A new year brings a new start for the EU LCS, now known as the LEC. The league has franchised, which has brought in a few new faces amongst the crowd. However, there are still some League of Legends superstars ready to show the world what they have. Of course, power rankings in the Spring Split’s first week are hard to judge as it’s very early in the season. Even still, first impressions are very important, and some teams have made some great introductions. Unfortunately for others, they’ve stumbled a bit with their first steps of 2019. Let’s take a look at the power rankings for the LEC through week one of the Spring Split.
— lolesports (@lolesports) January 19, 2019
Is anyone surprised with which team is taking our first spot in our power rankings? G2 Esports made their two matches look easier than ever and look poised to take the European crown for themselves already. Rasmus “Caps” Winther has eased into his role as G2’s mid laner. Meanwhile, Luka “Perkz” Perković is looking more dangerous than ever in the bottom lane. He and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle may be the best bottom lane duo in the region already.
Additionally, G2 Esports has already shown their flexibility composition-wise, throwing mages in the bottom lane with Perkz. Because of the amount of talent on the roster, they are willing to make some exciting, off-meta drafts that should spice up each week. Their precise, hyper-aggressive plays are a treat to watch and should be a menace for any team to deal with. We thought that they’d need some time to gel together, but it looks like they want to crush everyone right from the get-go. We might be witnessing one of the best European rosters at play this Spring Split.
— lolesports (@lolesports) January 19, 2019
What a weekend from Misfits, who look like the only team who could possibly stand up to G2 right now. Both their games this past weekend were complete stomps, with the trio of Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian, Steven “Hans Sama” Liv, and Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon terrorizing their opponents. The veteran additions of Paul “sOAZ” Boyer and Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten paid off in spades, as they were able to create plays and hold firm while the bottom side of the map snowballed.
Speaking of which, that was the name of the game last weekend for Misfits. Getting Hans Sama was a huge factor for the team, as it has been in the past. If they were able to get a single advantage, they’d snowball it until the game was over. The only issue I can see is if a team, like G2 Esports, is able to slow down the bottom lane carry. Will the rest of the team be able to pick up the slack if Hans Sama is behind? Time can only tell.
Amazing game against a great team. GG WP @FNATIC!!!
— Origen (@Origengg) January 19, 2019
Origen looks to have really clicked this past offseason and may be a top-three team in the LEC. In their first match, they actually looked pretty good until G2’s poke composition started to ramp up. Then it was almost impossible to play League of Legends from that point onward. However, in their next match against Fnatic, they looked much more composed and prepared. Even when they were down in kills, they stayed vigilant and kept up with farm and objectives.
Their roster looks pretty well set together, with Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm showing off more of his champion ocean in the mid lane. Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez was caught out of position a few times over the weekend, but a change in scenery should bring him back to form soon. The rest of the roster looks decent enough, but matches against Misfits and Splyce should help situate them in the power rankings.
— Schalke 04 Esports (@S04Esports) January 20, 2019
Schalke 04 looked pretty good in their first week, even though they ran into the G2 Esports freight train. They still need a bit of time to grow as a team, but they have plenty of potential to become a powerful team in the LEC. Jonas “Memento” Elmarghichi was great in Schalke’s first game against Vitality, but his aggressiveness was his downfall against the superior G2 roster. Elias “Upset” Lipp and Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun were also good, but they need better awareness when playing in the bottom lane.
Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu is a solid presence for the team in the top lane, as was shown in their game against Vitality. The team’s resident rookie, Felix “Abbedagge” Braun, also needs some time to stretch out his wings. However, he was able to hold his own in lane against Vitality, where they sent him plenty of attention. There are multiple sources of firepower across the lineup; Schalke just needs to find the best way to utilize them together. Until then, they’ll stay at fourth in our power rankings.
— SK Gaming (@SKGaming) January 18, 2019
SK Gaming might just be the dark horse of the LEC and our power rankings, going by their first weekend of matches. Their young, fiery core of rookies from Mad Lions may be in store for a breakout season this year. The most impressive performance came out of their 19-year-old jungler, Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek. He made his presence known against Fnatic, where his great jungle pathing and mechanics were on display and helped them win the game. He could be an early candidate for Rookie of the Split, even with multiple young guns entering the LEC this year.
Speaking of which, Juš “Crownshot” Marušič played quite well too, outplaying Rekkles for most of their game. Of course, they are still young and learning, so bumps are expected along the way. Their loss against Misfits was probably a good thing, as it will keep them humble and hungry. It is really easy for rookies to get complacent once they garner some success. Learning to bounce back from a loss is also an important asset to acquire early in one’s career.
The 1st victorious battle cry of 2019 is here for our #LEC squad!
