Whether you’re a fan of young, up-and-coming talent or established, veteran powerhouses, the 2020 LEC Spring Split has provided some of the most riveting action on Summoner’s Rift this year.
The regular season might be ending, but there are still plenty of storylines to pay close attention to as we look toward the race for the European championship. There are plenty of fiery rookies planning to make a name for themselves, while other well-established names have set their eyes on adding another title to their trophy case.
Who will be spearheading the pack as the first, second, and third seeds? Momentum is extremely important heading into playoffs, but which teams will enter the postseason with a full head of steam? Here are the top storylines as we hit the final week of the regular season.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride
Whenever the playoffs roll around in Europe, there are only a few names that get mentioned by fans and analysts alike. Fnatic and G2 Esports are always brought to mind, but Origen have constantly been the odd man out over the past few years.
The last time this organization won anything was in 2015 when they beat CLG at IEM San Jose. Besides that, they’ve gone through multiple years of disappointment, culminating in a lopsided defeat at the hands of G2 in the 2019 Spring Finals and an eighth-place finish in the summer.
With a trio of new faces joining the roster for 2020, however, Origen were given a new lease on life. Xerxe has quickly become one of the more consistent junglers in the league. He’s seen increases in his kill count, early-game stats, and damage numbers.
Their new bottom lane has also been a good source of firepower throughout the season. Upset took this season to build upon the campaign he had last year and is now a top-three ADC in Europe. His partner in crime, Destiny, could’ve easily flopped under the pressure among some of the most experienced players in the league. Instead, he’s flourished under their leadership.
Is it finally time for Origen to take their place among the stars or will they come crashing down to Earth once again?
This year, there was an unprecedented amount of rookies who entered the LEC. More than 10 players on starting rosters made their LEC debut this season and a majority of them are now actually heading to the Spring Playoffs.
This is a testament to Europe’s amazing tier-two and tier-three systems, where there are 13 regional leagues to hone and cultivate new young talent before they get a shot at the big stage of the LEC. Teams like Misfits, Rogue, and MAD Lions have all shown their incredible potential over the course of the split and it’s culminated in a well-earned postseason berth.
The rise of the rookie hasn’t only benefited the growth of new talent within the region, but it’s also prompted more experienced, veteran players to push themselves to even greater heights. They know that if they aren’t performing to expectation, there will always be another hungry, fiery rookie ready in the wings to take over their position.
During this last weekend, Misfits, MAD Lions, and Rogue will all be playing in matches that will help decide their place in the playoff bracket. Momentum will play a huge role for all of these teams in the postseason, so these games still have a ton of importance moving forward.
Teaching an old dog new tricks
Misfits have been one of the biggest underdog stories of the year, namely because of the resurgence of European veteran and former Clutch Gaming mid laner, Febiven. His bounce-back season has surprised many fans and analysts, especially after watching him struggle to find his form over the past two years.
Ever since Febiven left Europe to join the LCS, many people weren’t too sure about his future as a North American mid laner. In 2018, he ended up having one of the worst years of his career. In 2019, things got even worse when he joined a Misfits roster that looked great on paper but never materialized on stage.
Misfits ended as a bottom-three team in both seasons that year and the entire roster was eventually replaced by the organization’s Academy lineup by the end of the summer. It didn’t look great for Febiven, who had two abysmal years in a row.
The two-time European champion didn’t give up, though. For 2020, he had a fresh slate and he was joined by a whole new roster made up of hungry, young rookies from the European Masters. Combined with a newfound passion for the game, Febiven started to put in some work on his game. His hard work paid off in spades and he saw positive increases in many of his stats.
During this playoff run, Misfits’ rookies will be looking to Febiven to help lead them to victory. The lights shine brighter and the pressure is infinitely greater during playoff games in the LEC. Febiven’s postseason experience will be instrumental in piloting this talented roster to success.
The final week of the 2020 LEC Spring Split kicks off tomorrow at 12pm CT.