League Of Legends: 2021 LEC Introduction
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The European LEC is slated to begin on the 22nd of Janurary, 2021. We here at Fantasy Alarm are here to bring you a quick rundown of each team and players to watch on each squad, to get you up to speed in preparation for the next season. The level of competition is at the highest level yet (especially mid laners!) so we’ll waste no time getting to it:
The best team in the LEC, without a doubt, is G2 Esports. This region is more top heavy than any other most likely: the squad has consecutively won the championship title four times so far, and while their franchise player in Perkz has departed to LCS team Cloud9, his replacement in Rekkles is regarded as the best ADC in the LEC. In addition to this move, Fnatic is without their superstar player, weakening the overall level of the region and causing G2 to be even more ahead of the competition. While there’s no “bad” player on G2, the cream of the crop in their position would include Caps, Rekkles, and Wunder. Caps needs no introduction; being the best western mid laner of all time. Wunder in addition has had his only significant competition to the top spot in LEC exported in Alphari, and his throne is now uncontested.
Down the list are the three higher mid-tier teams: Rogue, MAD Lions, and Fnatic. At the top of these three is likely Rogue; Finn being replaced with Odoamne is generally seen as an upgrade in LEC, although I’ll stand by my prior assessment that Finn is underrated (although, I do agree Odoamne is an upgrade). Trymbi for Vander is a side-grade for what was likely the third-best support in LEC, although the role in the region is generally poorer relative to the rest of the world. Hans Sama and Inspired are solid players, but don’t hold a candle to the one-man-star that is Larssen, who alongside Humanoid and Caps is the new “trifecta” of EU, alluding to the former 2013 trifecta of what was Froggen, Alexich, and xPeke. In any case, Rogue is a tricky bunch, but keeping your eyes on Odoamne, Larssen, and Trymbi is a safe bet.
Moving on are their perennial rivals in MAD Lions, who alongside Rogue looked to usurp the throne from G2 in their moment of weakness before being stomped again in the playoffs. The top side of Shad0w and Orome have been swapped for Armut and Elyoya, and while there’s promise in the replacements, I think it’s a safe bet to stick with the core: Carzzy, Kaiser, and Humanoid especially look to return to challenging for a top spot in Europe following their disappointing run at the 2020 World Championship.
Finally at this level, stands Fnatic. Former kings of Europe, now without Rekkles, and with a Nisqy who appeared dubious during the latter half of the 2020 season in the LCS. Thankfully, coming in for Rekkles is what’s likely the third-best ADC in EU at this point in Upset. If Fnatic is to come close to their former glory, it’ll certainly be up to their jungler Selfmade, who was the best LEC jungler throughout 2020. Alongside Upset and Hylissang, it’s up to these three to defend Fnatic’s reputation; but it’s likely at this point the former kings have been demoted to princes.
Another three teams round out the lower mid-table of European competition: Excel, Schalke 04, and Misfits. Excel is our pick for fifth, holding a strong replacement for what was likely the worst mid laner in the LEC: Czekolad, the Polish prodigal mid laner who showed up massively at EU masters in 2020. Joining him is jungler Dan in for Caedrel; not a bad choice, although more of a “crowd went mild” sort of pick-up. Thankfully, Excel also sport a promising carry top laner in Kryze and the second-best ADC in EU in Patrik. Excel is a puzzling roster to be sure, but you can’t go wrong with Kryze, Czekolad, and Patrik. Just like their team name would cause you to expect, this is a squad filled with X-Factors.
Just at the precipice of playoffs stands Schalke 04; our pick for “they’ll either explode, or do well”. Broken Blade and LIMIT are fascinating additions to a team that’s known to be “on again, off again” in the regard they fit into that precise archetype. Abbedagge was a bottom feeder mid laner throughout his tenure in LEC until the latter half of 2020 Summer, when he suddenly began to absolutely obliterate every other mid laner in his path. S04 is a team where you need to pump the breaks for a week or two, and if they show their past brilliance, they’re a great buy on the cheap. Out of their players, I’d say LIMIT and Abbedagge are the ones with the highest ceilings, keep a close eye on Gilius and Broken Blade too, and see if their run last year was pure luck, or indicative of something greater.
Coming in at seventh is Misfits, who said goodbye to top laner Dan Dan and… Febiven? Unfortunately for Misfits, Vetheo, despite being a great player, is unlikely to be a better player than Febi out of the package, and Agresivoo or HiRit are likely side-grades to Dan Dan, who in himself was a very poor top laner. In spite of this though, keep eyes on their two support players: Denyk and Vander, who are upper tier in LEC. As the season progresses, check out Kobbe and Vetheo, they’re both players with extremely high ceilings, and are capable of proving the LEC wrong when they’re playing at their best.
At the lower tier of the LEC is Team Vitality and SK Gaming: capable of brawling with teams all the way up to Excel, but unlikely to secure wins against the upper-middle trifecta. Team Vitality has side-graded to perhaps slightly downgraded their top laner from Cabochard to Szygenda. There’s nothing wrong with the new top laner; just that Cabo had really high peaks and wasn’t even “bad” for an extended period of time. Otherwise, mid laner Milica was quite good, but with upgrades across the board in mid laner in the LEC during the offseason, he’s in an awkward position. He’s not bad, but he’s just not at the insane caliber European mid laners are at. That leaves three players: Comp, Labrov, and Skeanz. Skeanz wasn’t a terrible jungler during 2020, but his inconsistency where his “highs” were just around above average didn’t leave a very inspiring impression on us. By far, the most promising pieces of Vitality is their bottom lane: Comp and Labrov who bring real firepower to an otherwise underwhelming team (sorry, Milica).
Finally, we have SK. Although the team brings what I regard as “the best of what’s left”, the level of the LEC is likely too high to contest. Blue was a fantastic choice for mid lane, and while TynX had a poor showing in EU Masters Summer, his spring showed he was worth a shot in the LEC. Treatz was underrated in the LCS, Jenax was serviceable, in the 2020 LEC, and Jezu was a good choice for ADC, but it’s hard to say he’ll be comparable to the competition he has to face. Without a doubt, I’d regard TynX and Blue as having the highest potential on the team. I think while Vitality and Misfits will be better at the beginning of the season, SK will be capable of ramping up and finishing around seventh or eighth.
Well, that’s it, right? All 9 teams of the LEC? Well, I wish it was. Unfortunately, there’s a tenth team, and just like how G2 is ahead of the entire league, there’s a complete bottom feeder team at tenth: Astralis. Astralis is a sorry sight, sporting what’s likely the worst mid laner in the LEC in Nukeduck, the worst support in the LEC in Promisq, and the worst top laner in Whiteknight. There are two saving graces for the team however: ADC Jeskla looked great in Prime League, and junger Zanzarah who has had a decent amount of hype behind him following performances in Ultraliga and EU Masters. Unfortunately, these two are unlikely to be capable of shouldering the burden of their out-matched teammates across the map. Obviously, things happen, so maybe they may not be an absolute, clearly tenth place team, but if they aren’t, consider it completely miraculous.
Final Rankings & Players to Watch:
- G2: Caps, Rekkles, Wunder
- Rogue: Odoamne, Larssen, Trymbi
- MAD Lions: Humanoid, Carzzy, Kaiser
- Fnatic: Upset, Selfmade, Hylissang
- Excel Esports: Patrik, Kryze, Czekolad
- Schalke04: LIMIT, Abbedagge
- Misfits: Vetheo, Kobbe
- Team Vitality: Labrov, Comp
- SK Gaming: TynX, Blue
- Astralis: Zanzarah, Jeskla