June 9, 2021, 5:20 PM

LEC preview: All you need to know ahead of the Summer Split

LEC preview: All you need to know ahead of the Summer Split
Photo of the LEC stage courtesy of Riot Games.
By Jorge Pedraz
Filed Under
MAD Lions will fight to defend their title after years of Fnatic and G2 dominance in a Split that looks tighter than ever. Roster changes, team expectations, Spring Split stats,…, we’ll go through all that to give you a complete guide ahead of the Summer Split that starts this Friday, June 11.
MAD, Rogue, and G2 look one step ahead of the rest on paper, but the adaptation of the new signings, the changes in the meta, and the mental game will play a major role in a Split that will determine the EU representatives at Worlds 2021.
Let’s get started.

1. MAD LIONS: The reigning champions

Spring Playoffs: Champion (1st), 3-2 vs. Rogue
Spring Regular Season: 10-8 (3rd)
Roster Changes: None
Summer Split Debut: vs. G2
After reverse-sweeping Rogue in the Spring Split finals, MAD Lions got their first LEC title in their short history and made their way to the MSI semifinals where they fell to DWG KIA by a close 2-3.
Their successful MSI journey has two sides. On one hand, they have learned a lot from playing and scrimming with the best teams in the world and now they are better prepared ahead of the LEC Summer Split.
On the other hand, they’ve had to play 26 extra games in the MSI and, with little time to rest, they are back to their gaming houses.
This long Spring Split could pay its toll in the Regular Season. Still, the MAD Lions are expected to be a top 3 candidate for the Regular Season standings.
There will be no changes in their young roster.
We’ll use graphs to review the Spring Split performance of all the players involved. Here’s a key to what you will see in this article:
  • All data was gathered in the past LEC Spring Split. We’ll only use Regular Season data so almost all players have the same number of games played. Farming stats for supports will not be considered.
  • All data is given in a % number and standardized per minute played, comparing each stat with the average value of all LEC players in the same position, where 50.00% is the average and any percentage over 55% has a high significance.
  • The last two rows compare the CS and Gold difference over his opponent in lane. A 52% or over is a massive difference.
  • KDA (Kills + Assists / Deaths); KP (Kill Participation); CSM (Creep Score per Minute); GPM (Gold Per Minute); DPM (Damage Per Minute); Dmg Share (Damage Dealt by a Player from the team’s total); Min 15 CSD/GD (Average Creep Score Difference/Gold Difference at minute 15 over his opponent in lane); End of Game CSD/GD (Average Creep Score Difference/Gold Difference at the end of the game over his opponent in lane).
Check out MAD Lions’ stats in the past Spring Split Regular Season:
As we can see, Elyoya was named Rookie of the Split for a reason. He shines in KDA, KP, DPM, CS, and Gold difference over the junglers he faced. Humanoid also sits over the average in almost all the stats and Kaiser stands as one of the best supports of the Split with his outstanding KDA and Damage numbers. Armut’s stats round the average top laner but he stepped up later in the Playoffs, and Carzzy had a rough Regular Season but he showed a lot of improvement in the Playoffs and MSI.
MAD Lions is one of the strongest candidates for the trophy. They are confident, aggressive and one of the strongest teams mentally. They will for sure give it all to repeat their Spring success and seal their ticket to Worlds.

2. ROGUE: One step away from the glory

Spring Playoffs: Finalist (2nd), 2-3 vs. MAD Lions
Spring Regular Season: 14-4 (2nd)
Roster Changes: None
Summer Split Debut: vs. XL
Rogue has been really close to getting the title in the last two splits. In Summer 2020 they finished first the Regular Season with a 13-5 record and, after sweeping MAD Lions, they fell 3-2 to G2 in the semifinals.
They’ve been part of the Playoffs since the 2019 Summer Split and we expect them to be in Summer 2021 too.
No changes in their roster as they will look to be back at Worlds for the 2021 edition.
Let’s take a look at their stats:
Inspired is one of the keystones of this team. Being able to play through mid and bot, we can see how both Larssen and Hans sama are well above the average in Gold per Minute stats. Odoamne’s numbers are impressive taking into account that he always plays weak side, drawing almost no attention from his jungler and still, he’s been outstanding.
Their mechanical prowess and great laning phase are shown in both the CSD/GD stats and the KDA. They are expected to be fighting for the trophy along with MAD Lions and G2.

3. G2: The favorites on paper

Spring Playoffs: Semifinals (3rd), 1-3 vs. Rogue
Spring Regular Season: 14-4 (1st)
Roster Changes: None
Summer Split Debut: vs. MAD Lions
With such a strong roster, it’s difficult to give G2 any condition other than the theoretical favorites, as they were in Spring, to claim the LEC title.
However, during the Spring Playoffs they struggled to find comfort in the new meta, they barely beat Schalke in Round 1 later, MAD Lions and Rogue outplayed them and sent them home.
Not everything was bad news for them, their brand new signing, Rekkles adapted perfectly to the team as we analyzed here and was named the MVP of the Split:
As we can see, Rekkles and Caps were the true carries of the team with astonishing KDAs. Jankos was one of the top junglers of the Split and led all junglers in CS and Gold difference at the end of the game:
We can expect G2 to bounce back and be a top contender if they show their best side in the Summer Split.

