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Credit: Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games

Let the fun begin: 2022 LEC Summer Split Preview




We have waited long enough, and the day has finally come: the 2022 LEC summer split starts June 17, and Europe's favorite teams are back in action.

A lot has happened during the midseason break: G2 Esports' win streak snapped at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, Team BDS and Astralis have revamped their lineups, the sun shined progressively brighter (unless you're in the Southern hemisphere, then winter was rearing its head)... and Patch 12.10 flipped everything upside down.

But for the LEC contestants, it was the calm before the storm as they return to a much-changed League of Legends. And this is how it went for all of them:

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    G2 Esports is coming to get you… and their tenth LEC title (by Zoran Papak)

    After lifting a record ninth LEC title in Spring and a solid MSI performance, G2 Esports is looking to keep up with their excellent form and push for "La Decima."

    How G2 Esports won their ninth title

    G2 made tough decisions in the offseason after the “Rekkles experiment” failed: it was time to completely revamp the roster. That included the coachng staff as they parted ways with long-time head coach Fabian “GrabbZ” Lohmann and appointed ex-Schalke 04 Esports head coach Dylan Falco in his stead.

    Mr. Carlos decided to (re)build around Rasmus “Caps” Winther and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski; so, he replaced Martin “Wunder” Hansen, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, and Mihael “mikyx” Mehle with young and talented players.

    Sergen “BrokenBlade” Celik, Victor “Flakked” Lirola Tortosa, and Raphaael “Targamas” Crabbe had huge shoes to fill and a lot of pressure on their back. And it showed: the regular season featured ups and downs, including a mind-blowing 13k gold lead throw vs. Misfits Gaming. 

    Why G2 Esports didn’t change anything: LEC title #9

    Heading into the playoffs as the fourth seed, G2 weren’t the favorites to win the split, especially after losing to Fnatic in the first round. But then, they flipped some magic switch and made an astonishing lower bracket run to win the split without dropping a single game.

    This incredible form carried over to the Mid-Season Invitational, as G2 extended their winning streak to 24, including wins over T1 and RNG, before losing to PSG Talon in the Rumble stage. Unfortunately, the G2's magic died down, and they got swept by T1 in the MSI semifinals.

    Throughout G2’s unbeaten run, Caps delighted G2’s fans as he looked like one of the best players in the world. He and Jankos are leading this young squad, both on and off the rift. If they manage to pick up where they left in Spring, we are looking at a scary G2.

    How do we expect G2 Esports to perform? Title contenders

    Although Carlos usually notes that G2 competes for every title and always wants to win, G2 have exceeded expectations in Spring. They predictably did no roster changes; instead, they will keep growing together as a team, further developing "the young guns."

    However, let's not forget that the players had no time to rest before the MSI ended. Jankos recently shared on this stream that they haven't even started scrimming yet, as the players desperately needed some time off to rest and recalibrate. With Patch 12.10’s massive meta shift and their lack of preparation, we might see a slow start to the split.

    Although they might not be number one favorites to win the split (again), we expect them to be a contender. It would be a massive surprise if they fail to secure a Worlds spot for the second straight year.

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    Time for the LEC to go Rogue at long last (by Adel Chouadria)

    Being a Rogue fan is a tale of heartbreaks: after doing so well during the season, they have generally crumbled during the playoffs. However, the 2022 summer split will be their best shot at lifting their first trophy ever.

    How Rogue became the second-best LEC team

    After some inspired decision-making from the front office, Rogue built a cohesive team during the offseason. Despite losing team ace Steven “Hans sama” Liv to a Team Liquid offer that he could not refuse, the team’s recruitment left them with no choice but becoming a Top 3 team long term.

    Surprisingly, Rogue reached competitive levels immediately, crushing non-G2 entities throughout the spring season on the way to their second LEC finals ever. Alas, as is tradition, they lost in heartbreaking fashion to G2 Esports 3-0.

    Malrang’s team-first approach facilitated Rogue’s transition through many playstyles and diversified its playbook. As the team continues to incorporate his skills, the solo laners will develop more ways to impact games with team compositions built around them.

    What changed since then?

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” – Rogue, probably. Why change a functional lineup with great team play and synergy? Ditto for the coaching staff.

    Rogue understood that there was no need to change anything. As is, we expect them to carry on where they left off: winning as many games as possible off solid fundamentals. All the coaching that Simon “Fredy122” Payne has done is expected to bear fruit once again—or at least send Rogue to Worlds.

