The LEC is reaching a breaking point. Just two weeks remain in the 2021 Spring Split and each team in the league has five games left on the ledger before the playoff picture is set.
The top two teams in the league, G2 Esports and Rogue, have clinched playoff spots already, but the remainder of the LEC is yet to be decided. With the top seven teams in the league all still vying for a spot, the competition is tighter than ever. And with marquee matchups still remaining for each squad, the final weeks of the Spring Split could play out in turbulent fashion.
With that being said, we asked our team of League of Legends experts to rank the LEC teams as the split comes down to the wire. Here are our LEC power rankings after six weeks of play.
Playing out the string: Astralis, Team Vitality
With only five games left in the 2021 Spring Split, time has just about run out for Astralis and Vitality, who both are at the bottom of the regular season standings in ninth and tenth place, respectively. The highest that the former can reach now is eight wins, while the latter can only reach a maximum of seven wins for the split.
Although these two rosters are almost guaranteed to be out of the playoffs, this season has proven to be a good learning period for the players and organizations as a whole. These coaching staffs can now regroup and revise their plan of attack for the rest of the year based on the big pitfalls that they faced over the past couple of months.
After the results of this past split, fans should expect big changes for both teams. Astralis, for example, has the option to either run it back one more time with Nukeduck or enter a new era with a new set of players. Vitality, on the other hand, has just started a new chapter with vocal AD carry Crownshot. We could see the team build around the 22-year-old moving forward in 2021.
Only one will survive: Excel Esports, Schalke 04, Misfits
These three teams all had their moments in the sun at some point in the split and have also all gone on epic losing streaks (16 combined losses if you add their streaks up). At 5-8, they’ll be closely watching one another as they play for that last playoff spot.
For Excel, their shining moment was more recent. They were the flavor of the month through week four and then promptly capitulated. They’re still very much mid-capitulation with five straight losses, two of which were considered upset losses to Astralis and Misfits and one to an SK Gaming squad that have looked better but felt like the team that XL would have to beat to not finish in seventh yet again.
Schalke 04 have been, as the kids say, down bad. While a five-game losing streak for Excel looks bad (because it is), S04’s six-game losing streak mathematically looks worse but also has an added shock factor given that they’re still the only team to beat both Rogue and G2, doing so in back-to-back games before going into a nosedive down the standings. Maybe it’s a biased take, and it doesn’t excuse inconsistent play from them (looking at you, Gilius and Abbedagge), but let’s go through their losses. Aside from the G2 and Rogue ones, there’s a case to be made for every team having played S04 while they started a hot streak. MAD Lions beat Schalke and then won three of their next four, Astralis were in game one of their MagiFelix buff phase, SK took down Schalke for their second win of what’s a still-ongoing five-game win streak, and Misfits are playing better but are still far from a sure thing.
Speaking of Misfits, they secured a gargantuan 2-0 week to end a 1-7 run. Their two wins were over the two teams above, who have lost a combined 11 straight games, but the wins all count the same in the end and they somehow have the same chance as S04 and Excel to sneak into the playoffs—which, if someone told you that three weeks ago, you would have (rightfully) looked at them like they had three heads. While whichever one of these teams gets that sixth spot will probably just get bounced in the first round, if any of them rediscover the form they had during their hot streaks, they’ve all looked like legitimately good teams and could cause some shenanigans come playoff time.
Looking for a late-split boost: Fnatic, MAD Lions, SK Gaming
Outside of some kind of Earth-rending standing shuffles in the LEC, there’s a high chance that all three of these teams will make an appearance in the spring playoffs. In some bizarre twist of fate, the most surprising appearance in the playoffs this year may well be Fnatic. They’ve faced some serious issues throughout the course of the spring that many thought could leave them sitting just outside of playoff contention. Sitting only two wins ahead of Schalke 04, the perennial LEC finalists will have to find some kind of consistency if they’re looking to clinch a playoff spot.
SK Gaming have been on the up-and-up. They come into this weekend on a five-game win streak and one of those wins came against MAD Lions, the team currently sitting alongside them in a tie for third place. They’ve been consistently ramping up their performance over the course of the split, with support Treatz, in particular, showcasing some incredible performances on hard-engage champions to set up for his team. He boasts the highest support KDA in the league right now at a whopping 4.0, according to Oracle’s Elixir, and has been a part of 85 percent of SK’s total kills. With Treatz’s engage power at the helm, SK are by far the best performing of the LEC’s rookie squads, and their surge at the end of the spring bodes well for potential continued high performance in the summer.
MAD Lions are an enigma in the LEC. Although they haven’t quite been able to replicate the dominance that sent them to Worlds last year, they’ve been so close to greatness this spring—and yet they’re still unable to take that final step by beating Rogue and G2. They’ve been gatekeeping the top three since early on in the split, but with SK now snapping at their heels, it’s going to take all of their effort to stay in their current spot.
Playoff bound: G2 Esports, Rogue
A final confrontation between G2 and Rogue won’t satisfy fans until the two squads eventually meet in a playoff series. But this weekend should provide some temporary satisfaction and solace until there’s an eventual showdown in a best-of series.
The last time G2 and Rogue faced off, G2 managed to walk away with the victory after a 50-minute epic that included eight dragons, nearly 40 kills across the board, and G2 crossing the 100,000 gold threshold. And although Rogue were knocked down a peg by their fellow top contender, the team rebounded almost immediately, climbing back into a tie for first place.
When these two teams face off today, keep an eye on the matchup in the bot lane. Rekkles and Hans Sama have been two of the best players in the LEC this season and seeing them go head-to-head should prove to be a rare treat for fans. Rekkles and Hans Sama are squarely in the middle of the LEC MVP race.
The two don’t just have the best KDAs for players at their position, but two of the best marks among all players in the LEC, according to League stats site gol.gg. Rekkles’ KDA of 14.2 is the best among all players in the professional scene across the world, but Hans Sama’s KDA of 7.6 makes him one of the only players who can challenge Rekkles’ dominance. Of course, KDA isn’t everything, but with this pair of carries providing so much firepower to each of their respective teams, fans should expect an explosive clash when G2 and Rogue face off on Friday, March 5 at 1pm CT.
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