4. SCHALKE 04: A Split full of uncertainty

Spring Playoffs: Round 3 (4th), 1-3 vs. Rogue
Spring Regular Season: 9-9 (4th)
Roster Changes:
In: Kirei (Jungle, from Gamers Origin), Nuclearint (Mid, from Schalke Evolution)
Out: Gilius (Jungle, substitute), Abbedagge (Mid, 100 Thieves)
Summer Split Debut: vs. Vitality
With their LEC slot in jeopardy due to the FC Schalke 04 football team's relegation to 2.Bundesliga, Schalke 04 sold one of their best assets in Abbedagge to bring in Nuclearint from the academy and yet again, another change in the jungle for the German team as they bring in Kirei, LFL (French League) and TCL (Turkish League) winner and already with experience in the LEC (13 games with Misfits in the 2019 Summer Split) and MSI with Fenerbahçe Esports.
Relying on their top laner and the bot duo, they’ll try to give their best to be in the Playoffs. We’ve seen in 2020 how they were capable of coming back from a 1-10 record to secure the last playoff spot in their ‘Miracle Run’.
BrokenBlade was their most valuable player along with Abbedagge during the Spring Split having some of the best in-lane stats between top laners:
It’s hard to predict what Schalke 04 can do this Split, but claiming a Playoff spot again could be considered a success after the roster changes made in this offseason.

5. FNATIC: The start of a new era

Spring Playoffs: Round 2 (5th), 0-3 vs. Schalke 04
Spring Regular Season: 9-9 (5th)
Roster Changes:
In: Adam (Top, from Karmine Corp), Bwipo (Jungle, from Top)
Out: Selfmade (Jungle, Vitality)
Summer Split Debut: vs. Misfits Gaming
Rekkles left Fnatic and joined G2 before the start of the Spring Split as his contract expired. In November 2021, Selfmade, Bwipo and Hylissang contracts were ending too, and Fnatic decided to make a move. Selfmade will join Team Vitality for the Summer Split and Fnatic signed a top laner, Adam, 19 y.o. and one of the gems of the French team Karmine Corp, winner of the LFL Spring and EU Masters, both in their first participation. He’s shined on bruisers like Renekton, Darius, or Olaf.
With a new top laner signed, the coaching staff decided to offer Bwipo the chance to move to the jungle, and he accepted.
He will have big shoes to fill. Selfmade replaced Broxah in 2020 as the starting jungler for Fnatic, being runners-up with the British organization in both Spring and Summer 2020, and falling to Top Esports in Worlds 2020 Quarterfinals. He’s known for playing carries like Graves or Evelynn, one of his signature picks.
The shocker came in his replacement. It’s not the first time that Bwipo has switched roles; he played AD carry for Fnatic in the 2018 Summer Split in a meta where classic bot laners were in question, and Vladimir, Swain, or Galio were some of Bwipo’s picks. Many things have changed since then and now Bwipo has the chance to show his game knowledge from the jungle. Fnatic based a lot of their gameplay in the Spring Split on pure aggression and they looked fearless when going for plays regardless of the outcome. Fnatic's botlane perfectly represents that aggression looking at their Damage and KDA:
*Bwipo’s Spring Split stats as top laner. In a Split that could be the last of Fnatic as we know it, Fnatic will have to give it all to be at Worlds 2021 even if it’s via Play-In. On paper, they look a step behind the top 3 contenders (MAD Lions, Rogue, and G2) but they shouldn’t have any problem making it to the Playoffs.

6. SK Gaming: The late changes

Spring Playoffs: Round 1 (6th), 1-3 vs. Fnatic
Spring Regular Season: 8-10 (6th)
Roster Changes:
In: Treatz (Jungle, from Support), Jesiz (Support, from Head Coach)
Out: TynX (Jungle, substitute)
Summer Split Debut: vs. Astralis
As Bwipo made his move from the top lane to the jungle, Treatz was surprisingly announced as the starting jungler for SK Gaming:
After a great Spring Split as a support and one of the biggest candidates for Rookie of the Split that Elyoya ended up winning, communication problems within the team led to moving one of the main SK shotcallers to the jungle.
Besides, with not much time to find replacements in the market, Jesiz, their Head Coach and former G2 and Fnatic player will be the starting support.
And what’s more, due to unfortunate health issues, their starting midlaner, Blue, won’t be able to start at least in the first three games of the Split:
SK started the Spring Split with 4 rookies in their squad and surprised everyone with one of the most fun to watch bot lanes in the LEC. Treatz shined in the bot lane and Jenax stepped up during the split to secure a Playoff spot:
*Treatz’s Spring Split stats as support. SK will go from keeping the same roster to kicking off the Split with 3 changes or role swaps in their squad. Their goal should be the Playoffs again, but let’s see if they can quickly adapt to those late changes and perform at the same level they did in the Spring Split.