    How do we expect Rogue to perform? Title contenders

    Bar spectacular meta changes or performance peaks from opposing teams, Rogue are the safest bet for a Top 3 finish. However, the veterans on their lineup and the adaptable bot laners give them an edge ahead of Patch 12.11’s transformative changes to the game.

    As such, Rogue will likely compete against G2 Esports for the top spot; may the better team win. G2 were in the spring split, and Rogue could be that during the summer.

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    Will Fnatic perform to its fanbase’s (and their) lofty expectations? (by Yohan Markov)

    Despite setting high expectations as a “super team,” they failed to capture the LEC trophy in the 2022 spring split. In the upcoming summer split, they seek to redeem themselves and build upon what worked before.

    What went wrong for Fnatic during the 2022 LEC spring split
    Fnatic set high expectations on them, and it bit them back. Their inconsistency and the pressure that they faced has resulted in some unexpected losses. Although they were on track to win the split for most of it, the unexpected 0-3 loss to G2 Esports in the lower bracket finals was the nail in the coffin for their season.

    Among the many issues that they faced, Fnatic’s drafting problems and their disharmony were the ones that undid them on the Rift—as if they were not on the same page. You cannot draft Twisted Fate four times in a row when it is obviously not working.

    Also, their high-profile jungle signing, Ivan “Razork” Martin Diaz, looked uncomfortable and struggled to fit into the team—if he could at all. There was no mid-jungle synergy between him and Humanoid.

    What changed for Fnatic since then? 

    Nothing has changed in Fnatic’s roster as there was no need for that. Despite rumors indicating that Razork’s days were numbered, the organization saw no need to do that. Instead, the team has decided to realize its potential (not the Counter Logic Gaming type).

    Instead, the environment around the players is changing. Indeed, Fnatic has brought performance coach Sensu to help them outside the Rift. Furthermore, their new facilities introduce “a more traditional sports environment,” which should boost their performance.

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    How do we expect Fnatic to perform? Title/Worlds contenders

    Team synergy was Fnatic’s biggest issue. Strong individual performance was there, but the team wasn’t on the same page. Razork and Humanoid’s coordination will have to improve so that Fnatic can dominate. In fact, their bot lane is already dominant. In addition, Wunder has been having a redemption season and yet, and he is on his way to finding his 2019 form, but more is needed.

    Top 4 is the least we would predict for them during the regular season, but if their previous showings are anything to go by, you can never trust them to stick to expectations.

    They will reach the playoffs and qualify for Worlds. But can they achieve more? A title for the first time since 2018? Who knows: anything is possible. They either dominate or int. No middle ground.


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    Unexpectedly potent Misfits Gaming have much to prove during the summer (by Christian Vejvad)

    After a solid spring split, Misfits Gaming is looking to keep momentum during the 2022 LEC Summer Split and potentially secure a spot at the 2022 World Championship.

    How did Misfits do in the spring split?

    During spring, Misfits surprised many people with its ability to consistently beat lower-ranking teams, while also making some upsets against the LEC giants.

    Their great showings during the regular split propelled them to third place at 12-6 record, which put them in a solid position before the playoffs.

    With mid laner Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié crushing his opponents all split and taking the regular season MVP title, it was expected that Misfits could make new surprises in a best-of-five setting.

    Unfortunately for Misfits, the players couldn’t keep up and fell short during the bo5s. The team lost to Rogue in the upper bracket, before a devastating 0-3 loss to G2 Esports eliminated them.

    What changed for Misfits going into summer?

    Misfits has only made one change going into the upcoming split: the top lane.

    The team recently announced that they were replacing Shin “HiRit” Tae-min with Misfits Premier top laner Joel “Irrelevant” Scharoll, who has showcased his talent in the French LFL. Irrelevant is a player who isn’t afraid to pick carry champions in the top lane, with several games on the likes of Jayce, Akali, and Camille during the latest LFL split.

    Joining a team consisting of young players, Irrelevant will be another exciting addition to the Misfits squad.

    How do we expect Misfits to perform in LEC Summer? Playoff contenders

    As Misfits hasn’t made many changes for the upcoming split, the players already have synergy. Compared to teams who made a lot of changes, Misfits should have an advantage in the starting weeks.

    With that said, the addition of Irrelevant means that Misfits is still a young squad, lacking a true veteran to lead the team. Inconsistencies may arise, especially if the team hits a dry streak.

    All in all, Misfits looks to be an underdog once again. It’s clear that Misfits has a lot of individual power and can upset the big teams. But even with that, it will be tough for them to contend with the best throughout 18 bo1s and a potential playoffs bracket.

