LEC Team of the Summer Split: Caps’ Convincing MVP Performance

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

With playoffs over, it is time to name our LEC Team of the Summer Split

G2 Esports have been crowned LEC champions for the eighth time following one of the most competitive splits European League of Legends has ever seen. After taking down fierce rivals Fnatic in the final, G2 repeated their 2016-17 achievement of lifting four consecutive domestic trophies and cemented a place at the 2020 World Championship as Europe’s first seed.

The 2020 season will be remembered for the rise of new blood in the European scene with the rookie-dominated rosters of MAD Lions and Misfits Gaming competing with the very best in the LEC playoffs.

Fans almost saw the big two dethroned as well, as Rogue topped the Summer Split regular season standings and earned plaudits for their calculated and meticulous approach to games.

Despite the influx of fresh talent making their mark on the Berlin stage, a familiar face to any League of Legends fan received the LEC MVP award for the third time in his career. Rasmus “Caps” Winther, the talisman for European Champions G2 Esports, was dubbed “most valuable player” by players, coaches, casters, and journalists for his performances throughout the Summer Split in which he was awarded eleven Player of the Game awards.

There was plenty of room to celebrate new names and young LEC prospects in the All-Pro team vote, however. Personalities surrounding the LEC once again combined to create a list of the top talents that guided their teams to success throughout the 2020 Summer Split. While overlooked in the MVP vote, players like Shad0w, Patrik, and Kaiser were recognized for their contributions during the regular season and rewarded with a place in the All-Pro team.

Unfortunately, the All-Pro team vote takes place prior to the playoffs, by far the most important part of any season, and therefore isn’t representative of the entire LEC split.

With that in mind, here is our LEC “Team of the Summer Split” following the results of the playoffs.

Top Lane: Andrei “Orome” Popa (MAD Lions)

MAD Lions burst onto the scene in the Spring Split with a new name, new logo, new roster, and a style of play that has wowed the European audience. Throughout 2020, the team comprising of three LEC rookies, Orome, and Humanoid has showcased teamfight proficiency and individual mechanics likened to that of Worlds runners-up G2 Esports.

The majority of the praise has been heaped on the versatile champion pools of Carzzy and Kaiser as well as the early map control provided by aggressive jungler Shad0w.

However, one name that often went under the radar during the Summer Split was top laner Orome who played weak side and made sacrifices in order for his team to flourish.

Although he was often forced into bad matchups in the draft phase and left vulnerable for ganks and dives, Orome boasted the highest KDA (4.4) of any top laner during the regular season. Not only that, but the Romanian also had the fewest deaths (36) in his role and could consistently be relied on to contain enemy top laners and contribute to MAD Lions’ deadly teamfights.

At 22 years of age, Orome is the oldest member of the MAD Lions roster and undoubtedly provided a level head and vital experience while guiding his team to a 2nd place regular season finish, 4th place in the playoffs, and booking a ticket to the 2020 World Championship.

Jungle: Kacper “Inspired” Słoma (Rogue)

Since joining Rogue in the 2019 midseason break, Inspired has qualified for the playoffs three splits in a row, formed an unstoppable mid-jungle duo with Larssen, and controlled games against some of the best junglers the LEC has to offer. Happy take on tank duty for the majority of regular season games, Inspired’s KDA was by far the highest of any player in the league at an incredible 9.7.

Nonetheless, Inspired’s individual stats only tell half the story of Rogue’s meteoric rise to the top of the regular season standings. Head coach fredy122 has developed a unique League of Legends philosophy and instilled it into his players which has transformed Rogue into an untouchable early game machine during the Summer Split (unless facing G2 in a vital playoff series).

Rogue grabbed first blood in 61.1% of their regular season games, destroyed the first tower in 72.2%, and slew the first dragon in 58.9%. While champion select and lane priorities play a huge part in this early game dominance, it would not be possible without the intelligent pathing and enemy tracking from jungler Inspired.

