The 2019 LEC Summer Split will arguably be the biggest in European history for a couple of reasons.
First off, just less than a month ago, we saw a European team win an international title for the first time since the Season 1 Championship. Against all odds, G2 Esports took on all comers and lifted the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational trophy. In doing so, they established themselves as the best team in the world and raised the expectations for themselves, as well as the rest of Europe, going forward.
With the 2019 LEC Summer Split fast approaching, we now attempt to see which teams could look to challenge our 2019 MSI champions, G2 Esports, as well as which teams could possibly accompany them into the 2019 LoL World Championships.
A Cut Above the Rest — G2 Esports
G2 Esports punched their ticket to the 2019 MSI via a flawless playoff run, and despite the injury to star support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle, and the fact that Luka “Perkz” Perkovic role swapped into the bottom lane, the reigning LEC champions showed a kind of tempered aggression that we have never seen from them before.
G2 Esports seem to always index towards the plays that would get them the maximum amount of advantages in the games they play, and they almost never back away from a fight especially if there is a chance that they could come out ahead.
Anyone unfortunate enough to get sucked into the chaos with G2 Esports will quickly realize that they could never do what they do.
To say that G2 Esports are the best in the world in what they do is only fitting. After all, no one has proven to have been able to consistently beat them at it yet. But, their aggression could backfire, and that means we should see them drop a game or two every now and then. Of course, they could dial back and take things easier against lesser competition at the 2019 LEC Summer Split.
Either way, barring a huge meta shift AND some kind of freak injury to multiple key players, we don’t expect G2 Esports to relinquish their stranglehold on the LEC anytime soon.
Fnatic’s start to the 2019 LEC Spring Split was rather slow. In fact, for the majority of the split, they were much closer to the bottom of the standings than they were towards the top. But, in the second half, they became the best team in Europe, dropping just a single game en route to securing a third-place finish and ultimately, a semifinal exit after falling in the hands of Origen in Rotterdam.
It was a good run, but certainly not what what you’d expect from an organization that made it to the Grand Finals of the 2018 LoL World Championship.
To improve their chances of making it there again, Fnatic thought to make a couple of changes, including bringing Daniel “Dan” Hockley from the team’s Academy roster in their United Kingdom League team.
As of the moment, nothing separates Dan from Broxah especially in terms of champion pool. However, he could bring something fresh to the table for Fnatic.
If Fnatic gets a favourable read on the meta, chances are, they’ll be right up there along with G2 Esports.
Origen also had a rather slow start, but they slowly built up their team play and their understanding of the fundamentals.
Stylistically, Origen are more like an LCK team than an LEC team. They play a macro-heavy, controlled type of game that focuses on slowly choking their enemies out of resources. That’s okay, if the meta favours long and drawn-out games. But, this also makes them vulnerable in the early game, something that we saw G2 Esports expose in the many times that they played against each other.
The key to Origen’s improvement is now to make sure that they can execute better early on while still retaining their tendency to play for the late-game.
Middle of the pack
Splyce has been known in recent memory to be the team that always defaults to the late game despite the fact that at times they pick early game oriented team compositions.
During this spring, we saw them slowly move into a faster, more aggressive style. The problem with the team is that the aggression usually only comes from their jungler Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir. Xerxe usually has rather excellent jungle pathing, and is able to both farm efficiently and empower his laners. If he is set behind, then his team would have a rather uneasy game wherein they would not know how to properly transition into the mid and late game.
The team has been looking towards a bit more creativity towards the end of the season with some mixed success: their bottom laner Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup has recently played a lot of mages in the bottom lane, so expect that this team does not have a problem in that department.
Team Vitality are an explosive, extremely aggressive team with unexpected picks here and there. I understand that that sounds rather familiar: they have been playing towards the demands of this meta long before this meta has even settled down. They are not willing to back down from a fight and they are always willing to make the outplay. The team usually plays towards their solo laners, with the help of Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha.
Towards the end of split, however, Team Vitality appeared to have run out of steam or ideas or both. They left their bottom lane alone and their communication all but disappeared.
The last time we saw Team Vitality, they were a shell of their former inconsistent selves.
