2020 LEC Summer Split Predictions
With the 2020 LEC Summer Split officially underway, it’s time we talk about what’s possible and what isn’t; predictions are always insanely fun coming into the split, but they don’t always pan out, regardless if they make sense or not. Most of us tune in to the LEC because of the top-tier play. We sit down to observe some of the best and most competitive league in the world each week because we want to see the greatest European teams push the envelope.
But that’s just one half of the equation. The other part, perhaps even equally as important, are the narratives. The many stories — both individual and team-wide — that make us cheer and scream and shout at the top of our lungs. We naturally gravitate towards what eventually become our favorite teams and players, and we carry their stories from one season to another as if they were our own. We feel a particular kind of joy when our favorites triumph, and an equally peculiar brand of disappointment whenever they fail. The longer we follow a team the stronger we feel their accomplishments or lack thereof, the stronger the bond between us.
For the LEC, 2020 has been a strange year, filled with incredible moments and a couple of bittersweet realizations, added in just for good measure. It’s the sophomore year of franchising and, on that end, things couldn’t be better. The LEC has established itself as a unique product in every sense of the word; it is what other regions now strive towards: the quirkiness, the creativity, and the craziness that accompany each broadcast and game day.
It is also the home of many exquisite teams and players, but talented though they are, not all of them possess the power which is necessary to challenge for the LEC throne. If last split was any indication, it’s fair to say that the LEC will remain as top-heavy as ever. We have one unassailable titan on top (G2 Esports), with one or two top-tier challengers (Fnatic and MAD Lions/Origen), with the rest of the region fighting for scraps. Just when you think the status quo might change, G2 Esports kick things into high gear to remind everyone how foolish we were for thinking they could fail and relinquish control of the throne.
Still, even in such a well-known and well-established set-up, the LEC continues to excite and engage on many different levels. Even though we already know who’s going to hoist the trophy in a couple of months, it’s exciting to watch the journey. And, who knows, maybe a surprise or two will pop up along the way!
With all of that said, let’s start our list of five 2020 LEC Summer Split predictions!
G2 Esports Will Remain on Top
This one is a no-brainer, so we won’t waste much time explaining it. G2 Esports currently has the best and most talented line-up in LEC history. For a brief moment in time, everyone thought they might lose control by moving Rasmus “Caps” Winther to the bottom lane, but those concerns were short-lived as G2 dominated about as much as they did before making the swap.
This team is truly something else. There’s no end to their talent and potential, and it also feels like they’re making it up along the way. There’s a certain idea, a game plan in place, but they know competitive league is volatile business and are unafraid of experimenting should the need arise. The trust they have in one another, the confidence, and bravado, are unparalleled. Watching them compete — regardless of the opponent — is always a special kind of treat. This is a line-up of unmatched potential and they’re poised to dominate and reign over Europe for as long as they see fit.
They have all the right tools to run circles around their opposition once again and lift yet another LEC trophy in a couple of months. They’re itching for a challenge, and fortunately, many towering LPL giants await them at the World Championship in China.
Fnatic Will Not Ascend Any Higher
As talented as this line-up is, they lack the necessary power to get the job done against G2 Esports. There’s just no other way to put it, and it’s quite a depressing thought. They’re stacked from head to toe. They have many different weapons to work with and have experience in spades. This team in this sort of set-up would undoubtedly be an incredibly dominant champion — if G2 didn’t exist. This incarnation of Fnatic is mesmerizing, but they’re ever so worse than G2, at least when it matters the most.
And it’s not a matter of preparation or game knowledge or anything similar, but rather of talent and potential. They’re just not good enough at this point to contest and dethrone the current champions. The reason why this is so excruciating is that they’re separated by the slimmest of margins. They’re all universally respected and beloved players. How do they approach this whole thing, then? How does one maintain the necessary level of play and motivation when they’ve been outclassed time after time?
To make matters even worse, things are always competitive in the regular portion of the split. This is what gets everyone’s hopes up. The idea that G2 might get challenged. Then, when the playoffs come around, we realize that it was all a ruse and that G2 is going to dominate as hard as they always do.
