After five long months of waiting, LEC is finally back, this time bigger and better than it ever was. The European League of Legends scene has proven once more it’s one of the strongest LoL regions in the world, with a huge influx of new talent during the off-season, making the 2020 LEC season arguably the most stacked season to date.
Some teams went through extensive roster changes, other rebranded, and then there are G2 who decided to make a few small tweaks in their roster, just to make LEC a bit more challenging… or so it seems. Nonetheless, G2 are and most likely will remain the kings of Europe for at least one more split, but where does that leave the remaining nine teams?
Let’s take a look at the 10 LEC teams, what they changed in the off-season and ultimately what can they achieve on the new Summoner’s Rift.
SK Gaming are arguably the least exciting team entering the 2020 Spring Split and not necessarily because they did not show up last season, but more because they at the first glance look like the weakest team out of 10. At the end of the day, SK saw the departure of Han “Dreams” Min-kook and Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek, and it’s incredibly difficult to praise a team which lost two of their best players and on top of that failed to bring in any decent replacements.
Other than that, their remaining players are OK, but nothing more. Kim “Trick” Gang-yun was a very hyped up player, who failed to deliver, while Juš “Crownshot” Marušič was a decent ADC, however, we have no way of knowing if he will be as solid without Dreams, although the answer is probably no.
All in all, SK Gaming look like a bottom feeder. There is a chance they can prove us wrong, but as we see it, the only way SK doesn’t finish at the bottom of the split is if another team severely underperforms.
Prediction: SK Gaming to finish last
Odds: 2.75 Bet365
As we look at the new Schalke 04 roster, we can’t help but feel like this team has a lot of big egos, which could eventually lead to some internal turmoil. Of course, the two main culprits here are Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou and Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, who have reunited at Schalke.
Nonetheless, we can’t disregard this team has some very talented players. The main player to watch here is FORG1VEN, who undoubtedly was one of the best ADC players in the world at his peak, and while his peak years are long gone, he is still a player who can have a lot of impact on any team he plays in.
A lot of success of this team will come down to their bottom lane. If FORG1VEN and Dreams can learn to play together, we might be looking at one of the best bottom lanes in the LEC. What’s more, we have to consider FORG1VEN has been gone for three years, serving the military, which could mean he is returning as a different person – in a positive way.
All in all, we believe Schalke 04 will be strong in the early stages, however, there is no way of knowing how will they play together once the season enters the latter stages. A playoffs appearance is possible, but we would not count on it just yet.
Excel Gaming are the notorious bottom feeders of LEC, having finished last two splits dead-last, which means they can only get better and looking at their roster, we believe that is exactly what we can expect from them this season.
Excel as a whole looks solid, as they field decent players and have an exceptional coach in Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool. They, of course, lack the top-tier elite players which would allow them to reach for the stars, but from what we see, Excel have the quality to be the gatekeepers for the playoffs.
A lot of their success will come down to Son “Mickey” Young-min’s performances. He can either be one of the best mid laners or one of the worst. Inconsistency and Mickey go hand in hand, and if he can find some stability and be at least average, Excel will be just fine. Other than that, another crucial factor here will be Tore “Tore” Hoel Eilertsen and Patrik “Patrik” Jírů and how well will they gel together. They are both decent players but failed to establish themselves as one of the best.
That said, there is potential in this team and we believe that if the bottom lane tandem can play at least slightly above average, Excel are serious contenders for a playoffs spot.
Prediction: Excel Gaming to reach playoffs
Odds: 3.00 Bet365
Vitality are one of the most exciting teams entering the 2020 LEC Spring Split, with a handful of new young and talented signings, who will build the new core for this French squad. With all the new arrivals, however, the true strength and potential for Vitality is a huge mystery.
Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet will play the role of the main carry in this team and a lot of Vitality’s success will come down to how well will he be able to perform this split. There is no denying he is one of the best top-laners in the league, but for Vitality to succeed other players will have to step up as well. Most notably the rookie Aljoša “Milica” Kovandžić who was just phenomenal at Vodafone Giants, yet it remains to be seen whether he will be able to translate his form to LEC.
Jakub “Jactroll” Skurzyński is another player who needs to show his quality. He has had an up and down season in 2019 as he was both one of the best and one of the worst supports at the same time. That said, the arrival of Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos as his new bottom lane partner we believe will give him a chance to start fresh and reinvent himself.
