The League of Legends European Champions (LEC) returned last week and exploded into action with exciting matches and a few upsets.
The Summer Split continues this week with more action as we get to see how the top of the league will really shape up. This will be the halfway point to the split so this is the perfect opportunity for the teams lower in the standings to turn their season around.
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Fnatic (1.25) vs Rogue (3.60)
Fnatic will be determined to bounce back following a tough loss against Splyce last week which put them back level with G2. However, Rogue are improving week on week and put in a phenomenal performance against Origen.
The young Rogue side pulled off the upset thanks to some fantastic flanking Kennen ultimates from Kim "Profit" Jun-hyung though even more impressive was the team’s cohesion in teamfights. It appears the team’s rookies have finally settled in as Kacper "Inspired" Sloma dominated from the jungle and Emil “Larssen” Larsson was very impressive on Azir.
Still, Fnatic will be heavy favourites and there will be a lot of pressure on them to perform and return to winning ways. Still, if you’re looking for any potential upsets then Rogue might just be your best bet.
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G2 Esports (1.08) vs Excel Esports (6.50)
Speaking of favourites, there couldn’t possibly be a bigger mismatch in the LEC than G2 Esports vs Excel Esports. G2 had looked sloppy in recent weeks but appeared to shift gears last week, dominating with convincing wins over Misfits Gaming and Schalke.
Though, Excel are on the up as they finally found their first win of the Summer Split - it only took them eight games. The British-based organisation have been very impressive in the early game in recent weeks - accumulating big leads against some of the best teams in the league including Fnatic and Origen. Yet, both times the team threw away their lead, taking too long to end the game and allowing their opponents a way back into the match.
It’s an issue that has plagued Excel all season but against SK, they were finally ruthless with their advantages. SK were backed into a corner and tried to force Son “Mickey” Young-min to use his teleport by rushing Baron. However, the Korean mid-laner decided to keep going and single-handedly finished the game with a backdoor.
Still, the team has a mountain of climb before they come even close to G2’s level, hence the major difference in odds. Though, Excel were almost the first team to defeat G2 in the Spring Split after a typically strong early-game but Rasmus “Caps” Winther ended up dominating the map as Akali and turned the game around.
Caps was just as impressive last week so there’s little chance that Excel get anything from this game. But you never know, G2 could become overconfident while Excel have finally learned how to capitalise on a lead.
Misfits (1.92) vs Rogue (1.81)
This appears to be a close game but following the nature of last week’s games, Rogue should have this in the bag. As mentioned earlier, Rogue are finally coming into their own this Split and are now one of the teams to watch.
Meanwhile, Misfits have been absolutely appalling in the last few weeks despite the amount of talent sheer star-power in their ranks. Misfits have no idea how to play the game or frankly, who from their own 10-man roster to play. Both mid-laners Adam “Lider” Ilyasov and Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten both struggled but what was really concerning was the fact that Paul “sOAZ” Boyer managed to get a triple kill in the first five minutes against Vitality yet the team didn’t try to push that advantage instead.
It was that poor decision making which might have been the last straw for Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian’s chances of keeping his starting spot. The British jungle has been struggling all season so perhaps it’s time for Thomas “Kirei” Yuen to have an extended run in the team. Though, that still might not be enough to take down Rogue.
Origen (1.50) vs Team Vitality (2.40)
Another two teams who are struggling.Team Vitality had an awful start to the season but are finally starting to pick up wins though they’re far from convincing. Meanwhile, Origen are looking like a shadow of the second-place team we saw in Spring as they nearly lost to Excel and did actually fall to Rogue last week.
Origen will still be the favourites but their poor start to games in recent weeks leaves a huge weakness for Vitality to take advantage of. If there’s one thing Vitality are good at it’s snowballing a lead so keep your eye on this match.
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G2 (1.33) vs Splyce (3.10)
Finally, we have G2 vs Splyce which is easily the most exciting match-up this week. In the last two LEC gameweeks, Splyce have taken down Spring Split’s second and third-place teams: Fnatic and Origen.
Now the team are looking to complete a sensational trifecta with a game against Spring champions G2. Both teams are in impeccable form and this is the perfect chance for Splyce to prove they deserve to be mentioned amongst the league’s title contenders.
However, this could be a difficult mismatch for the Snakes as G2 rarely let their games go to the late-game. Splyce are excellent at team-fighting but buying enough time for Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup can be pretty tough, especially against one of the best mid-game teams in the world. G2 are fantastic at speeding up the game and putting pressure on teams, it will take something special for Splyce to hold-on.
Pictures: Riot / LOLEsports