Rogue wins the LEC for the first time

LEC 2022 Summer Season is over, and the next step for the European teams will be Worlds 2022. Rogue stole the spotlight, reaching their first ever LEC trophy in the orgs history after fighting for the championship for the last three years. The organization and the players gave all they had in the finals against G2 and finally secured the championship that they deserved.

Rogue will represent Europe at Worlds for the third time in a row. However, this will be their first time as the first seed, as Europe’s best team. We will see how that will affect their performance. Let’s take a look at their story and how they finally reached the LEC championship.

Rogue’s rise and failures

Entering the European scene with the franchise program in 2019, Rogue’s start was not great. Their roster consisted of Profit, Finn, Kikis, Sencux, HeaQ, Wadid and Vander. Some of these players were in the scene for a long time, but some, including Inspired and Larssen who joined in summer, would dominate the LEC in the following years. After a tenth place start, Inspired and Larssen managed to take the team to fifth place the next season.

Rogue started to improve their performance gradually, finishing LEC 2020 Spring Regular Season in 6th place and playoffs in 5th place. In summer, with 13-5, Rogue entered the playoffs as the leader, losing the championship in playoffs and finishing third. After their first Worlds, Rogue had to make some changes while keeping their stars.

Inspired, Larssen and Hans sama agreed to stay another year, but Finn went to North America and Vander couldn’t keep up with the pace in the LEC anymore. Young Trymbi from European regional leagues and one of the most experienced top laners in the LEC, Odoamne joined the team to take Rogue to another second place finish in LEC 2021 Spring.

Rogue kept looking like the best team in the LEC, only to fail in the finals against MAD Lions and in summer, Fnatic. After another lost LEC summer season, they managed to take one more win in their Worlds 2021 group, eclipsing FPX but failing to defeat Cloud9. This time, Rogue lost both Inspired and Hans sama. They would keep the same mentality: replacing Inspired with a promising young jungler from the LCK, Malrang and Hans sama with Comp.

Finishing the LEC 2022 Spring Regular Season in the first place, Rogue once again failed to defeat G2 Esports in the grand final of LEC. Odoamne was called a choker by the fans, together with the organization. The only thing they wanted to do was to change the status-quo in summer season.

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Rogue: story of the championship

Comp and Malrang proved to be good transfers. Although the Korean Malrang was criticized for being “too passive” every now and then, they proved that they are capable of competing in the LEC. However, Rogue needed more than that to take down G2 Esports, MAD Lions or Fnatic. That’s where Odoamne showed up.

After being considered a weak-side player, and taking the responsibility of taking care of the dirty work while the carries do their job in Rogue, Odoamne appeared as a strong player this season, and I think that changed Rogue significantly, even if it wasn’t the primary reason they won the LEC. Even in the grand final against G2 Esports, Odoamne played Ornn, Renekton and Aatrox, defeating one of the best top laners in the league three times.

However, I think that Rogue simply waited for their turn and it came. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rogue or Fnatic won the 2022 Spring Season. G2 Esports could climb to the top in 2021 Summer, Rogue could have defeated MAD Lions in 2021 Spring. It wasn’t about choking, it just wasn’t their day. In the last few years, I don’t see big differences between the champions of LEC and the runners-up.

Rogue defeated G2 Esports with a 3-0 stomp, but even after watching this incredible series from Rogue, I can safely say that G2 Esports could take down Rogue if there were another series to be played this week. The fact that G2 already secured Worlds 2022 main event definitely affected the outcome, and while I am not trying to cast a shadow on Rogue’s success, I am simply saying that Rogue had the trophy coming. Their patience was the key.

Odoamne waited for so long, image via Riot Games

From G2 Esports to Fnatic, every single team in the LEC top four changed their rosters drastically to stake claim on the trophy. G2 was successful in doing that, however, for Fnatic and MAD Lions, the same cannot be said, especially in 2022. Rogue took a different route: they only changed players when they had to (when the players asked to leave) and replaced their strong players with similar ones from the European talent pool.

This is what brought Rogue success. You don’t have to win the league every single year. Finishing at the top consistently is enough of an achievement for the team. We all knew Rogue would be successful one day with this approach, it was just a matter of time. Odoamne and Comp’s push might have helped them find that trophy earlier than it should have been as G2 was very strong, but it still is the organization’s success in my opinion.

Nonetheless, Rogue’s regular season was not so perfect, but they managed to take the trophy in the end. The team took lessons from the first 3-0 loss against G2 in the same playoffs bracket, and didn’t let Flakked - Targamas bot lane get many resources. Comp didn’t die a single time during the whole series averaging 24/0/14.

We don’t know how much they can do at Worlds, but one thing is for sure: Rogue definitely deserved this championship, and they will make Europe proud no matter what. After all, they are the talent of Europe itself.