Some will argue that their most recent Spring Split finals were an uncharacteristically bad showing; some will say that it was just a bad day and nothing else. But that’s not true. You don’t implode without any reason. Things go awry when you’re pushed beyond your limit. Fnatic was forced out of their comfort zone. They couldn’t mount an offensive in time. And there’s only one team in Europe that can do that with such staggering ease: G2 Esports.
It doesn’t matter what Fnatic does going forward as it won’t make a difference. They can’t go for a roster overhaul because there’s no one else they can pick up and their current players — talented though they are — don’t have anything else to offer.
A strange situation to be in, for sure.
MAD Lions Will Take Things Down a Notch
This one is tricky, and it’s far from set in stone. MAD Lions are, without a doubt, the most thrilling underdogs in the history of the LEC. We’re talking about a very prestigious title, and they’ve earned in sweat and blood. Their Best of 5 upset over G2 Esports last split was by no means a fluke — they won fair and square through an approach only FunPlus Phoenix before them succeeded in: playing better League of Legends on the day. Still, without a stronger (mechanically speaking) top laner, it seems MAD Lions won’t be able to prosper any further, at least not this year.
And that, in a nutshell, is perfectly fine.
They’ve earned their spot at the top and have accomplished more in just a single split than many of their peers did in their entire careers. They fought through thick and thin, they persevered in an insanely stacked region and even carved out a small niche for themselves. This is the team to watch and follow not just in 2020 but also in the coming years. These individual players genuinely are the next breed of LEC talent, and they’re only going to get better as time goes on.
The only question now is: will they continue to thrive and therefore preserve their spot at the top? Europe is sending four teams to the World Championship this year, and having someone as crazy and creative as MAD Lions representing the LEC would be a fantastic thing. Regionally speaking; however, they find themselves in a fairly peculiar position. They’re not good enough to consistently beat G2 Esports or Fnatic (at least not in a Best of 5), but they’re still a top-tier team that’s supposed to fend off challengers like Origen, Misfits Gaming, Rogue, etc.
They’re officially a part of a very elite club, which means they have a target on their backs. Regardless, if there’s a line-up that couldn’t care less for what the oddsmakers say, it has to be MAD Lions. They’ll fight like no one is looking and are almost guaranteed to find about as much success this time as they did back in Spring.
A Brand-New Challenger in Playoffs
If the first couple of LEC Summer Split games are any indication, we might be in for a slight change in the middle of the standings. SK Gaming and Team Vitality — two bottom-tier dwellers — have improved in a multitude of ways and have started the split off swinging for the fences. They’re wasting no time whatsoever and are unafraid of whoever is put in front of them.
They’ve improved. Not too much, of course. They’re still not a threat by any stretch of the imagination but enough for us to notice immediately.
We’re still talking about the same players (more or less), but the synergy is finally there. It looks like they have a game plan in mind this time around, but they’ve also found a paramount identity.
They finally look like they belong in the LEC; they look like teams consisting of talented European rookies and “superstars of tomorrow” rather than a bunch of solo queue scrubs who were accidentally assembled by a strange series of events.
They’ve also gotten a few impressive wins on the board and could be on their way to securing a spot in the playoffs since they maintain this level of play and grow and develop. That’s quite a big “if” and no one will be overly surprised if they failed to realize any of their inherent potential, but at least they’re showing signs of life and will make this split a whole lot more exciting to watch.
There’s a lot less certainty this time around, and from a spectator’s point of view, it is downright phenomenal.
The Region Will Remain the Same
All of that said, the region, as a whole, will pretty much remain the same. This means the status quo itself, the way things have been established years ago, will not alter in any which way. Now, as far as top-heavy regions go, the LEC is still incredibly exciting. That said, things can get a bit underwhelming at times without any new twists or bona fide challengers on the rise.
Sure, we love the many narratives and question marks that accompany each LEC split, but when push comes to shove, when we reach those nerve-racking playoffs moments and historical Best of 5s, we always know who’s going to win. That, in itself, noticeably reduces the entertainment factor. It’s like we’re watching the same story told split after split and year after year. Whether that’s a deal-breaker or not is entirely subjective, but it is worthy of mentioning.
That’s it for our list of 2020 LEC Summer Split predictions! The games we’ve seen so far were nothing short of exhilarating, so make sure to check the schedule and tune in whenever your favorite teams are set to compete! By the looks of it, the second half of 2020 is bound to deliver.