    We expect Misfits to be a playoff team, but it will be hard for them to break into the top 3 or 4 again.

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    Team Vitality’s LEC changes might be what the doctor ordered (by Nikhil Kalro)

    Vitality endured a disappointing run at the LEC 2022 Spring Split, finishing sixth with 9 wins and 9 losses. They were well primed for a top-four finish halfway through but lost momentum towards the back end. Towards the end of the season, it became a huff and puff to remain in playoff contention.

    What happened to THE offseason super team during the 2022 spring split?

    Initially formed to dominate the LEC, Team Vitality signed superstars Luka “Perkz” Perković and Barney “Alphari” Morris, and they retained jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek. This rejuvenation meant greater expectations on them, but it all fell flat. Right from the opening week, they slumped to 0-3 and had to play catch up from there onward. There was a brief spurt in between, but the end was rather tame.

    Among the positives for them during the spring was Alphari’s performances. From excellent team fighting to good macro, Alphari and his teammates had moments of brilliance despite their inconsistency.

    There’s a sense that they made the playoffs doing the bare minimum with one of the most stacked and hyped teams going into the 2022 season. Can they prove their detractors wrong, yet again? If they find consistency, the possibilities are endless.

    What changed for Team Vitality since then?

    After a horror show of a spring split, Team Vitality are looking for a turnaround. So, they have signed two new junglers Kang “Haru” Min-Seung and Zhou “Bo” Yang-Bo. As for Selfmade, he is unlikely to start, and is already on the lookout for a new team.

    Haru has been mighty successful in South Korea and at the NLC, and he will be Vitality’s starting jungler for the upcoming summer split. Meanwhile, Bo’s last public appearance was in China with FunPlus Phoenix in 2021, and he was anointed as the best up-and-coming talent there. Here’s another opportunity for him in the sun. 

    What Team Vitality need to hit their stride

    Team Vitality must hit the ground running almost immediately as they face the formidable MAD Lions in their opening game, in a fascinating battle for ascendancy. With names such as Perkz, Alphari, and Carzzy in their line-up, Vitality are looking to reclaim the favourites tag and play like one.

    Ahead of the summer split, and with the new signings, Team Vitality would want a more decisive play style. As such, they haven't covered themselves in glory by indirectly going after one of their players, when they said: “when two different playstyles can’t be mixed well enough, it is important to be able to adapt and try new options.”

    This statement somewhat corroborates Upcomer’s version that the team wanted to move on from one of their players due to a different strategy as far as their late-game play was concerned.

    One year can be a long time in sport. It’s Vitality’s opportunity to prove they’ve turned over a new leaf and they aren’t the diffident unit they’ve been for close to a year.

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    Excel Esports could go for a playoff encore (by Christian Vejvad)

    The team that has been known for always barely missing LEC playoffs finally made it during the spring split. Can they do it again?

    How did Excel Esports do in the spring split?

    The 2022 LEC Spring Split was revolutionary for Excel as the team finally managed to reach the playoffs. Furthermore, it also managed to do it as the fifth seed ahead of Team Vitality.

    After a fairly mediocre start to the split, they picked up the pace after support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle joined the team from Week 3 onward. With the experienced support on the roster, Excel won against major teams and ultimately ended the regular split with a 9-9 record.

    In the playoffs, Excel fell short against Vitality in a five-game thriller during the first round of the lower bracket. This ended Excel’s first playoffs run in the LEC.

    What changed for Excel since then?

    Excel has made absolutely no changes to the roster for the upcoming summer split. After making the playoffs during the spring split (their ultimate goal in general), the organization logically wants to develop this very solid team.

    After a South Korean bootcamp and no roster changes, Excel might start the split as one of the stronger teams. As the team already gels, the first couple of weeks of the split will be important for Excel in its goal to reach playoffs once again.

    How do we expect Excel to perform in LEC Summer? Playoff contenders

    Considering the roster, it’s fair to expect Excel to fight for the playoffs once again. Excel doesn’t have enough star power to beat the top LEC teams consistently, but the chance for upsets is there.

    We expect that Excel will consistently beat teams considered worse than themselves. Excel has enough routine to play consistently when it matters, and that is a considerable strength when chasing Top 6 during the regular season.

    We believe that Excel will be a contender to reach playoffs again but will likely struggle in the lower bracket for the second split in a row.

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    MAD Lions’ LEC season has started—for real, this time (by Adel Chouadria)

    MAD Lions’ LEC season has started at last—somewhat: they are an entire split behind. Let’s forget about their spring split, their lack of synchronization after Marek “Humanoid” Brazda’s departure, and Steven “Reeker” Chen’s inability to replace him on the lineup.