All in all, we believe Vitality have the potential to impress, but with so many new names, they will most likely start off slow. Seeing them reach the playoffs is a real possibility but anything more seems a bit far-fetched at this point.
MAD Lions are a very exciting team with plenty of young players who have joined Marek “Humanoid” Brázda at the rebranded Splyce squad.
The team has a lot of potential, but at the same time a lot of questions that go with it. Will the young players develop into LEC superstars or will they fall flat and return to some lower leagues? That, to be fair is always the question with rookies as they can either grow as players or completely underperform.
Nonetheless, we can trust the team’s scout Peter Dun, who is known for spotting young talent and considering he had a lot of say in assembling this team, he just might have picked a bunch of rookies who have the potential which is hidden from the public eyes.
Looking at the betting odds, however, MAD Lions seem to be slightly overrated. That’s not to say they are not capable of making a breakout run, but at this point of the competition, we don’t see any reason to bet on them to reach the playoffs or even the finals, especially at the given odds.
Misfits Gaming have had a disastrous season in 2019, yet not everything is lost for them. Danny “Dan Dan” Le Comte was plying well, while we are still waiting for Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten to show what he is capable of. We can’t help but feel like he can do so much more than he has shown, but at the end fo the day, if the whole team underperforms, we can’t expect him to put up solid numbers either.
We don’t expect a lot from Misfits. A mid-table finish seems suited for what they have shown, however, playoffs should be out of their reach.
Rogue is a team that has been continuously improving and while they crashed out of the playoffs last season, we have a reason to believe they will enter 2020 stronger than ever. The arrival of Steven “Hans Sama” Liv is a huge upgrade for them and should fix their ongoing issue with the bottom lane, where they struggled to perform in 2019.
Other than that, we have high expectations for jungler Kacper “Inspired” Słoma and mid laner Emil “Larssen” Larsson who are both exceptional players who on top of that know how to play together. With a strong 2v2 mid lane, Rogue seems to be set for great things and while wining LEC might be out of their reach, we are still confident they are more than capable of defeating the best teams in LEC and make their way into the playoffs with relative ease.
Prediction: Rogue to reach the playoffs
Odds: 1.50 Bet365
With Fnatic we have to address the departure of Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen, which in our eyes should benefit the team in the long run, but at the start of the season, we might see FNC drop a few matches.
Their new jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek is arguably an upgrade to Broxah, which might seem a bit weird to say, but his aggressive playstyle will benefit FNC greatly. Furthermore, FNC need to switch out their strategy a bit and stop playing through bottom lane 24/7. Yes, that worked several times, but if Selfmade can establish a solid connection with Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, we might see an improved FNC this year.
The lack of versatility was the biggest problem for FNC previous season, but with a new coach and new jungler, we can also expect some changes to that. They are without a doubt a playoffs team and if they can gel together, we are confident saying a finals appearance is a given, but when it comes to wining LEC, they still lack behind G2.
Prediction: Fnatic to reach the finals
Odds: 2.80 Bet365
Origen have a very strong mid-top-jungle with Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm, Barney “Alphari” Morris and Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir.
With the arrival of Xerxe and Elias “Upset” Lipp, Origen have made a massive upgrade to their roster and if Alphari can continue playing on the same level as he did last season, Origen just might be serious contenders for a top-three finish in LEC.
The only issue we have with Alphari is his lack of impact on the game in the later stages of the game. As we have seen last season, he can win the lane and dominate his opponent, but when the game hits 30+ min mark, he simply fails to have as big of an impact on the game as other top-tier top laners. If he can improve in that aspect, Origen just might impress everyone.
Prediction: Origen to reach the finals
Odds: 6.00 Bet365
Last but not least, we have G2 Esports, who are the undisputed best team in Europe. There are some concerns with their lane swap, which saw Luka “Perkz” Perković move back to mid-lane while Rasmus “Caps” Winther joined Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle at the bottom lane.
The biggest question here is whether that lave swap will hurt them or help them further improve as one of the best teams in the world. To be completely fair, G2 are so far above their competition, they should be the dominant force regardless of Caps’ debut as an ADC – at least in the LEC.
Nonetheless, if Caps happens to find himself struggling, G2 can easily swap him back to mid lane without any problems, so it’s safe to say the reigning LEC champions have little to no weaknesses, at least as far as their European campaign is concerned.
Prediction: G2 Esports to win LEC Spring
Odds: 1.50 Bet365