Join us as we take a look at the 2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1, from the teams to watch and the must-see matches of the week.
With the European scene rebranding into the League of Legends European Championship, all organizations will be looking towards becoming the champions of the inaugural 2019 LEC Spring Split.
Soon we shall see how teams adapt to what is mostly left from the 2018 World Championship meta — a solo lane carry oriented, fast paced style of play. What kind of changes will we see? We don’t know. But, with the addition of turret planes, there should be a higher demand for better laners compared to late-game specialists. The bonus gold from turret plates prove to be too attractive to pass up for a late game that might never come. At the same time, neutral objectives such as Baron Nashor and Elemental Drakes respawn earlier than they used to, and coupled with the fact that minions travel faster and cannon minions spawn faster in the late game, games become less like ARAM staring contests where teams wait for the other to make a mistake.
Overall, the changes make it look like games are rather silent earlier on in the laning phase with fights most likely happening in the river or near jungle games, while getting Baron Nashor almost always guarantees breaking at least one enemy inhibitor.
But we’re not here to discuss the meta. Right now, we’re here to talk about the teams heading into week 1 of the 2019 LEC Spring Split.
2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1 Schedule
Day 1, Friday, January 18 2019 (all times are in CET)
SK Gaming vs Fnatic 18:00
Excel Esports vs Splyce 19:00
Schalke 04 Esports vs Team Vitality 20:00
Rogue vs Misfits Gaming 21:00
Origen vs G2 Esports 22:00
Day 2, Saturday, January 19 2019
G2 Esports vs Schalke 04 Esports 17:00
Excel Esports vs Rogue 18:00
Splyce vs Team Vitality 19:00
SK Gaming vs Misfits Gaming 20:00
Origen vs Fnatic 21:00
2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1 — Team to Watch
G2 Esports without a doubt turned the most heads and raised the most eyebrows in the offseason with their roster changes. Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss and Kim “Wadid” Bae-in are no longer in the roster, and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle took over Wadid’s former spot in the team. Luka “Perkz” Perkovic swapped roles to AD Carry, and his mid lane kingdom was relinquished to Rasmus “Caps” Winther. The rest of the team remains the same, with Martin “Wunder” Hansen and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski retaining their positions in the top lane and the jungle respectively.
This team has the star power, and this team has the potential to make take the first ever League of Legends European Championship, and make a deep run in an international tournament. Assuming that the players are on form, they could easily dismantle their opponents for the coming week. However, most of the players on this roster have been known to get into phases of inconsistency from time to time. Another problem that the team might face is resource allocation: all their laners have been known to need assistance from the jungler or from other lanes, and after the laning phase ends, which of them would take the minions in the side lanes?
G2 is the team to watch because they can prove to be the new kings of Europe, or they could be the result of an ambitious gambit that backfired. We will see what kind of play they bring to Summoner’s Rift over the weekend, and they will be sure to attempt to surprise at all. Let us try our best not to overreact and generalize over their week one performance.
2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1 — Player to Watch
Tim “Nemesis” Lipovsek is one of the three rookie mid laners in the League of Legends European Championship 2019 Spring Split. He is a rookie only in the highest form of competition in Europe, but he has already played in the Spanish regional League and in the European Masters tournaments in the past under MAD Lions, E.C. Nemesis is a fairly well-rounded player, capable of playing on a low economy on roaming utility champions like Galio or Sion, scaling late-game carries like Yasuo or Kassadin, and he can also shine on assassins like Akali.
While there is no problem with his mechanical ability and his champion pool, there is much to be said about how he could fit in with the Fnatic roster. Only Caps and Paul “sOAZ” Boyer left the roster, and Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau was playing most of the games in 2018 anyway— while there are big shoes to fill for Nemesis, he must be able to assert his identity in the Rift. He is not Caps, who somehow makes Vayne in the mid lane work. It must be clear to Caps and with the rest of the organization that Nemesis has his identity and is capable of executing that.
2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1 — Must-Watch Matches
Origen vs G2 Esports
This is a test to see exactly how the European super team matches with the squad whose members were hand picked by former EU LCS caster and analyst Martin “Deficio” Lynge. Deficio assembled a roster of mechanically talented individuals with several splits’ worth of experience on their belts. This means that these players’ sense of the game and how it should progress is solid. The problem lies within the execution of their desired playstyle.
With Andre “Guilhoto” Guilhoto, last summer’s Coach of the Split, as their head coach, one can expect good results from this squad.
Starting with 2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1, g2 Esports looks to prove that they are the European super team. Not Fnatic. No one else. Only them. But, the question is, can they do it? More importantly, who do they prioritize in the drafting phase? Who will have to sacrifice his game? Who will call the shots?
With so much uncertainty, I predict Origen to take the match. Not to mention, Jonas “Kold” Andersen has been historically a more consistent player than Jankos. Without a jungler to further enable Caps, if he does not get a counterpick, Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm can easily take the lane. Barney “Alphari” Morris can absorb any form of pressure in the top lane, and it can be expected that bottom lane matchups will be generally even.
Betting: Origen to win at 2.60 odds. (10bet)
Splyce vs Team Vitality
Heading into 2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1, Splyce appears to be at serious disadvantage. They usually play around Andre “Xerxe” Dragomir’s pathing, and then they utilize Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup as some sort of late game insurance policy. The problem is that going into the late game is actually a rare phenomenon in this meta. In addition, the jungle changes back in 8.11 force junglers to reveal their pathing earlier than they used to. Splyce might also need to reconfigure as Kobbe and Xerxe were the only members to stay from 2018. Tamas “Vizicsacsi” Kiss is now their top laner, Tore Hoel “Norskeren” Eilertsen is their new support, and rookie Marek “Humanoid” Brazda is set to become their mid laner.
With so many changes to their roster, can Splyce really display the class and discipline that they used to have?
On the other hand, Team Vitality didn’t go through as many changes. But, they did make a change to their most important role — the jungle. Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek, who was vital towards their wins in the summer split, getting them second in the regular season and then eventually to Worlds, has left the team for Rogue. The team has since replaced him with, Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha, a player known for a hyper-aggressive style.
Because Vitality is more or less the same, I predict Vitality to take this match.
In a meta where lane prowess and aggression are rewarded, Vitality comes out on top simply because that is the only way they know how to play League of Legends.
The first few weeks of every split is a game of finding out what the meta actually is, and finding out which team can gel together the fastest. 2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1 is no exception.
Nevertheless, it’s the first few weeks when the expectations for any team’s season are set.
A word of caution for all viewers and fans should be to not generalize or make hasty comments about any team or player. We as outsiders can often affect the players in ways greater than we can imagine.
This is a new year, this is a new league. Welcome to the League of Legends European Championship.
What do you think will happen in 2019 LEC Spring Split Week 1? Will we see a lot of upsets happen? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.