| Tags: League of Legends
| Author David Hollingsworth
LoL: LEC Spring Split Playoff Preview
Everything you need to know ahead of the start of the Spring Split.
While the LCS has decided to change things up in 2021, the LEC has kept it simple as we head into the Spring playoffs.
The 2021 Spring Split was some classic LEC action. Teams starting strong and falling off. Rogue and G2 Esports fought it out till the final week, Excel missing out on playoffs for a fifth straight split and Fnatic, once again, disappointing fans.
Surprise, surprise, G2 Esports has ended a regular-season split in first place. In recent years it’s been either G2 Esports or Rogue that takes the top spot, though G2 Esports has always come out on top in playoffs and regional finals. At the end of the day, G2 Esports can turn it on when they need to, and they’re more experienced than any other side in best-of-three and five series’.
G2 Esports, having finished in first place, decided to take on Schalke 04 as their choice of opponent in the first round of fixtures. The winning side will move on to face off against the winner of the Rogue v MAD Lions series, with the loser heading down to face off against the winner of Fnatic v SK Gaming, depending on seeding.
A look at the 2021 Spring Split playoff format
- Hans sama
Rogue come into playoffs having reached top two yet again, as they look to cement themselves as the number two side in the LEC. With Fnatic continuing to falter, Rogue and MAD Lions have the perfect opportunity to challenge G2 Esports. While Rogue does seem the most likely, they’ll need to get past MAD Lions first. After the side had a disappointing Worlds, albeit, in the hardest possible group, Spring Split has started well for Rogue.
Rogue will be the last game of the weekend by the time they play MAD Lions, meaning they’ll know everything about their next opponent before they face MAD Lions. A win will likely set up an Upper Bracket Final series against G2 Esports, while defeat will place them in the Round 3 Lower Bracket draw.
Coming in third place in the LEC will always mean you’ll face a hard task in Round 1 of playoffs. Though MAD Lions would probably rather pick Rogue over G2 Esports, you’ll have to beat them all eventually. MAD Lions will be outsiders, but they’ve caused upsets plenty of times in the past.
MAD Lions came into the playoffs in decent form, having gone 2-1 in the final week, even beating G2 Esports on the way. An upset loss to Astralis in the final series took some shine off a great split, though MAD Lions will be a formidable foe. The match will be one to watch for sure, with both sides boasting some top “Play of the Game” nominees. Armut and Hans sama are joint first, while Odoamne is joint fourth. We’ll certainly be in for a good series.
- Broken Blade
It was never going to be an easy playoff when you finished fourth. Schalke 04 were not expected to have such a good split, despite some early promise their season fell off towards the end. However, their early form has helped carry them to this point, and they’ll be able to give a good account of themselves.
It’s hard to see Schalke 04 taking down G2 Esports in this series, given the form of G2 Esports and their ability to show up when it counts. Schalke 04 are likely to have a better chance by going through the lower bracket and taking a run at the sides at the bottom.
Here we are, the end of another split and Fnatic has once again scraped through. Though, Spring Split 2021 might have been the closest run thing so far. Going into the weekend in third place, and looking comfortable for playoffs, only two scenarios would see Fnatic drop out of the playoff run. While they did manage it, they made hard work of it. Losing all three of their final day matches saw them drop to fifth place. With Misfits going 2-1, and SK Gaming failing to win a single match on the final weekend Fnatic was spared, but they cut it closed, again.
An update on our #LEC team and Berlin facility: pic.twitter.com/hYd3qdSFf8
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) March 15, 2021
Both Fnatic and SK Gaming had terrible final weeks, so neither is coming into this series in form. Fnatic would still be most people’s favorites, though how much further they can go after this series is anyone’s guess. That said, Fnatic is normally solid in the playoffs, though Rekkles’ brilliance had often been the sides get out of jail card, with him moving on, do Fnatic still have that magic?
- Bertho (sub)
As we mentioned above, SK Gaming had a terrible final week, in fact, SK Gaming comes into the playoffs on an 0-5 run of form, so the side’s chances of progressing are slim. That said, multi-game series’ can bring out the best in a side and SK Gaming might re-find their form at just the right time. With Fnatic being just as poor recently, they might just be the best possible opponent for them to face.
Ultimately, this is likely just a chance for SK Gaming to end the season on a high, rather than a whimper. With Summer Split plans no doubt already in the offing, SK Gaming could do with a win as they look to prepare for the rest of 2021.