. Then came the biggest slump of the team so far: they went 0-4 in Weeks Three and Four. Martin “Rekkles” Larsson said in a recent podcast that those weeks were out of character for the team. And not only because they went on a four-game losing streak. They tried comps and strategies which didn’t work for them, like the Pantheon support against Fnatic.
After they returned to what they are truly good at (a well-rounded comp in which any member of G2 can carry, if need be), and after Rasmus “Caps” Winther shaved his head and got a powerup, the most successful team in the history of the LEC began it’s way back to the top. They locked in at second place for the playoffs, but they surely aim to take the crown and finally get a Worlds title for Europe!
The LEC Summer Playoffs begin on August 13 with the first round of both brackets, kicking off with Rogue against Misfits Gaming!