The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) is just two weeks into the 2022 professional season and teams are still settling into their relative positions in both the standings and our power rankings. This week, the top half of the league saw playoff contenders flip positions, while would-be champions did everything in their power to hold onto their spots atop the league.
With the season still being in such a formative state, movement in our rankings is to be expected. This week—while early-season kinks are still being knotted out—half of the teams in the LEC changed their position in our rankings in comparison to last week’s edition.
With two undefeated teams at the top of the league, several more title contenders beneath them, and a whole split of games left on the table, every team in the LEC is putting every resource they have into a playoff push—despite the fact that each team has only played five regular season games.
With that in mind, here are our LEC power rankings after two weeks of play in the 2022 LEC Spring Split.
It’s a long season (thankfully): SK Gaming, Team BDS, Astralis
While it’s still early in the 2022 LEC Spring Split, these three teams have to collect their strengths and try to correct their shortcomings before it’s too late.
With the third week of the LEC approaching, SK Gaming and Team BDS only have one win each. SK beat MAD Lions in the first week of the Spring Split, showcasing great synergy and perseverance. But after that match, they haven’t succeeded in taking down another opponent. Their next fight will be against Vitality, who we saw struggle in the first week of the split. In that match, SK has an opportunity to rise to the occasion, grab another win, and take down the European superteam.
In a similar way, Team BDS proved to be a tough opponent with their aggressive playstyle and tenacious spirit during the first week. But facing veteran teams such as Vitality and Rogue, while also having to find the right balance and leadership within the team, caused the newcomer’s performance to wane. Team BDS closed out the second week of the Spring Split with two losses, and this week, they’ll have to fight to not be dragged down to the bottom of the standings. Their matches against SK and Astralis will either help BDS in their climb toward the top or could extinguish the spark of their debut in the LEC.
And the team that wants to rise from the ashes above all is Astralis, who have been in a rough spot since week one. Despite their long and hard-fought matches last weekend, Astralis are still last in the standings with zero wins. But head coach AoD told Dot Esports that the team is looking for steady, long-term progress. Astralis fans might see some improvements show up in the form of a win this weekend, where Astralis will go up against Team BDS first and then Excel.
Making their case: Misfits, Excel Esports
Misfits continued their trajectory as a playoff contender by beating Excel and losing to an undefeated Fnatic last week. Polish rookie jungler Shlatan has accumulated the highest CS difference at 10 minutes of any jungler in the LEC and the third-highest in that mark of any player in the league, according to Oracle’s Elixir. The incredibly efficient, intentional pathing that this stat is a testament to was something that was touted of him since his days on Misfits Premier. He’s delivered the goods so far at the next level.
Meanwhile, Vetheo is taking steps to become a top-five mid laner in the LEC. His mechanics were on gorgeous display on Sylas even in a loss. The worry might be that Vetheo seemingly dragging the team along in the late game becomes a pattern. But with Shlatan’s development and HiRit continuing to show carry potential, expect the Misfits flag to keep rising, slowly but surely.
Excel sit comfortably in this tier because they play slow, predictable League with a respectable but uninspiring amount of talent. There are no readily apparent weak links (no, not even Advienne—not even close), but no player on this roster is elite either, except maybe ADC Patrik—and potentially incoming former G2 support Mikyx. Coming into the year, Excel looked like they could be a legitimate playoff team on talent alone given the roster jumbles that affected the LEC, but Misfits have since usurped that “best of the rest” sixth-place spot. Mikyx might change that, but it would be because of versatility alone—and that’s assuming that the coaching staff at Excel can indeed find a way to integrate the freewheeling qualities that made him incredible in his G2 heyday.
Week two for Excel came with a loss to Misfits and a win over SK Gaming. While SK are better than their 1-4 record, Excel very nearly lost a brutal game to the aforementioned boys in black and white but avoided that fate on the back of Markoon’s electric Lee Sin play and Nukeduck and Patrik continuing to be rocks in the carry positions.
Knocking on the door: Team Vitality, MAD Lions, G2 Esports
A handful of the teams that fans expected to sit at the top of the LEC during the 2022 Spring Split are finally making their way toward that coveted position. While Fnatic and Rogue continue to assert their dominance over the field, G2, MAD Lions, and—in a sharp turn from week one—Vitality are creeping up close behind following the conclusion of week two.
Both G2 and MAD continued the patterns they established last weekend, taking victories where they could grab them but also suffering losses that prevent them from being on par with the two teams that remain undefeated in the LEC. These teams, hailing from organizations with former LEC titles, have yet to underperform in the current LEC season, though their past two weekends have felt anything but extraordinary as they sit staring at the top two teams from behind.
Vitality, however, bounced back from their unprecedented 0-3 first week in an attempt to reaffirm to the fans and the rest of the LEC field that they should be feared as the “superteam” they had been touted to be. In their first 2-0 weekend of the split, they took down both Team BDS and G2 in convincing fashion, showcasing across the board the potential that the team has when all of the minds are working together, rather than playing as individual leaders.
Yet despite the efforts from all of these top LEC teams, there are cracks evident in their gameplay that prevent them from shining in the ways they’re used to. Strange draft choices and failed teamfights have plagued each of these teams at various points in the past five games. While this may be holding them back right now, they act as areas in which these powerhouses can continue to improve in the coming weeks.
Only one can stay perfect: Fnatic, Rogue
Surprisingly, there are still two undefeated teams left in the league with Rogue and Fnatic duking it out at the top of the standings at five wins apiece.
Both teams have shown great cohesion, confidence, and resilience when facing adversity, but they’ve also had relatively favorable schedules so far. Fnatic have faced off against all three teams at the bottom of the standings—Team BDS, Astralis, and SK Gaming—and have a win over a middling Misfits. Their most significant victory came in week one when they took down Vitality, but that roster still seems to be in a tentative state while they decide what kind of identity they want to take on for 2022.
In a similar vein, Rogue’s most important win came from their match against a great-looking MAD Lions roster. They too won against Misfits and beat the same trio of teams at the bottom of the league. These two unbeaten lineups have mirrored paths that will finally crash together when they meet in the second-to-last match today, Jan. 28.
Not only that, but they’ll also both be taking on top teams later this weekend with Rogue playing against Vitality and Fnatic going against G2. If there’s a weekend where these teams will suffer a loss, it’ll be this one. If either of these teams can escape week three without a loss, however, we could be witnessing the start of their path to the top of the LEC.