2020 LEC Spring Review

2020 LEC Spring Expectations Review

The LEC ended without too many surprises and of course G2 ran away with the title in a quick 3-0 over Fnatic. As a final farewell to the Spring Split we at Esports Vikings wanted to go over our expectations from the pre season and talk about how things actually played out. If you are new to the LEC make sure to check out our Tournament Page here and if you happen to be interested we reviewed every week from start to finish. For reference of our preseason expectations make sure to take a look at our Power Rankings! I’m going to include Playoffs in the final standings so the top 6 teams may look a bit different than what the Regular Season Standings show.

1. G2

Cameron: 1

G2 sat atop the standings all split long and although they struggled a bit in the Playoffs against MAD Lions, they managed to make and take the finals finishing with a 26-7 win/loss spread over the course of the Split. A lot of their shortcomings came from experimental drafts and mild disrespect for their opponents. In their first Playoff match against MAD Lions however their opponents definitely played out of their minds and sometimes that just happens in games. Our number 1 in the preseason and the number 1 at the end of the season.

Miika: 1

G2 Esports won the season as expected and was completely superior in the final against Fnatic. However, its season was far from perfect and overall it would not be in my eyes the best team of the season without the humiliation given to Fnatic in the final. G2 Esports was at times quite lost the regular season and the playoff series against MAD Lionsia was one of the poor-match series that I have ever seen. However, the tight spot saw the G2 that dominated the series last year and possibly the best G2 ever in the finals. When the team was back against the wall, it was seen why it left the season as a pre-favorite.

2. Fnatic

Cameron: 4

At the beginning of the Split, I was concerned about Fnatic losing their Coach and bringing in Mithy to fill that role. While I still think that the team would have benefited from a more experienced head coach, they still managed to wedge out a 2nd place Regular Season finish and make it to the Playoff Finals. I definitely would still attribute this to the caliber of players on the roster and am not sure I’m convinced that they could pull it off again come Summer but we will have to wait and see.

Miika: 2

The start and end of Fnatic’s season was awful to watch. However, everything in between was absolutely brilliant and before the final Fnatic was in my eyes the best team in the league. Fnatic found a really great vibe in the second half of the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs and often won matches already in the draft. Sadly, the final saw the weakest Fnatic of the season and that’s why Fnatic is in the same place as my predecessor. In all respects, Fnatic looked through the season from a team capable of crushing anyone except G2 Esports.

3. Origen

Cameron: 2

Some may argue that MAD Lions deserve this spot after their miraculous Spring Split run. At the end of the day however, Origen finished 3rd in the Regular Season and still made a decent run in Playoffs. If the Bracket had turned out a bit different there is a good chance that MAD and OG would have faced each other and that could have given MAD the edge here. OG are a strong side and hopefully can put up more of a fight when it matters come summer.

Miika: 3

The Origen is just an investment below my advance, but nonetheless, it’s probably the biggest disappointment for the spring season. I was really expecting Origen to challenge both Fnatic and G2, but the further the season progressed, the farther the top two from Origen escaped. Origen’s own style of play worked brilliantly against weaker teams, but it didn’t have any weapons to knock out top teams. And on top of all that, Origen’s style of play is infinitely boring to watch. Origen is allowed to spend many hours building team spirit and in front of the whiteboard before the start of the summer season, as reaching the top two requires small miracles and at least a change in style of play. On the other hand, LEC has four seats to the Worlds, so the current investment in the summer season is enough to travel to China.

4. MAD Lions

Cameron: 10

Okay look, nobody, and I mean NOBODY expected MAD to make it as far as they did, whether it was Playoffs or the Regular Season. They overachieved by a large margin and they’ll have to be a respected team come Summer, so they won’t be my 10th place team next Power Rankings we do. Carzzy was the star of the squad with their Bot Lane also proving to be quite strong. They upset G2 more than once but I’m not sure that will be the case after this Split.

Miika: 9

A real super surprise for the spring season. In advance, I doubted that spring would still go with experience and that the real striking ability of this team would only be seen in the summer, as there are four newcomers on the team. However, the young promises gave a storm warning in the regular season and, surprisingly, the G2’s best of the five match series. Very few teams in the world can say they have won the best of the five matches in the series against the current line-up of G2 Esports. In advance, Humanoid was bet on the cornerstone of the team, but to everyone’s surprise, young newcomer Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság grabbed the lead role on his shoulders. In addition to the awesome twitter game, Carzzy also performed excellently on the playing field and when combined with the equation, Zhiqiang "Shad0w" Zhao, who rose to the elite of the junglers in an instant, was a success story!

5. Rogue

Cameron: 5

Rogue slid into the Playoffs with a 6th place finish and even though Misfits finished 5th, I think Rogue proved they were a better team with their 3-1 victory in Round 1 of the Playoffs. They only managed 1 game against OG in Round 2 but that's all Misfits was able to take off of them so. I can see a world where Rogue joins the fight for top 4 but they’ll need to make a few changes. They could definitely do well in Summer but after losing some very key matches in Spring it will be interesting to see how much they can actually challenge for.

Miika: 4

Once again, a throw of just one investment, so without the miracle of the MAD Lions, it would have been close to right. Despite the investment, Rogue was also disappointing. I thought in advance that this would be the team that would float in the gap between the top three and the middle caste, but in the end it had challenges to even reach the playoffs. Had Schalke 04 started the season in the five it started, Rogue would have been in real trouble with the playoffs. It petrified in the playoffs and convincingly knocked down Misfits Gaming, whose newcomers were clearly not ready for the best of the five match series under pressure. Rogue is one of the most experienced teams in the series and I expected more newcomers from it during the bustling season. Now that the newcomers are a bit more seasoned, I predict challenges for Rogue for the summer season.

