League of Legends: 5 LEC players to watch in summer

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

Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek (Fnatic)

Despite reaching the 2018 World Championship final with four fifths of their current roster, Fnatic have struggled to adapt to life post-Caps. Nevertheless, their new rookie mid laner has shown continuous signs of improvement throughout the spring split in both the regular season and playoffs. It was a slow start for Nemesis in the LEC, but towards the end of last split he developed excellent synergy with jungler Broxah and established himself as a very capable carry on the Fnatic roster.

While many viewers might point at Nemesis and believe he is the reason for Fnatic’s struggles in the spring split, there’s no doubt that he’ll have improved during the break and, with one LEC split under his belt, will be prepared to carry his team towards Worlds qualification. Finishing 3rd with a new roster can often be seen as a success, but for a team like Fnatic, watching G2 lift the Mid-Season Invitational trophy from back at home will be an incredible motivator to go one step further in the summer split.

It is vital that Nemesis immediately develops an in-game bond with his jungle partner (whether it be Broxah or Dan) and can create advantages in the middle lane 2v2 to then spread across the map. We all know how incredible Fnatic are in the late game with Rekkles on the team, but its important to reach that stage with a lead, and the mid lane is the biggest factor towards that end.

Elias “Upset” Lipp (Schalke 04)

For so long we’ve heard talk about Upset being the best AD Carry in Europe, but he can’t even make playoffs. Schalke 04 are an incredibly talented roster and to miss out on playoffs in a spring split that was filled with mistakes from the top 6 teams is a huge slip from the German org.

That being said, the team needed time to adjust and adapt to a new roster and life with rookie mid laner, Abbedagge. At times the team looked set to clinch a top 2 spot but falling towards the end of the regular season was a huge disappointment, especially when their 7th place spot was confirmed by a tiebreaker game against new boys SK Gaming.

The summer split provides the perfect opportunity to turn their form around following five months to synergise together and grow on the LEC stage. Expecting playoff success while the likes of G2 Esports and Origen are in the league is optimistic, so Schalke should perhaps be looking to qualify for Worlds via championship points or through the regional qualifiers and Upset could be pivotal to doing so.

The German ADC is the face of Schalke 04 and has to step up his game and offer more carry performances if he is to guide his team-mates to the World Championship this autumn. Obviously we’re in a meta that doesn’t lend much to AD Carry players, but there are often situations where a marksman must step up and dominate a teamfight and Upset must prove himself in this regard if he is to become the best ADC in Europe and reach playoffs with his team.

Alfonso “Mithy” Rodríguez (Origen)

Mithy was awarded a position on the 3rd LEC All-Pro team in spring due to his magnificent performances from the support role, leading his team to a playoff final in Origen’s first split since their return to European League of Legends. While obviously the voters saw enough on-screen to rank him as the 3rd best support in the LEC, a lot of the Spaniard’s work comes off-screen and on comms as he’s a key shotcaller for the Origen line-up.

When it comes to “Players to Watch” in the summer split, it’s not often that you’ll be keeping your eyes peeled for huge support plays. Instead, when watching Mithy, your eyes should be drawn to the excellent map movements and objective plays Origen were so highly praised for during the spring split.

In both the regular season, and their playoff series against Fnatic, Origen showcased complete control of Summoner’s Rift from minute one and their decision making in the late game was amongst the best Europe has ever seen. This clean method of League of Legends was described as “Korean style” throughout the spring due to Origen’s patient approach to games and slower game play when compared to the fast-paced, aggressive style shown by G2.

There’s no doubt that the entire squad plays a part in ensuring this strategy translates to the LEC stage, but when you look back at Origen’s last 13 games in the spring regular season, of which they only lost 2, it’s evident that Mithy and Kold are the main instigators of the team’s patient game plan.

Thus, when looking out for Mithy in the upcoming LEC summer split, be sure to watch not only his excellent playmaking ability from the support role, but also the intelligent map movements from this incredibly exciting line-up through the regular season, playoffs, and possibly Worlds.

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Do you agree with this list? Who do you think viewers should pay close attention to in the LEC this split? Let us know in the comments!

The LEC returns at 18:00 CEST, catch Ready Check from 17:30 CEST on the Riot Games Twitch channel!