    How MAD Lions’ spring season turned into a nightmare

    After their inability to retain the services of Humanoid and AD carry Matyas “carzzy” Orsag, MAD Lions invested on strong young talented players, UNFORG1VEN and Reeker. Their AD carry investment paid off, but Reeker was unable to fill the void Humanoid left behind.

    Without a diverse champion pool or a sense of direction from the mid lane, MAD Lions could only show signs of brilliance here and there, as was the case in the final week of the LEC spring split. Too little, too late: their 3-0 superweek finish was not enough to salvage their season and send them to the playoffs.

    What changed since then?

    MAD Lions made the best roster move they could: replace the inexperienced Reeker with veteran Worlds participant Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer. In truth, it was the best roster move they could have imagined.

    McDonald’s memes be damned: Nisqy is Worlds-caliber and should not rot on any team’s bench. His ability to quickly build synergy on any given lineup will spare MAD Lions from the growing pains that a roster change usually brings.

    From there, whether the gameplan centers around him or his teammates, he will be a facilitator (or a carry) alongside jungler Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla and support Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser. Support-jungle and mid-jungle engines will rev MAD up a notch.

    How do we expect MAD Lions to perform? Contend for a Worlds spot.

    All aboard the MAD Lions hype train! Their greatest weakness patched, they can focus on what they do best: wipe their competition out. However, it won’t be easy: G2 Esports, Rogue and Fnatic await. If Team Vitality surge out of nowhere, and if Excel perform at their scrim level consistently, they will be part of a six-team race to Worlds.

    But as they have signed Nesquik Nisqy, MAD have the right tools at their disposal to aim high. As such, they should—rather, they must. Time to turn that ‘potential’ into reality.

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    Will SK Gaming’s season end in yet another disappointment? (by Nikhil Kalro)

    The 2022 LEC Spring Split table will tell you a story of disappointment as far as SK Gaming is concerned. You’d find it hard to fathom how a team capable of pulling off wins from nowhere finished with more losses than wins to end up eighth in the split. Yet, they were three wins ahead of their nearest competitor.

    Looking back at SK Gaming’s spring split through its components

    Unlike Fnatic or Misfits, SK Gaming aren’t the most fancied. They don’t have the same aura, and they’re comfortable sitting tight the way they are. Their play style borders on the unconventional, which explains some real upsets that only they can pull off. Most times, there’s a sort of eagerness to them that comes back to bite them. Can they temper their approach a bit?

    The star players on their roster, Berk “Gilius” Demir and Erik “Treatz” Wessen, are aging. They don’t have the same aura as before. Make no mistake: they’re still mighty fine players: but with LoL changing so much over the past three years, you wonder if the pace, setting and precision of today has bypassed them. In an ever-changing landscape, teams ought to ask themselves this question as often as possible.

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    Fast engagements, when opponents least expected it, made Treatz an X-factor. Slightly underwhelming numbers in the spring split haven’t done him any good. Can he return to his magical best?

    His impact and contributions are felt through the game at the best of times, and it’s something the team will want to see going forward. His explosive style made him a box-office bot laner. The reduced proficiency levels may only make him passable as a support player in few of the top sides.

    That said, there has been a massive surprise element in Sertuss and the way he has performed. He’s typically a no-frills player who doesn’t get talked of in the same league as some of his peers, mostly because of his laid-back personality and a rather calm approach that could at times be misconstrued for lack of interest. 

    The 20-year old mid-laner has time and carried the team on his back. Apart from Corki and Viktor who dominated the meta in the spring split. He has shown a marked proficiency in his assassin champions like Akali. This brings with him the promise of more explosive play going forward. SK Gaming bring with them the promise of building a formidable outfit around him going forward.

    What changed since then?

    Looking ahead, SK Gaming have made no roster changes, but they will expect better synergy from their group for the summer split. JNX (previously Jenax) mans the top lane, Gilius the jungle, Sertuss the mid lane, Jezu the AD Carry, and Treatz the support role.

    Where do we expect SK Gaming to finish? Eighth place

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    Team BDS have much to prove after disastrous maiden split (by Zoran Papak)

    After acquiring their LEC spot from Schalke 04 for a whopping €26.5 million, Team BDS did not have the best inaugural season as an organization. Can they turn it around in Summer?

    What happened in Team BDS’ debut LEC split?

