Credit: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Rogue cruise, Excel awaken in LEC Week 4 Power Rankings

As the season advances, the LEC picture grows more muddled. From G2 Esports’ second 0-2 week in a row to Excel Esports’ rookie-engineered rise, lots has happened in the first half of the split. As teams experienced ups-and-downs, the standings have grown to paint a false picture of the LEC’s rankings.

With more context behind wins and losses, and with a more thorough look, a measurement of the teams’ power levels is possible. And here they are, as Week 5 looms:

1. Rogue (7-2)

Rogue’s play is the cleanest in the LEC so far, but it is not perfect. Indeed, the team took questionable decisions at times, leaving them exposed to comeback attempts. Although most of those attempts failed, one must wonder what the outcome of such blunders would be on the international stage. In addition, their most consistent player, Larssen, has relatively struggled for the first half of the split.

However, Rogue’s worries are in the future—and future problems can be solved in advance. For now, they are the team to beat, with Misfits Gaming and G2 Esports awaiting them on Week 5.

2. MAD Lions (5-4)

MAD Lions are showing signs of life despite their shaky start and COVID related issues. On Week 4, they showed dominance in their victory against SK Gaming, and incredible resilience against Rogue despite losing the game. With Carzzy shining after having a discreet spring split, MAD Lions are as dangerous as they were at the Mid-Season Invitational.

The team’s slump after MSI was expected, as they lacked practice on the recent patches. However, it does not exonerate them from Humanoid’s seldom tragic Teleport flanks, or from dragging games to unnecessary lengths.

3. Misfits Gaming (7-2)

Misfits Gaming’s promising start has hit a snag on Week 4 (1-1), their sloppy games left a sour taste. Although lacking, their showings allowed viewers to see a resolute and calculating team—one that beats G2 Esports after its sole (albeit major) blunder of the game.

For Misfits to hold its #1 spot (tied with Rogue), they must patch their early-game weaknesses and understand their initial lane assignments. Although the team can read the map, its players have made unnecessary mistakes, with Vetheo overextending against G2 at crucial moments.

4. Fnatic (6-3)

Fnatic found its identity at long last: bloodthirsty initiative takers. Fnatic’s bloodthirst is only rivalled by its ability to confuse opponents and viewers alike. Although their fans are happy as a result, their opponents tend to hurt themselves in confusion (we see you, SK Gaming).

Fnatic thrive in semi-chaotic games where they hold the initiative earlier than their opponents, and their drafts have sometimes played to that strength (see: Hylissang’s Pyke). However, their play can be tragic to watch when such conditions aren’t available to them, making them prone to late game team fight losses.

5. G2 Esports (4-5)

G2 Esports may have completed a deal with Ralph Lauren, but the “This is fine” dog would have applied better as a logo on their polos and uniforms lately. Indeed, cracks are showing after two 0-2 weeks in a row and a disjointed yet resilient front.

However, G2 have shown signs of awakening after their recent loss against Misfits Gaming, a game they were winning until they lost™ in a terribly timed mid turret siege. Remarkably, their near victory happened after Excel Esports gave them a League 101 session, after which most teams would have thrown the towel. Overall, things are looking up.

6. Team Vitality (4-5)

Team Vitality’s lack of consistency will cost them dearly in the long run. Following up clean weeks with disastrous ones, they have confused many as to what makes them click. Sloppy early games are the symptom: the solo lanes’ sloppy reasoning in the early game is an easily identifiable cause, so is their drafting.

At their best, they can beat Rogue convincingly off a strong early game, with Selfmade taking over the game’s tempo. At worst, a loss to SK Gaming off laning blunders is not impossible. Perhaps Szygenda’s return in the top lane will fix part of their issues.

Good question, Lider.

7. Excel Esports (4-5)

Excel Esports may have found their winning formula with Markoon and Advienne’s promotions to the LEC lineup. Had they been there from Week 1, one must wonder if Rogue would be the top team. Jumping the gun? Possibly, but their Week 4 performance was that delightful to watch.

Gone was the mess that lost to SK Gaming on Week 3. In came a team that activated Nukeduck to the fullest, almost to Season 3 levels when he was Lemondogs’ shining star. With Kryze and Patrik experiencing a boost, the sky (read: Rogue) might be the limit. Before then, they must establish consistency.

8. Astralis (4-5)

On a good day, Astralis can beat any team in the LEC – and Week 4 had two of them. After dismal showings on Week 3, they bounced back spectacularly. But their play was not the pinnacle of cleanliness, especially against Schalke 04 Esports.

For every dazzling WhiteKnight play, a promisq blunder can ensue. For every smart move around the map, a questionable transition. Ditto for team fighting, where they can lose track of their opponents’ danger levels.

9. Schalke 04 Esports (3-6)

Schalke 04 may not be as weak as their positioning suggests – but everyone is better. Team Vitality has more raw talent across the board, Astralis have played with a stable lineup for longer, and Excel have better game plans.

Furthermore, their erratic execution is their downfall. For every great takedown they score, a tragic mispositioning follows. Their season is far from over, and an adjustment on their smaller mistakes could lead them to the playoffs.

10. SK Gaming (1-8)

SK Gaming have gone back to their helpless ways after a promising victory against Excel Esports on Week 3. Indeed, their issues go beyond a support change: a lack of team identity and coordination has downgraded them to punching bag status.

Their endurance has been remarkable throughout losses, but they need to endure until the 2022 offseason: without clear solutions to their woes (and with solutions requiring Treatz to move back to support), SK’s outlook is grim. Individual play is not the issue (especially in the top lane): their macro, is, and it requires an offseason to practice with a stable lineup.

Adel primarily covers League of Legends, with a particular emphasis on League of Legends esports competitions. He has over 10 year of experience covering the LEC and other LoL competitive events across Europe.