G2 Esports have had a long reign at the top of the EU LCS. Since 2016, nobody has been able to challenge them.
But for the first time in 2018, they’ve gone through a major makeover. Four players have left, as has their coach, leaving the team vulnerable for the first time. Rosters across the whole region have changed dramatically, not all for the better.
Related: A look at all 10 EU LCS rosters.
When we asked our panel of League analysts to rank the 10 EU teams on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) points, G2’s vulnerability showed as another team has risen to first place. But we start, as always, at the bottom.
What are they doing?
Mid-split relegation is gone amidst some sweeping changes to the LCS landscape. But after a few months of seeing these teams play, fans could be clamoring for it to return.
10) Giants Gaming (6 points)
Giants gaming could not have made it back into the LCS at a better time. This roster is full of players who have only shown flashes of strong play, if any at all.
9) Roccat (14 points)
Roccat will field two low-level Korean talents in hopes that pure talent will carry the day. But there’s more to building a strong team than looking to the LCK.
Fighting to stay above the fray
These three teams have undergone major makeovers and hope that they can still keep pace. Making the playoffs would be huge for any of these squads.
8) Unicorns of Love (24 points)
The Unicorns have fallen far from a team that used to be a playoff regular. But making the Spring Finals in 2017 seemed to be their peak, and the squad felt cursed from making it to Worlds. So a reset is not surprising for a team with a history of developing young talent.
7) Vitality (26 points)
Vitality downgraded in talent by adding several players from a Giants Gaming squad that faced relegations. They’l have to hope another year under coach Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi pays off.
6) H2K (27 points)
H2K are in cost-cutting mode. But still, there’s hope, with some solid players from the Schalke 04 team that won its promotion battle, including coach Michael “Veteran” Archer.
How the mighty have fallen
Here it starts to get interesting, mainly because it’s where G2 fell to. From first to fourth is a big move, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them claw their way back up the ladder.
5) Schalke 04 (38 points)
Schalke have an interesting team. After adding talent following their promotion win, and should be able to win a lot of early games. The question is whether they can macro after that. Then again, top laner Tamás “Vizicsacsi” Kiss’ old Unicorns squad made an LCS final with no ability to macro at all.
4) G2 Esports (41 points)
It’s at once shocking and expected that G2 have fallen this far. It’s hard to replace four players and a coach. This year will be a test of whether G2’s system of strong strategic play and decision making will survive. The good news is there’s major talent. These players know how to play around the jungler, and that’s a good thing when the jungler is Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski.
A triumvirate at the top
Three teams vied for the top spot, with the top two separated by a single point. All three have had the best macro play in the region for the last few years, but that doesn’t mean anything if they don’t prove it on the stage.
3) Splyce (50 points)
Splyce added a lot of solid players. For a team that has made the most out of a flawed roster in the past, that seems like a godsend. Rather than reset after reaching their peak, they upgraded to raise the ceiling. The question is how quickly they can jell.
2) Misfits (56 points, two first place votes)
Misfits will miss support Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, who went back to Korea, and Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage, who signed in NA. But this is still a team that showed just how good Western League of Legends has become with their close Worlds quarterfinals loss to SK Telecom T1. These guys aren’t going anywhere, though they tend to underperform in the regular season.
1) Fnatic (57 points, two first place votes)
It’s crazy that Fnatic and Misfits ended with the same number of votes. The difference was one voter who had Misfits third on the ballot instead of second. Fnatic have all the talent in the world, but they’ve had that before and failed. They need more from the mid lane and jungle positions, as well as from their coach, Dylan Falco. The good news is they hired G2’s former coach, Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool as their general manager. If Falco falters, it wouldn’t be a shock to see YoungBuck step in.