Despite their playoff failings, Rogue are in an excellent position to challenge the best teams from across the globe in the World Championship next month and are set for success with their young roster led by one of the most promising junglers in the LEC.

Mid Lane: Rasmus “Caps” Winther (G2 Esports)

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Caps was awarded the MVP award for the third time in five splits en route to his sixth consecutive LEC trophy after taking down his former team and fierce rivals Fnatic. Following a brief stint in the bot lane during the Spring Split, Caps seamlessly returned to his main role in Summer and reclaimed his place as Europe’s best mid laner in a matter of weeks.

G2’s rocky start to the regular season handed them a 5-7 record with just six games to go which led many to believe that Europe’s most decorated organization were destined to miss out on playoffs for the first time in their history.

Nevertheless, G2 turned it around at the last minute – aided by Caps’ five Player of the Game performances – in order to secure a place in the top six, setting them up to lift their fourth consecutive LEC trophy.

Caps continued his excellent form in the playoffs and was voted G2’s Player of the Game in their three victories over MAD Lions, Rogue, and Fnatic. The Dane’s expansive champion pool (fourteen unique champions played in the Summer Split) and untraceable roaming aided G2 on their path to continued European dominance and a place in the 2020 World Championship.

Caps will be desperate to make amends for his team’s 2019 final disaster and stake a claim for best player in the tournament with the likes of Doinb, Faker, and Rookie all absent.

AD Carry: Martin “Rekkles” Larsson (Fnatic)

Death, taxes, and Rekkles being the number one ADC in Europe. Year after year, Fnatic’s bot laner has shaken off all competition and maintained his place as the strongest marksman in the LEC despite heavy pressure from some of the most talented players in the league.

Although he received fewer votes than Excel’s Patrik and Rogue’s Hans sama for the All-Pro teams, Rekkles once again proved indispensable by carrying a floundering Fnatic side to the LEC playoff final, taking down defending champions G2 Esports along the way.

With praise was heaped on carries Selfmade and Nemesis, Fnatic’s bot laner went overlooked despite providing reliable damage and world-class positioning during key teamfights in vital playoff matches. The stats also show that Rekkles was severely underrated for his performances during the regular season as he boasted the highest KDA in his role (7.0) and a kill participation rate of 77.5%.

Surrounded by underperforming teammates, Rekkles somehow managed to carry Fnatic to World Championship qualification and has a huge task on his hands to guide his team through a highly competitive group stage as Europe’s second seed.

Support: Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser (MAD Lions)

Adjusting to the highest level of European League of Legends can often be an enormous task for rookies entering the LEC arena for their debut season. In Kaiser’s case, it has been a walk in the park. The MAD Lions support has showcased levels of innovation, playmaking, and teamfight prowess that even the most experienced players struggle to achieve.

From their imported Kalista-Taric combo to their lethal Senna-Wukong, Carzzy and Kaiser have revolutionized the state of Europe’s bot lane just eight months after their LEC debut. The MAD Lions pair have firmly established themselves as one of the most deadly duos across the globe and will be feared by every potential opponent at the 2020 World Championship.

Head Coach: Simon “fredy122” Payne (Rogue)

Rogue’s head coach has transformed the 2019 Spring Split’s 10th place team into the 2020 Summer Split’s 1st place team. In just eighteen months, fredy122 tore apart a soulless, stagnant laughing stock and converted them into a confident, forward-thinking squad capable of crushing any opponent through meticulous early game control.

fredy’s philosophy has certainly taken time to translate itself onto Summoner’s Rift but it was well worth the wait. Rogue’s playstyle revolves around complete authority over early objectives and has taken the LEC by storm, projecting the team up the standings to a first-place regular season finish.

No doubt a ton of credit should go to the players, however to develop such a composed approach to League of Legends the head coach must be a strong motivator with incredible knowledge of the game. Rogue’s backroom staff have gone above and beyond to strategize one of the most unique and effective game plans the LEC has ever seen.

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Now, fredy122 and his staff face one of the most challenging tasks in esports – taking on the world’s best teams at the 2020 World Championship.