With the third week of LEC over, we’re now a third of the way through the regular summer split. Who’s on top?
The summer split so far has been thrilling and unpredictable, with results far from what anyone expected. Who would have thought that G2 and Fnatic would be middle of the pack? That SK would rise from the ashes? That MAD Lions would top the charts?
Many teams that were previously not considered contenders are stepping up to the plate, making the LEC one of the most exciting regions to watch right now.
The Lion’s Reign
When Splyce was overhauled at the end of last year, nobody could have predicted such a rise. With only Humanoid remaining as the team’s mid laner and four rookies to accompany him, even making playoffs would have been a great achievement. And yet they did not stop at making playoffs; this inexperienced roster beat G2 in stunning fashion to finish in third place.
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With such a promising performance in their first split, MAD became the most exciting new development in Europe since G2 burst onto the scene in 2016. Fans were eager to see how these rookies would mature for their second split together, and now they are showing us the fruits of their labour. With six wins and only one loss, MAD are the undisputed top team in Europe right now. Each and every member has performed to the highest level, all being among the best in their roles.
Shad0w has continued to play his signature Lee Sin this split, but this week showed us that he can play more than just aggressive junglers. Drafting Ivern for the first time in his career, he used powerful CC and shields to crush the second-ranked Rogue. Shad0w even received MVP for his performance, putting him closer to Jankos and Selfmade’s level in the eyes of many. In the same game, Kaiser showed off his Wukong bot lane, using impressive TP flanks to scatter Rogue in team-fights. With the dive potential of Wukong and the burst of Orome’s Renekton, Hans sama’s Varus was unable to dish out the necessary damage in fights, and Rogue quickly crumbled. With Humanoid’s Orianna absolutely dominating Origen the day before, MAD has now beaten every team but G2, the reigning champions who knocked them out of the Spring semi-finals.
We’ll have to wait until Week 5 for their anticipated rematch, but so far MAD has definitely looked like the better team. With their innovative drafts, talented rookies and a hunger for victory, MAD’s playoff place is all but assured; it wouldn’t even be a surprise to see them representing Europe at Worlds 2020.
Rogue settle for second
Just behind MAD are Rogue, another team that has gone beyond all expectations. After starting the split 3-0, Rogue has only dropped two games to G2 and MAD, putting them in second place for now.
Although in the first week Rogue played against admittedly weaker teams, their matches since have been solid. Against Fnatic this week, Rogue drafted comfort picks in the form of Inspired’s Olaf and Finn’s Gangplank, on which he is 3-0 so far this split. Larssen was the deciding factor though, as his Ryze completely took over the map and made Fnatic look helpless. By the end of the match he had almost double the gold of Fnatic’s mid laner Nemesis and a +95 CS advantage, showing everyone why he’s considered one of the best mid laners right now.
In Rogue’s battle for first place with MAD, Finn played Illaoi for the first time as a big team-fight threat and an answer to Orome’s Renekton. Although he picked up an early kill on Orome in a 1v2 situation, MAD consistently played around his tentacles in fights and avoided the insane damage potential of Illaoi’s ultimate. By leaving Varus open for Rogue and drafting the Senna Wukong counter, MAD was able to close the game without much resistance.
Maybe it’s still too early for Rogue to compete against the likes of G2 or MAD, but their recent performances put them heads above the other middling teams.
A Fall from Grace
For the first time in four years, both G2 and Fnatic aren’t in the top two at this point in the split. Instead, G2 sits at an average 4-3 and Fnatic at a disappointing 3-4.
After such a dominant 3-0 start to the summer, fans had high hopes for Fnatic. Unfortunately, Fnatic has lost all four games over the last two weeks, wasting their early success. In the second week, Fnatic went all-in on Selfmade, putting him on Graves while Rekkles played Soraka. Despite receiving so much gold and experience, the clear weaknesses of Graves prevented him from translating his leads into wins, earning the ire of Fnatic fans.
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Many disappointed fans called for Rekkles to be put back on a carry for Week 3, so in their first game, Fnatic drafted a classic ‘protect the carry’ comp consisting of Ornn, Volibear, Karma, Tahm Kench and Aphelios. This backfired though, especially after a tragically executed bot lane dive that undoubtedly tilted the Fnatic players. Rogue then steamrolled Fnatic, while G2’s Akali blind-pick and questionable draft against SK gaming put each of the old rivals at 3-3.
With G2 and Fnatic’s game hyped up as the Match of the Week, you might have expected a close and exciting battle. As we’ve seen so many times before though, G2 smashed Fnatic without much hassle. Caps earned MVP on his Twisted Fate, showing Nemesis how you’re actually supposed to use the champion. Wunder’s Mordekaiser simply used Death Realm on Nemesis’ Galio, leaving Rekkles with little protection from the onslaught of G2. Perkz picked up an effortless quadra kill on Kalista before ending the game at 25 minutes, making it G2’s fourth win this split without taking a single Baron.
I've been having a bit hard time dealing with stress so I will be taking a break from competing from next week so it feels really good taking a break on a very high note 😃😃
With Perkz suffering the stress of a personal tragedy just before the start of the split, he is now taking a break from next week’s games. G2’s poor form could be attributed to this added stress and most people are still confident that G2 will be back on top later in the split.
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Fnatic, on the other hand, is in a more worrying position. Only Rekkles and Selfmade have looked good so far, while Hylissang is as inconsistent as ever. Nemesis’ limited champion pool seems to be having a negative effect on their drafts, while both he and Bwipo are also receiving criticism for their play. Fnatic really has to turn it around in the next couple of weeks if they want to do well at playoffs and secure enough Championship points for a high seeding at Worlds, assuming they make it that far.
Images via lolesports