— Team Vitality (@TeamVitality) January 19, 2019
It’s only the first week of the Spring Split, so it’s fine to have some early-season jitters. We can see this in Team Vitality, who impressed many people last year at Worlds. They barely missed the playoffs after an exhilarating day of games against Gen.G, RNG, and Cloud9. They’ve kept a majority of that roster while introducing a new jungler in Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha. They have good synergy together and have a good amount of firepower to support themselves. However, their mid-to-late-game macro play still needs some work.
It was tough to watch some of their decision-making late in their games. In their match against Schalke 04, they juggled themselves between Baron so many times that they ended up losing because of it. It was clear that they couldn’t find a win condition, so they kept throwing themselves at Baron and backing off. Even in their win against Splyce, they were relatively shaky. Splyce actually won their early game, but luckily for Vitality, they couldn’t find a way to close. If Vitality wants to climb our power rankings, they need to be more decisive with their shot-calling past the early game.
*Excel.exe was deleted* 💾
Comment below! 👇 pic.twitter.com/QYmzGFariR
— Splyce (@Splyce) January 22, 2019
For Splyce, it is a similar situation to Team Vitality’s, in that they have to find direction late in the game. Their early game is much better than it was in last year’s iteration of the team. However, they are way too wishy-washy when it comes to possible game-winning decisions. As a result, their games are decided by a simple late-game 5v5 teamfight. This kind of strategy may work on teams like EXCEL Esports, but against the top teams of the league, you might not have the same luck.
However, there are some positives to pull from week one as well. Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir was playing decently, even though he can be very hot-and-cold as a jungler. If he can stay consistent with his performances, it will allow his team to be that much more aggressive. We saw instances of this in their loss against Vitality in the bottom lane. Rookie mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda held his own in the mid lane and should get better as the season rumbles on. Again, Splyce needs to become much more coordinated late, or they’ll constantly throw away their leads.
— EXCEL (@EXCEL) January 19, 2019
EXCEL Esports is low in our power rankings, but don’t be surprised if they hop up a few spots in a few weeks. Even though their team play is still pretty rough, the foundation is there for a relatively successful team. Unfortunately, the LEC is completely packed with talent, so it will be tough for them to squeeze their way into a possible playoff position. Many people were calling for Marc “Caedrel” Robert Lamont’s head for his game against Splyce. Thankfully, he was able to redeem himself with some good play against Rogue.
Their macro skills are pretty good, considering their time spent together, so they could possibly take some games away from top-tier teams later on in the Spring Split. They have a pretty good combination of veteran experience alongside rookie explosiveness. If this team was in North America, they might be a playoff team. However, the top six teams are just way too good for them to be anything but a seventh or eighth-placed team for the Spring Split.
We start slowly, we start 0-2, but we remember: this is just the start of #LEC.
The age-old idiom goes: "this is a marathon, not a sprint", and it becomes more prevalent than ever. Because we are #AlwaysFnatic.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) January 19, 2019
I guess the loss of Caps hit Fnatic harder than people thought. Losing the best player in the region was obviously going to have an effect on the team. However, it’s a good thing to have these difficulties early in the season, so later on, you can adjust and be ready for the playoffs. Yes, Fnatic looked all out of sorts this weekend because they are still trying to grow without their superstar mid laner. Their replacement, Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek, has huge shoes to fill. Also, it doesn’t help that he was put into losing lanes with not much jungle support. It made sense that he wasn’t playing to the best of his abilities.
The rest of the roster has problems too, but nothing that can’t be fixed with some practice and time. Remember, four of the five members of Fnatic went to the Finals of the World Championship last year. There is too much talent on this roster for it to suddenly collapse. Things may get worse before they get better. However, patience is key for Fnatic fans as their team adjusts to a new style of play. Don’t expect them to lag behind in our power rankings for too long.
— Rogue (@GoingRogueGG) January 19, 2019
Simply put, Rogue lacks the talent to compete for such a competitive league like the LEC. Each member could be a good complementary piece for another team, but they don’t have any star power to help them stand up amongst the tall trees of Europe. Kim “Profit” Jun-hyung and Chres “Sencux” Laursen just can’t hold their ground in their lanes. Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek is good but can’t seem to find much success with his lanes.
Their worst position has to be over in the bottom lane with Martin “HeaQ” Kordmaa. He was the weakest link of the bunch, failing to dish out damage whenever he could. Kim “Wadid” Bae-in showed some promise, but there isn’t much he can do as a support to carry his team. Rogue might be in for a tough time against Splyce and G2 Esports next week, and they will probably skirt the bottom of our power rankings for most of the season.
What are your thoughts on our power rankings for week one of the LEC 2019 Spring Split? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more LEC coverage, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.