Reverse sweep kings: MAD Lions win their third LEC title

Their reward? A shield and a ticket to MSI.

Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games

MAD Lions conquered their third LEC title after reverse-sweeping Team BDS in one of the most entertaining matches the fans have seen since the beginning of the season. Silver Scrapes reverberated in the LEC Studio just as the winners punched their ticket to London’s MSI as the region’s first seed on April 23. 

After securing back-to-back titles in 2021, MAD Lions were looking for a way to regain the LEC crown, and they did so in style, snatching it away from BDS by reverse-sweeping the series. It was the first time a grand final of any competitive region featured two pentakills—one from each team—but it was MAD Lions’ Jinx pentakill that proved to be the more impactful one. 

The first game of the LEC Spring Split Finals series kicked off with MAD Lions in control—and yet, it closed with a pentakill from BDS. For the first ten minutes of the game, MAD Lions set the pace, a recurring characteristic of the series, but BDS dominated the majority of the fights, starting with the one around the dragon pit.

At sixteen minutes in the Rift, the teams were equal in gold, kills, and turrets. The advantage kept on shifting back and forth as MAD Lions meticulously kept on pushing lanes, only for BDS to close the gap in the next teamfight. Ultimately, it was one of these teamfights that closed out the game, with Crownie’s extensive damage netting him a second pentakill in this split. 

As if the script for game two was copied and pasted from the first one, BDS dominated the Rift thanks to their great teamfighting and positioning. Despite BAD Lions’ poke damage shredding through their opponent’s frontline, it was BDS who ultimately closed their twelfth win in a row. But their win streak was not going to last any longer. 

What could have been the last game of the series turned out to be MAD Lions’ starting point toward a memorable reverse sweep. Both teams slowed their rhythm, setting up for a waiting game in the middle of an otherwise bloody series. Eventually, it was MAD Lions who broke the status quo by winning a set of skirmishes across the Rift and obtaining several neutral objectives, including the Baron and its buff. One last teamfight brought them back into the race for the title—and Carzzy’s pentakill, the second of the grand final.

And after handing BDS their first loss since the split’s regular season, Mad Lions looked for more. They outsmarted and outplayed their opponents in game four as well, and as if they broke the spell put on them by BDS, Mad Lions cohesively crushed them once more. It was the first time LEC fans had seen BDS struggle as much as they did in game four since the Winter Split, but it would not have been the last. 

The last game of the LEC Spring Grand Finals turned out to be the most one-sided game of the entire Split. Mad Lions smurfed from the draft stage onwards, a sentiment echoed by the LEC analysts and casters alike. They carried on their momentum from the previous games, coming out on top of teamfights, retaining control of every lane and every neutral objective. After 23 minutes into the game, they were 10,000 gold ahead, and they went on to conquer their third LEC title without dying a single time to BDS.

With this impressive performance, MAD Lions have locked in their spot at the Bracket Stage of the 2023 MSI, which will be held in London starting May 2nd, while Team BDS will look at the Summer Split with an eye to win their first title in the region. 

About the author
Cecilia Ciocchetti

Freelance writer mainly focusing on the League of Legends and VALORANT esports scenes. Sometimes at events interviewing professionals of the scene, from players to the talented people working behind the curtains. You can reach out to me via Twitter.