6. Misfits Gaming

Cameron: 9

Misfits were another Underdog story, if you asked me and Miika, that overachieved. They didn’t reach the level of MAD Lions but still managed to almost steal away that 4th place finish at the end of it all. Unlike Rogue and MAD, I don't see a world where Misfits repeat this feat without a little more firepower in their roster. They’ve proven me wrong once already and I’ll be sure to show them a bit more respect come Summer.

Miika: 10

At first, I want to raise my hand as a sign of an error. I sharply criticized both the Misfits administration and Fabian’s “Febiven” Diepstraten before the start of the season and I couldn’t have been much more wrong. Especially Febiven, who I had already branded as pre-retired or back to North America, was at times the very best players in the league and carried an inexperienced team in the backpack. A big hat lift for Ju "Bvoy" Yeong-hoon as well, as the young Korean became a long-successful European imported player from Asia. Good acquisition from Misfits and other newcomers also played their part perfectly. There was no information on the previous year’s dramas and frequent player changes. A successful season in all respects.

7. Excel Esports

Cameron: 6

Excel fell just short of our prediction for the team at the beginning of the Split. They still need  a bit more work if they’re going to challenge any of the current Playoff teams for their spot come Summer and that still probably won't be enough. As far as the bottom half of the table goes for the LEC though, they are leagues above the last 3 teams, kind of.

Miika: 6

Excel just missed out on the playoffs when looking at the rankings, but in reality, sixth place wasn’t even close when it comes to game performance. Success coach Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpool didn't bother to properly influence the lineup for the spring season, nor did the way of playing convinced in any way. The team reached a couple of top performances during the season, but on average the performances were very mediocre and unspoken. Excel has already responded by putting out experienced Ki “Expect” Dae-Han and Son “Mickey” Young-min from the team and YoungBuck can now realize themselves and build the team more to their own tastes and it is known to have brought results in the past.

8. Schalke 04

Cameron: 3

We were so excited for Forgiven’s return, we forgot how big of an ego he had. Perhaps the biggest underachievers this split, they had to get rid of the old time best ADC due to the team absolutely imploding from the veteran’s influence. Luckily for them, Innaxe pulled through helping the team to win a couple of extra games by the end of the Split and avoiding an embarrassing 9th/10th place finish. This team has hope, and I have hope for this team, but at the moment they really do seem to belong at the bottom of the table. I’ll root for them like I root for Golden Guardians, hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Miika: 5

Schalke was possibly the worst quintet I've ever seen LCS / LEC arenas. Especially after a long break, star player Konstantinos-Napoleon "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou, who made his return last year, was completely lost. Honestly, it was really bad to see that the veteran who made the comeback after adversity was possibly the weakest of the time in the ADC early season matches through the league. And when FORG1VEN went out the doors banging and twitter rumbling, then it’s pretty certain that the experienced Greek games at the top level are now seen. FORG1VEN was so bad that it was overshadowed by another fired player, Erberk "Gilius" Demir, who has also toured from team to team over the years and it's hard to see that Gilius can find a home anymore when he sees how amazing newcomer-junglers we've seen this season. After a two-player team had to change him to head the strongest team and I'm pretty sure that it would be sued for Rogue playoff place if it had been playing throughout the season as it turned in the second half of the regular series. I look forward to seeing if the current line-up is the one to start the summer season and how Schalke will get his game off to an important summer season right from the start.

9. SK Gaming

Cameron: 8

SK is one of the Old Guard, they used to rival teams like Alliance and Roccat, before teams like H2K and UoL even dreamed of competing. They returned when the EULCS franchised and became the LEC and unfortunately, haven’t been able to replicate their top 4 finishes from the times past. This squad needs a lot of work, an identity, and a coach that actually knows that META isn’t short for Metaphysical. 

Miika: 8

Possibly one of the most odorless and tasteless teams in league history. The steadily miserable performance throughout the season and in fact it was something I expected from several teams made up mostly of newcomers. SK Gaming held on to their line-up and the coaching clearly has the credit that the players needed one season of experience and there would be a different sound on the clock during the summer season. I would say that overall, SK Gaming was the worst team of the season.

10. Team Vitality

Cameron: 7

We expected Team Vitality to finish in the bottom half of the table, but they failed to meet even those expectations. With a lousy 2-16 finish, the team ultimately failed to do anything with some decent players. They lost their Identity when Jizuke left and after they kicked out YamatoCannon and honestly, probably a lot of their relevance in the scene.

Miika: 7

As the middle of the season approached, Vitality, like Schalke, was at zero and followed Schalke’s example to rectify the situation. Team Vitality also did not get the start lineup mid laneria Aljoša “Milica” Kovandžić during the whole season and when Lucas "Saken" Fayard, who was raised from the academy team, could not rise to the required role, Vitital acquired experienced Marc "Selfie" Wolski to play for the rest of the season. In all honesty, Selfie didn’t play at least better than Saken, so it’s expected that either Milica or some new name will be seen in the summer season at mid Lane. Another change was seen on bot Lane when Pierre "Steeelback" Medjaldi, who changed positions last year, joined the support role alongside Jakub “Jactroll” Skurzyński, who played through the worst of his career. This duo varied places in the end-of-season matches and the competition raised the level of both for better and better towards the end of the season.

Cameron Carr image

Cameron Carr

6 May 2020

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