The LEC took a nice long break after beating the LCS at Rift Rivals 2019. Unlike most major regions who got back to business in quick fashion, the Europeans apparently felt like they deserved a vacation—something about winning MSI, having the best team in the World, and so on.
When they finally got back last week, the top of the table was mostly unchanged. G2 are still smurfing, Fnatic are right there, and Splyce took firm control of third place, which we predicted weeks ago.
But it’s the bottom of the table that’s been really interesting. Rogue and Excel both picked up wins last week, making the race to not come in last that much more intriguing. To gauge which team’s performance was most impressive, our analysts ranked each squad from one point (worst) to 10 points (best):
|5)||FC Schalke 04||24|
We now have an actual battle for the last playoff spot in which every team but Excel has a shot.
Donezo: Misfits, Excel
Excel actually aren’t completely done yet. We have to give them credit for the win over SK, even if SK aren’t exactly playing like gangbusters. Son “Mickey” Young-min solo-carried the game quite literally when he marched in through bot lane and took down the SK Nexus by himself.
But Misfits? Yeah, they’re done. Previous roster tinkering proved utterly fruitless, in large part because they kept ignoring our pleas to just sub in Thomas “Kirei” Yuen at jungle. Now the entire LEC roster has been replaced with rumors that at least one starter is headed back to Korea.
Misfits may claim that they’re still fighting for a playoff spot, but come on. This is quite clearly a white flag, one that’s probably necessary if the team wants to find young players with which to improve the roster. It’s been a stunning drop from a team that used to make playoffs with regularity.
One of these is not like the others: Rogue, SK, Vitality
For much of the split, SK and Vitality have been playing like shells of their former selves. SK continue to struggle with a lack of mid pressure even in a meta that’s turned bland, which favors them. Vitality just make too many mistakes to overcome.
But one team in this tier is climbing, and that’s Rogue. They looked sharp last week when beating Origen, like they took their weeks off seriously and used them to improve. There are coaches even saying that they could beat most LCS teams, and not entirely tongue-in-cheek either:
The best news for Rogue isn’t that they could make playoffs, but that they’re doing it with a young roster that could continue to learn and grow. They should really focus on that growth to avoid the fate of SK, who looked like fantastic rookies last split but have really plateaued.
Blah: Origen, Schalke
For most of the split, these two teams have played like they believe they’re better than they are. Neither team has gone 2-0 in any week and neither looks capable of upsetting the squads at the top of the rankings. Until they get serious and figure their issues out, we’re not going to take them seriously and devote more time or space to discuss them. They don’t even deserve a picture in this section.
Three’s company: G2, Fnatic, Splyce
The LEC has been ruled by G2 and Fnatic for weeks. But now, a new team has risen to the top: Splyce. Splyce aren’t a perfect team. They can’t really lane against heavy pressure and their style is so safe that it can be boring.
But you have to give them credit for how they’ve grown. Unlike some other teams who have fallen all over themselves trying to play like G2, they’ve realized that what made G2 great wasn’t a fixation on a particular style, but a commitment to do what’s best for their players.
And that’s what Splyce do better than most teams in the West. They don’t care if people want to go fast, they’re fine taking things into the late game where their teamfighting and objective control win them games. We don’t know if they’re good enough to beat G2, but we do know that they’re at least with G2 and Fnatic at the top of the LEC.
All photos via Riot Games.