If you could choose one team to win the LEC 2020 Summer Split, the easy answer is “G2.”
Since the team got into the then-EU LCS in 2016, it has won a shocking seven titles out of nine splits. Even if the field is slightly favored against the Spanish side by some oddsmakers, the overwhelming sentiment is that G2 will crown themselves champions again this September.
Due to G2’s success, the question in the LEC has evolved from, “Who can challenge them,” to “who can go with them to Worlds?” That’s actually a pretty interesting argument this summer, especially since Europe gets an extra spot this year and will send four teams.
You have the usual suspects like Fnatic. Then there is Origen, which is still trying to break through. Finally, younger squads like Mad Lions and Rogue would love to wreck the established pecking order and jump into the Worlds pool.
To see who will join G2 at Worlds in China, we asked our League experts to rank each team from one point (worst) to 10 points (best):
|8)||FC Schalke 04||11|
It looks like we have four real contenders for those three Worlds spots, with a couple more teams looking just to make the playoffs. Here’s what we think about each tier.
Going fishing: Excel, Schalke, SK, Vitality
These are the teams that we don’t see even making the playoffs. And the sad part is, some of them have had a real opportunities to build into Worlds-level squads but have made crucial errors.
Take Vitality, who actually went to Worlds two years ago. They were even seeded directly into the main event during a rare off-year for G2. But after letting star mid laner Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro go last offseason, they’ve struggled to piece wins together in the LEC. Maybe they couldn’t pay him enough to compete with his LCS offer, but they’ve done a poor job of finding a replacement at the game’s most important position.
Excel is another team who had a talented mid laner on their hands and mishandled him. The good news is that Joran “Special” Scheffer is still on the team and will start again in the Summer Split. The bad news is that he never should have been taken out in the first place. He deserves a real shot at this stage.
Both Schalke and SK have some bigger names on their rosters, which makes last split’s failures all the more disappointing. But it also speaks to the quality of the teams ahead of them.
Playoff material: Misfits, Rogue
Misfits surprised us a bit last split. Mid laner Febiven’s return to form was nice to see, and the meta continues to be friendly to his champion pool. But they still only barely made playoffs, and once there, only earned a single win. They added Kobbe, back in the region from his one-split vacation on TSM, to the roster in hopes of making that a series win, or better.
Rogue beat them in that series and were considered a pretty hot team last split. Young mid laner Larssen definitely showed potential, but he was annihilated by Origen’s Nukeduck, one of the old guard, in the playoffs. Rogue feasted on bad teams last split, going 0-6 against G2, Fnatic, and Origen in the regular season. They need to prove they can beat the best to be considered one of the best.
These two teams will probably make playoffs, but can they pry loose one of Europe’s four spots at Worlds?
Race to China: Fnatic, Origen, Mad Lions
It’s almost crazy that Nukeduck hasn’t been back to Worlds yet. Since getting there in 2013, he’s been close so many times, and this summer seems like another golden opportunity. He has a good team and no more excuses. To get there, though, he’ll have to make sure upstarts like Rogue and Misfits don’t ruin the party.
Mad Lions’ upset of G2 in the first round of the spring playoffs threw everyone for a loop. We never saw them play Origen in that setting since G2 dispatched both teams. But their strong finish to Spring should have given them confidence that they deserve a ticket to China.
Fnatic we have more confidence in, and the carry-oriented jungle meta should really favor Selfmade. This team still has its sight set on G2, even if it requires an ever greater level of magnification for them to spot their quarry.
Name of the game: G2 Esports
If G2 win the Summer Split, Riot might as well name the trophy after them. Or perhaps more aptly, crown the MVP award after Perkz. After all, he’s the one constant in all the splits G2 has won.
Of course, he’ll be back in bot lane this split with Caps in mid. Truthfully, you could put all five G2 players at random positions and they’d probably find a way to win. But the one who it is all based on is Perkz. In mid lane, he enables Jankos’ aggression. In bot lane, he helps Mikyx call the shots. His skill is what makes great players like Wunder want to be with him and sacrifice their lanes to help him win.
With the bot lane meta still in flux, and somewhat favoring non-ADC champions, we can’t wait to see what Perkz will do this summer.
All photos via Riot Games.