EU’s LEC gets four representatives at Worlds 2022, so let’s learn more about them.
It has been a very up-and-down year for nearly all of the LEC teams. Multiple teams were the championship favorites at different times in the year, and their performances were never consistent. This situation makes it very hard to judge what to expect from them in an international tournament, even if you watched all of the games. That said, it is always good to try and set some expectations because that is the fun part of Worlds.
- İrfan “Armut” Berk Tükek
- Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla
- Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer
- William “UNF0RGIVEN” Nieminen
- Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser
MAD Lions, previously Splyce, has some history in Worlds events. They’ve made it out of the groups multiple times, as recent as the last year's tournament. However, they are currently the only major region team that failed to make it out of Play-ins, Worlds 2020. Combined with the fact that they were slumping in the playoffs and they have a tough group, EU fans are a little worried. Not the mention the mainly teasing fact that they haven’t won any Bo5s all year long.
Nonetheless, MAD Lions are still a solid team that can give trouble to any LCK or LPL team in a Bo1. Their aggressive early games are one of the best in getting leads in Europe, and even though they can sometimes struggle to finish games off, they kept getting better over the Summer Split.
The driving force behind MADs in-game engine is the mid/jungle duo of Nisqy and Elyoya. Nisqy has been great at connecting with and enabling his junglers all his career, and this split is not different as his most popular champs are Taliyah and Sylas. They enable early roaming with similar jungle picks like Wukong and Poppy. Both UNF0RGIVEN and Armut had great carry games and some not-so-good games, and have decent champion pools, despite the Gnar/Wukong two-trick memes about the latter. They can also greatly benefit from an engage support meta as Kaiser is one of the best supports in the EU when it comes to those champions.
- Players to watch: Elyoya, Nisqy
- Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen
- Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz
- Marek “Humanoid” Brázda
- Elias “Upset” Lipp
- Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov
Fnatic has made it out of Groups in the last seven Worlds they attended, except in 2021 when Upset wasn’t with the team. They’ve been consistently good enough to challenge top Eastern teams, but fans are not sure this season. For starters, we’ve had a lot of rumors about them haven’t started to scrim yet, even though they have a Play-in game in just under a week. Then the announcement we had today, where Fnatic tweeted that Upset and Hylissang both have covid, and it's not guaranteed that they will be in Mexico City to play on the first day.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) September 23, 2022
If neither player can get to the event for their initial games, FNC have Mauno “beansu” Tälli and Louis “BEAN” Schmitz listed as subs. While we saw BEAN sub in for Upset last year, and he wasn’t necessarily bad, it would be really unfortunate for Upset to miss two Worlds in a row. Not to mention he was the only member of the roster that showed a consistently good performance in Summer, at least until the series where they got eliminated.
In many games this Summer regular season, Upset was the sole reason why Fnatic won while many of his teammates were underperforming. He is a player proficient in both late game carries like Zeri, and lane bullies like Lucian/Kalista. Even though they struggled in lane sometimes with Hylissang not having his best split, he was expected to step up with engage supports coming back.
The top side for Fnatic can be a coin flip at times. Neither Razork nor Humanoid played well in the regular season, but they really stepped it up once Bo5s started. Both them and the veteran Wunder will have to step it up to secure the first place in their groups if their bot lane can’t make it, as they will have to face a major region team in a Bo5 if they cannot secure first.
- Players to watch: Humanoid, Upset
- Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik
- Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski
- Rasmus “caPs” Borregaard Winther
- Victor “Flakked” Lirola Tortosa
- Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé
G2 Esports has been the most successful Western team in international events, going as far as winning the MSI in 2019. They are now back at the Worlds stage after missing it last year with a very disappointing 2021. Regardless of their recent form, G2 has always been the hope of EU at Worlds.
The biggest reason for this is their talented and veteran mid/jungle duo, caPs and Jankos. After a powerful Spring, Jankos had some abysmal performances during Summer, as we saw his very disappointing Finals series against Rogue. Still, we know he can always step it up, especially when caPs tend to turn it up during international events. This year for the Danish mid laner was mostly about roaming champs like Ahri and Sylas, even though he doesn’t shy away from picks like Azir. And he also has multiple weird pocket picks, AP Varus mid, anyone?
Even when caPs isn’t on a carry, G2 won’t be lacking damage anyways. Broken Blade in the top lane is a player that loves his counter picks. We’ve seen him play Yone, Fiora and even Corki top. Their bot duo is also very talented. Despite this still being their first year, they've already proven themselves in MSI. They are very versatile when it comes to champion pools and play the team fights very well. The only problem for the bot lane is they can sometimes struggle in 2v2s, which can cause them some issues.
- Players to watch: Jankos, caPs
- Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu
- Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong
- Emil “Larssen” Larsson
- Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos
- Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus
After multiple times failing at the finish line, Rogue finally managed to win their first LEC trophy and get the first seed for Worlds 2022. In a weird twist, this was probably the worst regular season for the team, but this time they overcome the choking memes and came out triumphant. While they have a tough Worlds group, they’ve always been a good Bo1 team, so it will be nice to see them try to prove themselves.
The 2022 Summer Split has been challenging for the top side of Rogue. Both solo laners and the jungler Malrang had a slow start to the split, despite the Korean jungler's very impressive first split in LEC. But we’ve seen these three players improve over time. Odo has looked very dominant in the top lane, with his Renekton becoming a very comfortable blind pick. Larssen sometimes gets some criticism for his champ pool and reliance on control mages, but with both Azir and Viktor strong in the meta, don’t think he will have too many problems.
The excellent spot for Rogue in Summer was the bot lane. Comp and Trymbi were why Rogue won so many games in the regular season, and the young ADC continued to be the main threat to the team deep into their playoff run. While he can play hyper carries, he generally prefers more lane picks, sometimes even opting into Caitlyn even before her buffs. Trymbi, on the other hand, has been becoming the best support in EU, and is one of the most innovative players in the West. He was the earlier adapter the Soraka, who kept getting popular as the Western playoffs went on. Malrang is also great at playing around and enabling his bot lane, so if he can continue doing the same, especially if his Jarvan is unbanned, this can be the year Rogue makes it out of groups.
- Players to watch: Malrang, Comp
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