League of Legends: LEC Summer Split Preview

League of Legends: LEC Summer Split Preview

This article is part of our League of Legends series.

With the LEC starting Friday, June 12, let's break down the rosters, including all off-season moves, for the upcoming 2020 Summer Split and see where each team should go. But first, let's check out the rankings from the Spring:

  1. G2 Esports (15-3)
  2. Fnatic (13-5)
  3. Origen (13-5)
  4. Mad Lions (11-7)
  5. Misfits Gaming (10-8)
  6. Rogue (9-9)
  7. Excel Esports (7-11)
  8. FC Schalke 04 (6-12)
  9. SK Gaming (4-14)
  10. Team Vitality (2-16)

G2 Esports (15-3) (Spring Split Champions) 

"G2 wins the Spring Split Championship!" This is a common phrase over the past couple years since G2 have been so dominant in the LEC. Beating G2 is the ceiling for any LEC team and it's because G2 is in  league of it's own. Even though G2 winning this Spring wasn't very surprising, the road they took to get here had some fans worried. G2 finished first in the regular season, which put them in the winner's bracket for the playoffs, but Mad Lions shocked the EU region by beating them in a best-of-5 series 3-2. G2 fans wondered if they had taken a step back with having Perkz at mid and Caps at ADC during the experimental role swap. G2 then went on a run through the losers' bracket, getting the rematch against Mad Lions and beating them 3-1 before going on to the defeat Fnatic 3-0 in the final. As far as Summer Split goes, G2 will most likely take top-three in the regular season and make a run at another championship. As a fun little tidbit during the off-season it was revealed that G2 was just doing the role swap "for fun" during Spring. If that is true, the other teams in the LEC will be in a world of hurt when they are taking Summer 100 percent seriously.

Current Roster

Notes: Perkz and Caps are role swapping once again.

  • Top: Wunder 
  • Jungle: Jankos
  • Mid: Caps
  • ADC: Perkz
  • Support: Mikyx

Fnatic (13-5) (Second Place Playoffs)

Fnatic had another great Spring Season, even though they would likely tell fans they were disappointed in the outcome. Going into playoffs, FNC finished second in the regular season and looked in peak form. FNC went on to beat Origen 3-1 and then posted a 3-0 against Mad Lions, who previously beat G2. Going into the finals, there was a lot of hype around Fnactic finally taking home a championship since the 2018 Summer playoffs. Unfortunately, they put up a very poor performance in the finals, losing 3-0 to G2. Now that Selfmade has a full split of experience with Fnatic, they should make another solid run through playoffs to try and take the crown from the current kings, G2. Selfmade replaced Broxah, who went to North America to play for Team Liquid. There were no roster changes for Fnactic this Summer split, and I wouldn't change something that is clearly working except for falling one step short.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None
  • Top: Bwipo
  • Jungle: Selfmade
  • Mid: Nemesis
  • ADC: Rekkles
  • Support: Hylisang

Origen (13-5) (Fourth Place Playoffs) 

Origen, much like Rogue, is one of our macro centered gameplay teams where they would rather play the map and objectives instead of risking getting kills and being aggressive to get gold leads. Origen was great during the regular Spring season, taking third place and splitting matchups with top teams like Fnatic and Mad Lions 1-1. This is one team I would like to see get more aggressive against some of the better teams in the LEC. The Macro game for Origen is really strong but when up against G2, who look for kills at every point of the game, it seems like Origen can't keep up the tempo. There are no roster changes for the Summer split, which I can agree with when finishing third in the regular season and fourth in playoffs. Origen will be able to handle all of the lower ranked teams in the league like SK Gaming, Vitality and Schalke 04 with ease, but the real test will come when playing the top teams. Origen would be grateful to split these games with the likes of G2, Fnatic and Mad Lions. 

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None
  • Top: Alphari
  • Jungle: Xere
  • Mid: Nukeduck
  • ADC: Upset
  • Support: Destiny

Mad Lions (11-7) (Third Place Playoffs)

Mad Lions were the most surprising team to come into the LEC this Spring split. Known as Splyce last year and rebranded to Mad Lions, this roster has Humanoid as the veteran of the team with four rookies bringing new blood and life. Mad Lions went on to shatter everyone's expectations since most of the casters thought they would need a split of playing time to even get into playoffs. Mad Lions did make it into playoffs and shocked the LEC by defeating G2 3-2 in the first round. We know G2 made the comeback through the losers' bracket, but before this first series everyone counted Mad Lions out because G2 were that much of a favorite. I see a bright future for Mad Lions after the rookie nerves of playing on stage wares off. They should challenge the top teams like Fnatic and G2, which will be a treat to watch this Summer, and we don't even have to wait long, as their first matchup of the split is against G2.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None

Top: Orome

Jungle: Shadow

Mid: Humanoid

ADC: Carzzy

Support: Kaiser

Misfits Gaming (10-8) (Sixth Place Playoffs)

Misfits have had their ups and downs in the LEC as a franchise, with their high point coming in 2018 when they reached fourth place in playoffs. They have also had international success by participating in worlds back in 2017, getting out of their group stage but falling to SKT. Looking to this Summer Split, they brought in former TSM ADC Kobbe to replace Bvoy. Overall, this will help a small bit because I think Kobbe is only slightly better then Bvoy at his role. I am happy to see Kobbe back in the EU since the time on TSM seemed to not be good for his development as a player. Misfits Gaming should improve this summer, though they're still unlikely to take down the top teams.

