League of Legends LEC pre-season tier list

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Fnatic, LEC, League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

B – Fnatic

Despite only making one change to their Worlds finalists roster during the off-season, it seems to have completely disrupted Fnatic’s rhythm. Obviously losing the best player in Europe, Rasmus “Caps” Winther, and replacing him with an unproven rookie in Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek was never going to be easy, but Fnatic will have never expected to lose 6 of their first 8 regular season matches.

Fortunately, the seven-time EU LCS champions turned it around in the second half of the split and salvaged a 3rd place finish with an 11-7 record. That being said, their playoffs performance left a lot to be desired as the team showed little signs of life in their semi-final defeat to Origen.

The growth that Nemesis showed during his team’s regular season recovery was incredible, and along with Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen, the Fnatic mid-jungle duo began to show real signs of becoming a force in Europe, just like in 2018. Nevertheless, the Fnatic coaching staff have used the mid-season break as an opportunity to draft in new blood to challenge Broxah and push for better results in summer.

Fnatic Rising’s British jungler Daniel “Dan” Hockley will join the team for the second half of the season and look to make the starting position his own. Unless Broxah claims his spot early on, this will be yet another split of transition for Fnatic as they look to gel with another new member. As a result, Fnatic will probably be looking to qualify for Worlds in Europe’s 3rd slot come the end of the season, as G2 and Origen currently look head and shoulders above 2018’s EU champions.

B – Splyce

2016 was the last time Splyce qualified for the World Championship and in that tournament they only managed to win a single game. Since then, there have been two constants for the organisation: Kobbe at AD Carry and finishing just outside the top three. Maybe now is the time for Splyce to make a push for Worlds qualification once again.

Throughout the spring split, Splyce were a consistently strong outfit, but never made the push to capitalise on the mistakes of the teams above them. Of their 7 losses in the regular season, only 1 came from a team that finished 6th or below, proving that this Splyce team are incredibly capable of shutting down the lesser teams in the league. However, in order to make that push for playoff or regional final glory, they’ll need to start taking down G2, Origen, Fnatic, and Team Vitality.

There is no better time for Splyce to stand up and be counted than right now; they’ve made zero changes during the break and so have had two entire months to prepare for the summer split. On top of that, the teams around them have made changes, particularly in the jungle role, and Andre “Xerxe” Dragomir, following an excellent showing in spring, can take full advantage of this. The unstoppable bottom lane win condition of Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup and Tore “Norskeren” Eilertsen are also talented enough to carry a game on their own and now might finally be the time for this Splyce roster to make their claim for the 2nd spot in the LEC.

B – Team Vitality

Vitality flew out of the gates in the spring split regular season and looked destined to secure second place early on, but 1 win from their last 5 games meant they were forced to face Fnatic in the first round of playoffs, which was ultimately a death sentence. Nonetheless, their impressive start to the season will be encouraging and with making zero changes in the break, Vitality will be confident of pushing further in the playoffs this time around.

Their new jungler Jae-ha “Mowgli” Lee has been pivotal to Vitality’s successful start to the 2019 season, integrating instantly and ranking amongst the top LEC junglers in the spring split. The team’s three carry threats – Cabochard, Jiizuke, and Attila – have proven they’re able to take over games at points during the spring, creating a formidable line-up.

In order to transform from a mid-table team to a Worlds qualification contender, the Vitality squad must work on their macro and ability to close out games. While their volatile early game often put them in the lead before 15 minutes, a lot of spring’s disappointment was a case of being unable to take the right objectives to push for victory. If they’ve managed to clean this up during their boot camp in China with Royal Never Give Up during the mid-season break, they’ll have great chance of challenging Europe’s top three in summer.