Heading into the 2019 LEC Summer Split, Team Vitality will look to try and make sure that they hit their peak form more consistently. Otherwise, they can say goodbye to their chances of contending for a title.
Misfits Gaming formed a super team, only for that team to perform well below expectations.
Based on individual talent alone, Misfits Gaming should have contended for a title. Instead, they’re struggling to even make it out of the middle of the pack. But still, the talent is there, and towards the end of the split, Misfits Gaming started showing flashes of brilliance.
As the meta heading to the 2019 LEC Summer Split favours the synergy between the mid and jungle, there’s a lot of hope surrounding Misfits Gaming.
If they can use this to their advantage and gain some confidence early on, Misfits Gaming could establish themselves as contenders this 2019 LEC Summer Split.
FC Schalke 04 Esports
FC Schalke 04 Esports is another organization that seemed to underperform.
With the team rebuilding around star bot laner Elias “Upset” Lipp, this squad had a fantastic start to their season, dropping only two games in the first half of the spring. However, they later dropped out of contention for the playoffs due to a series of questionable plays and moves.
For starters, Felix “Abbedagge” Braun started playing more like a rookie towards the latter half of the 2019 LEC Spring Split.
He was among the top three in the league in isolated deaths for the spring, and as I emphasized the importance of the mid and jungle duo, his underperformance led to the demise of the team.
FC Schalke 04 Esports can still turn things around, however. A bit more seasoning definitely should help Abbedagge play better, among other things. But, expectating anything more than a playoff berth from this squad is foolish, at best.
SK Gaming came into the LEC as a returning organization with a roster that had the former MAD Lions EC roster that won the European Masters tournament last year. However, after getting defeated by Splyce 3-1, they decided to shore up their roster and make some improvements. After their Academy team’s good showing at the most recent European Masters tournament, Toni “Sacre” Sabalić finally makes his way into the main roster, replacing Jorge “Werlyb” Casanovas.
While Sacre is quite a proficient carry player in the top lane and could provide an excellent win condition aided by Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek’s proficient jungling, my worries lie with their mid laner. Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik has mostly been on Lissandra duty in spring, providing an excellent skirmisher and team fighter in the mid lane.
With Lissandra forced out of the meta due to some nerfs over the break, the concern with SK Gaming is towards which champion they would go to, and how they would end up playing without the skirmishing capability of such a champion.
If Pirean’s champion pool proves wider than initially expected and they can integrate Sacre into the roster successfully, SK Gaming could make a deep run in the 2019 LEC Summer Split.
Rogue was the tenth place squad last split, but they had a rather promising Academy team in the Polish League, prompting them to promote their entire Academy lineup to the main roster.
With Finn “Finn” Wiestål in the top lane, Kacper “Inspired” Słoma in the mid lane, Emil “Larssen” Larsson in the mid lane, Paweł “Woolite” Pruski at the bottom lane with Oskar “Vander” Bogdan as support, we might finally get to see how the squad would perform against better competition.
With that said, Rogue are definitely the dark horses of the 2019 LEC Summer Split.
There’s weird roster moves, and there’s questionable ones. Then, there’s what Excel Esports did.
After a lackluster deput split last spring, Excel Esports thought it best to replace their mid laner and bottom laner. They brought in Son “Mickey” Young-min all the way from South Korea, as welll as Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss.
The problem with this roster is that we don’t really know how well they’ll work. Mickey was inconsistent enough to begin with, and we can’t really expect him to play more consistently now that he’s playing abroad now, can’t we? Not to mention, Hjarnan is far from what you’d call as a strong longer.
Expectations for Excel Esports are low, but there’s a chance that they could bottom out at the 2019 LEC Summer Split.
As stated, this is, of course, a preliminary power ranking. This was done with not much information as to how the players will perform in the current meta, and in exactly what form they are in. That being said, it will be quite the adventure to look back once the regular season is done.
Summer split is starting soon, and the road to Worlds is still for anyone to take.
What do you think of our 2019 LEC Summer Split power rankings? Do you think our rankings are justified? Which teams do you think we ranked too high or too low? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.