Current Roster 

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: Kobbe
    • Out: Bvoy
  • Top: Dan Dan
  • Jungle: Razork
  • Mid: Febiven
  • ADC: Kobbe
  • Support: Denyk

Rogue (9-9)

Rogue started out the season looking like a lock for playoffs with a good run early, but they lost five of eight games in the back-half of the split, dropping them just short of playoffs. The most disappointing thing about this is that Rogue had games against a couple bottom-tier teams such as SK Gaming and Schalke 04. I do want to see Hans Sama get back to form; when he played back on Misfits Gaming, he had some amazing games that could carry his team to victory on his back. Overall, I think Rogue needs to do some player development and really focus on punishing the bottom-tier teams in the league. Rogue likes to play conservatively almost to a fault where when they have a lead, they don't want to pick fights and just try to out-macro the other team. This approach is fine in some cases but some one-off picks from the enemy team and you will see your lead diminish quickly, which is how the lower-tier teams came back to win in the last half of the split. If you're more familiar with the LCS, then Rogue is like the TSM of the LEC.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None
  • Top: Finn
  • Jungle: Inspired
  • Mid: Larsen
  • ADC: Hans Sama
  • Support: Vander

Excel Esports (7-11)

Excel Esports was like Rogue where in the middle of the split they had a chance to make a run at a playoff spot but ultimately fell short. Excel had one of the most bizarre seasons I have ever seen in professional League of Legends play. Every week this team would go 1-1 until Week 8, which at the time put them at a 7-7 record and still contending for a playoff spot. In the last two weeks of the season, Excel lost four games in a row and watched their playoff hopes disappear. It looks like Excel are making some big decisions this year by dropping Expect from the Top lane and Mickey from the Mid lane. Kryze comes from the Unicorns of Love B team and must have impressed Excel Esports to put him as the starter in the Top lane. Special comes from the Excel Esports development team (BT Excel) that was in the EU Masters tournament this Spring. BT Excel finished 3-3 in their group to go onto the knockout stage, where they were eliminated by LDLC in a 2-0 sweep. At least Special looked good in his individual performance. I will be cautiously optimistic to see if Excel can work together with the new members, but their ceiling is making playoffs and possibly making the second round.

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: Kryze, Special
    • Out: Expect, Mickey
  • Top: Kryze
  • Jungle: Caedrel
  • Mid: Special
  • ADC: Patrik
  • Support: Tore

FC Schalke 04 (6-12)

FC Schalke 04 had some hype coming into the season because of the ADC player Forg1ven coming back from mandatory military service after having success playing League of Legends professionally. This, unfortunately, turned poorly pretty quickly as the hype turned into disappointment when Schalke had some very bad games where Fog1ven was not playing up to his usual standards before the military service. Things turned a bit ugly for the organization when Forg1ven and coaches disagreed on how the game should be played, and after this he was moved to the B team. Innaxe took his spot and preformed better, which gave an overall boost to Schalke. It remains to be seen who will be starting in the jungle, so I have Gilius and Lurox both listed in the current roster. I see Schalke beating the lower-tier teams this summer, but won't be able to contend with the top half of the LEC. 

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • None
  • Top: Odoamne
  • Jungle: Gilius/Lurox
  • Mid: Abbedagge
  • ADC: Innaxe
  • Support: Dreams

SK Gaming (4-14)

It goes without saying that SK Gaming had a very bad Spring split by going 4-14. The one bright spot they could look back on is that they played spoiler to Excel by beating them in the final day of the split and knocking them out of the playoff race. One other game that SK can be proud of is beating Rogue, who finished in the top four in the league. SK Gaming have made tons of changes and time will tell if it pays off or they experiment even further with role swapping. Jenax, the former mid laner for SK Gaming, is now moving to the top lane. We have seen this before in other leagues with some success, so I'm hopeful. So, who is going into the mid lane if Jenax is going top? The answer is ZaZee, signed from Berlin International Gaming (BIG), who participated in the Prime League Pro Division where BIG came in fifth in their respective playoffs. For the rest of the team, I am excited to see Trick come back into form this year. The current patch sets up great for carry junglers, and this is where Trick shines. SK Gaming needs a lot to go right for them this year, but I expect them to finish a bit better than Spring  

Current Roster

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: ZaZee
    • Out: Sacre, Ventair
    • Jenax role swap to Top lane

Top: Jenax

Jungle: Trick

Mid: ZaZee

ADC: Crownshot

Support: Limit

Team Vitality (2-16)

Team Vitality wraps up our preview for the Summer Split after finishing last in the Spring by finishing 2-16. It remains unclear who will start for the mid and support roles since we have two players listed. I assume this will be an internal competition to see who works well with the team and gives them the best chance to win. Newcomers into Team Vitality consist of Nji and Labrov. Nji comes from the Vitality B squad and has been promoted to the starting LEC lineup before joining Vitality's B team he was a member on Fnatic Rising (Fnactic's development team), so Nji has had the chance to be around a winning organization and can be looked to for Vitality's success. Labrov is the next player brought in to give some diversity to the support role. Labrov came from Berlin International Gaming (BIG). BIG went on to the Prime League playoffs to playing against Gamer Legion and lost their series 2-0. Even in the loss, Labrov now has more game experience and the first jump into the playoff atmosphere. Team Vitality looks like they are cleaning house by letting Skeanz, Selfie and Steelback go, and they'll look to do some rebuilding for the rest of the year.

Current Roster 

  • Changes from Spring Split
    • In: Nji, Labrov
    • Out: Skeanz, Selfie, Steelback
  • Top: Cabochard
  • Jungle: Nji
  • Mid: Saken/Milica
  • ADC: Comp
  • Support: Jactroll/Labrov

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allen Moser
Allen Moser writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire
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