The LEC is entering a new era in the 2021 Spring Split, but not for reasons that some European League of Legends fans might be fond of.
This past offseason, the region lost two of its best players to North American organizations. And although many new players have taken their place in the league, they still have a lot to prove before they get recognition from fans and analysts. But fans shouldn’t rule out the birth of multiple new stars as these rookies gain experience throughout the competitive year.
With new teams and faces come new challenges. Though the upcoming season hasn’t started just yet, let’s take a look at the players who will be leading their respective roles when the LEC kicks off on Friday, Jan. 22.
Top: G2’s Wunder
With the departure of former Origen standout Alphari, Europe’s top lane talent has thinned out in terms of star players. There’s potential waiting in the wings, like Team Vitality rookie Szygenda and former TSM top laner Broken Blade. But overall, the top lane talent pool isn’t too deep heading into 2021.
G2 Esports’ Wunder will be leading the way as the best in his role for the upcoming Spring Split. The 22-year-old is coming into his fourth year with the organization and has shown time and time again that he can be relied on when the team needs him to step up.
Last summer, he played a collection of varying champions—including Neeko, Gangplank, Ornn, Shen, and Camille—as a testament to his flexibility both as a carry top laner and tank player. During the playoffs, he stood out with great early-game laning stats and sky-high damage numbers, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
Although he might not be the most hyped member of the team, Wunder’s consistency and vast champion pool still make him an important piece of G2’s quest toward yet another LEC championship.
Jungle: Fnatic’s Selfmade
Fnatic might have lost the face of the franchise this past offseason, but at least they still have the best jungler in the league. Selfmade was one of the biggest bright spots for his team in 2020 and will be the linchpin to their championship hopes this year.
Last season, the Polish superstar had the most kills, the best early-game stats, and the highest damage numbers of any jungler in the league, according to Oracle’s Elixir. His ability to play carry junglers struck fear into the hearts of his opponents, whether it was on Evelynn, Kha’Zix, or Graves.
The only question that fans must ask is how he’ll perform if the jungle meta shifts away from his preferred playstyle. If tank junglers start to shift back into team compositions, for example, Selfmade’s effectiveness could become a bit more limited. Even so, the 21-year-old will still be the one to beat when the season begins.
Mid: G2’s Caps
Another G2 player takes a top position on the list—and this one is no surprise to any fan of League esports. Caps is one of the best mid laners in the world and his performances speak for themselves.
Last season, Caps didn’t have the highest stats in his role. In fact, Rogue’s upstart mid laner Larssen had his breakout moment by leading all mid laners in KDA, early-game laning stats, farming, and damage.
But Caps remained one of the most consistent forces on a G2 roster that seemed to struggle at certain times in the season. The Danish phenom was forced to break out the backpack for G2 in multiple situations to drag his team to victory and he delivered in clutch moments every time.
With Perkz leaving for the LCS, Caps now has the mid lane all to himself. Good luck to whoever is standing in his way.
ADC: G2’s Rekkles
After losing Perkz, G2 followed up by signing the most iconic marksman in European history to solidify their bid for a fifth and sixth LEC title this year.
Rekkles’ consistency throughout the years is something to be applauded, having led all ADCs in KDA over the past three splits. He might not have had the best early-game stats last summer, but you can always count on him to play out each teamfight with precision and decision making.
Fnatic fans are all too familiar with having the 24-year-old veteran as late-game insurance, but now they’ll have to watch him from the other side of Summoner’s Rift. It may feel weird seeing him in the black and white kits of G2, but we could be looking at EU’s best chance at winning an international tournament with this revamped lineup.
Support: G2’s Mikyx
With four players set as the best in their role, it’s clear that G2 are clearly the best team in Europe. Mikyx does have some competition in this role with Fnatic’s Hylissang, but consistency still remains a bit of an issue with the Bulgarian support.
As a result, Mikyx remains the man to beat among LEC supports. Last season was rough stats-wise for him, but during the Spring Split, the 22-year-old led his role with 221 assists, a 5.1 KDA, great early-game stats, and the highest damage numbers of any support, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
Mikyx and Rekkles could both have record-setting years alongside each other. The bottom lane has been rejuvenated with the new items that were added to the game and has become a source of reliability that we could see flourish with this G2 powerhouse when the season begins this weekend.
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