7. Misfits Gaming: Establishing the bases for the next step

Spring Regular Season: 8-10 (7th)
Roster Changes: None
Summer Split Debut: vs. Fnatic
No roster changes for a squad that significantly improved their mid-jungle synergy and with a good late run they just fell short of the Playoffs race. Playing through mid is key for Misfits, a team that rely a lot on Razork’s carry potential from the jungle. Razork led between all junglers in Damage per minute and Damage Share:
Misfits sit in the mid-class of the LEC and should be a contender for one of the last Playoff spots. Once HiRit and Vetheo are established in the LEC after their rookie split, with Kobbe and Vander as the veterans in the botlane and Razork’s aggression from the jungle the team should be ready to improve the Spring Split results where they fought for the Playoffs until the last day.

8. Excel: Dreaming with Playoffs

Spring Regular Season: 7-11 (8th)
Roster Changes:
In: Nukeduck (Mid, from Astralis), Denyk (Support, from Misfits)
Out: Czekolad (Mid, Mousesports), Tore (Support, MAD Lions Madrid)
Summer Split Debut: vs. Rogue
It’s hard to rate the Excel offseason. Denyk can improve the bot lane synergy as he forms with Patrik, the first Czech bot lane in the LEC.
Czekolad's move was more surprising. The Polish player was one of the best mid laner prospects after winning the EU Masters with AGO Rogue but after only one Split, Excel have decided to sign a more experienced player in Nukeduck.
Kryze and Patrik are solid performers, Dan just completed his rookie split and it is uncertain how well the two veterans will fit in the squad.
Excel will try to reach the LEC Playoffs for the first time in their history, but it will not be an easy task. Reaching Playoffs in this Summer Split will be really demanding, and we can expect a close battle between 5-6 teams.

9. Astralis: A new project in the making

Spring Regular Season: 6-12 (9th)
Roster Changes: None
Summer Split Debut: vs. SK Gaming
After Origen rebranded into Astralis and they let go of some of their best players, Alphari (Team Liquid), Xerxe and Destiny (Immortals) and Upset (Fnatic), the bar was set quite low as it was a brand-new roster with few expectations to make it into the Playoffs.
They finally did not make it, but with Zanzarah comfortable on tanks providing engage, they managed to put up some decent performances, especially in the last week when they knocked Vitality out of the Playoffs contention and then beat SK Gaming on the very next day.

10. Team Vitality: The revolution

Spring Regular Season: 5-13 (10th)
Roster Changes:
In: SLT (Top, from BIG), Selfmade (Jungle, from Fnatic), Lider (Mid, from Mousesports)
Out: Szygenda (Top, Vitality Bee), Skeanz (Jungle, Vitality Bee), Milica (Mid, inactive)
Summer Split Debut: vs. Schalke 04
Vitality will only keep their botlane (that already changed from Comp to Crownshot as marksman) from the Spring Split.
They’ve brought in SLT from BIG, winners of the Prime League Pro Division (German League). He is one of the top prospects in the lane along with Adam, he’s mostly played Gnar and Jayce this year and he will be replacing Szygenda, another rookie that will be moved to the academy team.
Lider will be the new midlaner. Coming from Mousesports and having played in the LEC 2019 Summer Split with Misfits, the Norwegian is known for playing champions that many midlaners usually don’t. We can expect him on assassins like Irelia, Akali, Zed, or Yone.
However, the biggest signing comes in the jungle. Selfmade joins in from Fnatic. He’s been a top 3 jungler of the LEC these last 3 years he’s been in and arguably the best jungler mechanically.
We can see from watching his stats that even after what was not his best Split his stats are way over the average. Besides, Crownshot shined in the second half of the Split with Vitality playing through bot:
Changes are not over as Tasz will be the new Head Coach coming from Vitality Bee replacing Duke.
We can expect Vitality to be a top contender for Playoffs and improve their Spring Split record that puts them at the bottom of the table.

Wrap up

On paper, we can foresee a top tier formed by 3 teams: MAD Lions, Rogue, and G2.
After that, a really interesting mid tier in a close fight for the Playoffs with Fnatic, Vitality, Misfits Gaming, SK Gaming, and Schalke 04.
Only Excel and Astralis would not be expected to be in the Playoffs but in the LEC surprises can never be ruled out.
The stakes are high before the Summer Split that will give all the European tickets to Worlds 2021.
Follow the action with us as the Summer Split kicks off on Friday with a banger between MAD Lions and G2

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