    In June 2021, news spread that Swiss organization BDS was buying the LEC spot that struggling football giant FC Schalke 04 owned. After the acquisition, they appointed former G2 Esports coach Fabian “GrabbZ” Lohmann to lead the young roster of Adam “Adam” Maanane, Jakub “Cinkrof” Rokicki, Ilias “NUCLEARINT” Bizriken, Matthew “xMatty” Charles Coombs, and Dino “LIMIT” Tot.

    Unlike their Academy team in the LFL, BDS did not have a desirable split in the LEC. After a decent 3-4 start, they won only one game until the end of the season, finishing ninth with a disappointing 4-14 record.

    Although they showed signs of promise, the young squad could not make things work. After a split in Fnatic and a trip to Worlds, BDS’ high hopes for their top laner and french community star Adam failed to materialize, as his melee heavy playstyle did not bring much success in 2022. The bot lane prioritized heavy-roaming play and often left xMatty on an island, a choice that backfired often.

    What has changed for Team BDS since then?

    Team BDS had the most interesting mid-season transition. Indeed, they promoted their Academy support Robert “Erdote” Nowak and top laner Tobiasz “Agresivoo” Ciba to replace LIMIT and Adam.

    Adam will play for BDS Academy in the LFL, wheras LIMIT will have to sit out the remainder of the year due to the ERL rulebook restriction of having a maximum of two veterans in the squad.

    Agresivoo and Erdote are well known in the European Regional Leagues, and they have won their share of games and trophies. Agresivoo is a three-time LFL champion and a six-time European Masters participant, whereas Erdote won the Spanish SuperLiga Orange title in 2020 with Vodafone Giants.

    Can BDS turn it around? Probably not.

    The 2022 LEC Summer split will be tough for the young Swiss organization squad. Their young and inexperienced roster will struggle in the LEC as it features a much higher level of competition than the LFL.

    However, the players' talent is undeniable, and they could pleasantly surprise everyone with their performances. GrabbZ and the coaching staff will play a crucial role in finding a suitable playstyle for this starting five and, hopefully, improve.

    Let us not get too ahead of ourselves: BDS is not expected to perform much better in Summer. Their focus will likely be on developing the young players and setting them up for success in the future. They look like a bottom 3 team in the league and are unlikely to reach the playoffs. We are ready to be proven wrong though, and we will be the first to congratulate them if they do.

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    LEC Summer 2022: Astralis Lastralis Splycestralis look to redeem themselves (by Yohan Markov)

    After a poor 10th place in the 2022 LEC Spring split, Splyce Astralis have rebuilt their team ahead of the Summer split. They have never made the playoffs since rebranding from Origen (but Splyce did), but they might have an opportunity with this much experience in the roster (Splyce made the 2019 Worlds quarterfinals too).

    However, owing to the level of competition in the LEC, many have questioned if those roster changes are what Astralis needed.

    How poorly did Astralis do in the 2022 spring split?

    Astralis was a team without any personality. They were just “happy to be there,” and the split felt like prolonged suffering. The players looked devastated on camera, which should be expected after losing so many games in a row. 

    The first half of the split was a catastrophe as the team finished with a 0-9 record. There was no coordination between the players, and a single win would have felt like winning the World Championship.

    The second part of the split was a bit better, but not enough for an LEC team. Despite small improvements (and wins!), the team finished last with a 3-15 record. At least they had a small W in beating Fnatic and Rogue. 

    Astralis needed to make changes, and they made the most changes out of all LEC teams.

    What changed between Spring and Summer? 

    Astralis have brought the old Splyce gang back together: they signed jungler 

    Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir and top laner Kiss “Vizicsacsi” Tamás, and they will rely on experience for the upcoming split. Furthermore, Astralis imported support Lee "JeongHoon" Jeong-hoon from the LCK Challengers league.
     
    The offseason decisions were questionable to many in the scene since those players have passed their career peaks. Indeed, Xerxe struggled in North America, and Vizicsacsi has yet to show the level he once had. However, Astralis must have seen something and the synergy between former long-time teammates can be a factor: either it goes as well as it did in the Unicorns of Love, or it goes poorly.

    How do we expect Astralis to perform? 

    Astralis will have a hard time succeeding with this roster. On the bright side, their mid laner, Oliver “dajor” Ryppa is insanely talented, but he has a lot of work to do.

    The roster looks good on paper—if you go back to 2019. Those players have lost their clutch factor, and need to work hard to match the rest of the teams.

    Astralis have a decent chance of competing with the weaker teams, but a playoffs qualification is a mirage. If it happens, the 2019 Splyce roster would give way to one of the biggest “What ifs” had it persisted.