The League of Legends LEC Summer kicks off on Friday, June 11, with the opening round of the Super Week. Unlike the LoL Championship Series (LCS), the European league starts clean, with no points from the LEC Spring carrying over into the next split.
Even if the points from Spring had carried over, the LEC competitive landscape and the team’s chances to succeed wouldn’t improve by much, given how tightly contested the league was at the top of the table. Still, there were a few roster changes that could shake up the middle of the table.
MAD Lions vs G2 Esports
Friday, June 11 – 18:00 CEST
There were talks about G2 Esports’ scrims not going well, but I wouldn’t consider that information important. In fact, you might as well ignore the so-called leaks since pre-season scrims rarely mean much.
To emphasise how not-important scrim results are, Vitality were supposedly doing well when playing other LEC teams before the LEC Spring, and look where that landed them.
The MAD Lions vs G2 Esports match is a battle between the old and the new kings and is a perfect way to start the new split. MAD Lions become only the fourth team in the history of LEC to win the title, besides G2, Fnatic, and Alliance in 2014.
They were definitely better than G2 Esports last season, but it doesn’t make much sense to see the eight-time champions priced as an underdog for this match.
G2 have had a long offseason to practice for the LEC Summer, and with the addition of Sng “Nelson” Yi-Weias a strategic coach, we can expect them to be better prepared for the current meta. While I’m not saying G2 are guaranteed to reclaim the throne this split, they should look better.
MAD Lions looked good at the Mid-Season Invitational, but having a shorter off-split won’t do them any favours. Some of their players talked about feeling burned out, and I expect that to show – similarly to what has happened with Cloud9 in the LCS.
Prediction: G2 Esports to win – 1.961
Astralis vs SK Gaming
Friday, June 11 – 19:00 CEST
The bookmakers seem to believe this is going to be a relatively close match, however, I have slight reservations about that. That’s largely because I don’t believe SK Gaming will see much success this season after their disastrous offseason roster moves.
And it’s not so much about Astralis being the better team – although they have shown some improvement towards the end of LEC Spring – it’s more about SK Gaming being worse.
Playing your top-performing player in the jungle because you’re unable to find a replacement and using your coach who hasn’t played LoL in three years as your new support sounds as bad as it is. What’s more, SK Gaming’s “new” support Jesse “Jesiz” Le wasn’t even good when he was still active.
To make things even worse for SK Gaming, they will be without their mid laner Ersin “Blue” Gören, who will miss the opening week of the split due to some health issues. Replacing him is Mihail “twohoyrz” Petkov, who has only recently joined SK’s academy team, having previously competed in a Balkan league.
I expect Astralis to win, but you never know what will happen in a clash between two of the weakest teams in the league.
Rogue vs Excel
Friday, June 11 – 20:00 CEST
The quality gap between these two teams is huge, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no betting opportunities to look at. Excel are going to lose this match 9/10 times, as they’re outclassed in every position.
That said, the price on Rogue is way too low for me to recommend a bet, and I will not be betting on Rogue with a kill handicap either since they’re a team that usually thrives in low-kill games. That, however, opens up an opportunity to take Excel with a kill handicap.
Bookmakers offer 1.862 on Excel with a 7.5 kill handicap which is a solid offer in my book. Underdogs usually thrive early into the season since that’s the time where they have the best chance to cause an upset against favourites, who are still getting into the rhythm of competing in the league.
While mindlessly betting on underdogs for the opening week might not be the best idea, taking the outsiders to keep this match within seven kills is the way to go. Rogue will likely stomp Excel, but as we have learned last split, Excel rarely give up unnecessary kills and avoid making silly plays when behind in order to try and flip the game upside down.
Prediction: Excel +7.5 kills – 1.862
Schalke 04 vs Vitality
Friday, June 11 – 21:00 CEST
There’s a lot of hype about Vitality’s new roster, and you can understand why people like them. That said, Vitality seem a bit over-hyped.
As noted in our LEC 2021 Spring preview, Vitality have potential upside, but they could just as likely implode and end the split outside of the top-six. The talent is there, but outside of changing their jungler, Vitality haven’t improved by much during the offseason.
What’s more, replacing three of your players, two of which play the most impactful roles, won’t help the team’s synergy, and Vitality will likely struggle with some growing pains early on. This is one big reason I’m not too big on them before I see them in action.
Schalke 04 are the complete opposite in the sense that the community isn’t too bullish on them for replacing their mid laner and jungler, who were arguably their best players. This explains why S04 are priced as an underdog. You could also argue that they’re overall a weaker side in this matchup, largely due to the jungle difference we might see.
A bet on Schalke 04 at the offered price might be appealing to some, but I’ll rather wait and see what these two sides bring to the table.
Misfits Gaming vs Fnatic
Friday, June 11 – 22:00 CEST
Misfits are a much better team than many give them credit for. They might have stumbled a bit last split, but they have shown growth and progress. And that leaves me hopeful about the Bunnies and their chances to reach the playoffs in LEC Summer.
I was very sceptical about whether I want to take a bet here, since I also believe Fnatic have potential upside. That is mainly due to their controversial role swap, which could benefit them in the long run, as noted in the LEC 2021 Summer preview.
Fnatic might have more talent, but this is their debut with their new roster, so I don’t expect them to show their full potential yet. A 50/50 match.
Prediction: Misfits Gaming to win – 2.03