By Petar Vukobrat
February 14, 2020
The 2020 regular season is coming along nicely, so let’s focus on a couple of fascinating 2020 LEC week 4 matches you need to watch. The last week of LEC play was quite fun, and it certainly had its couple of surprises. MAD Lions won both of their matches against SK Gaming and Rogue. Misfits Gaming also improved to 4W-2L (a four-game win streak, mind you). Rogue failed to ban Soraka. Lastly, Fnatic went blow for blow with the defending champs G2 Esports.
In other words, there was quite a lot of fun. If things continue developing in such a fashion, this is bound to be one of the best and most exciting splits in LEC history. That, in a way, is saying something given how good and competitive 2019 was. Still, three weeks in shows a lot of uncertainty. It’s hard to gauge how good (or bad) a team is. We know that the likes of SK Gaming, Schalke 04 and Team Vitality belong at the bottom of the standings, but anyone above them can make a case for a playoff contender.
Misfits Gaming started wrecking house. Such a resurgence took everyone by surprise. They don’t look like a sub-par, underwhelming roster assembled to stay afloat barely, but instead like a very dangerous mid-tier challenger. By the same token, MAD Lions have been playing some incredible League of Legends lately. Much like Misfits, they’re far from perfect, but they present a fascinating, layered challenge. They also have their idiosyncrasies and individual style of play, which makes preparing for them that much harder.
And even the fight at the top is unclear. Sure, G2 Esports is — without a doubt — the best and will likely dominate throughout 2020, but the Fnatic, Origen, and Rogue trifecta muddies the water. Who’s better than whom? Most people will put Fnatic on top, although that’s far from a given. Origen, on the other hand, has been regressing with each game they play; they’ve been far less proactive and dangerous as time goes on and are only going for surefire plays and engages, which is not a good look in today’s meta.
In short, there’s a lot of uncertainty, which makes every game going forward that much more interesting and important in the grand scheme of things.
For this week, we only have two fascinating matchups. Both are happening on Saturday. Everything else, however, is one-sided and bound to develop as expected. We should also note that teams will compete on patch 10.3. This certainly affects pick and ban priority and is likely to introduce a few old competitive mainstays.
What a fascinating matchup. If this were happening just a week or two ago, most people would (obviously) side with Origen, although things aren’t as simple this time around. Origen hasn’t looked that good recently. They’ve regressed quite a bit. In a way, they resemble the passive and out of sync Origen from the 2019 Summer Split, and that’s not a good look.
Their record is still very good with four wins and two losses, but their level of play last week was downright abysmal. To see them struggle (and even lose for most of the game) against a winless, out of sync, underpowered Team Vitality is not something anyone expected. They could’ve lost that game and it would’ve been a debacle.
Their loss to Misfits Gaming a day later should be a worrying sign. Now, no one’s saying Misfits aren’t improving or that they lack firepower. Still, most people (analysts, fans, players) deemed Origen as a Top 3 team, as a challenger well-rounded and capable of staving off all challengers ranked below them. Instead, Origen got outclassed and out rotated by a team many ranked near the bottom of the standings.
When you compare the sheer firepower and veteran experience on Origen, there’s no way you could give the edge to Misfits. And yet none of that showed last week. Origen lost on an individual level but also as a five-man unit. While they did fight back a bit in the mid-game, it simply wasn’t enough.
So, they’re not entering week four with any hype or momentum.
Opposite them, however, we have Excel Esports. They’re not exactly a behemoth either. But, they’ve shown fantastic synergy and individual prowess over the last few weeks and considered a solid, well-rounded contender. If they continue playing this well, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t reach Top 6 and challenge teams above them in the playoffs.
The thing with Excel is that there’s a lot of potential. You can see that they’re aware of it as well. They’re making mistakes, but that’s normal as they’re going through growing pains. They’re actively fixing them and are better every time they step foot on stage. Still, there’s a lot to be desired. They’ll face an uphill battle in their clash against a much more seasoned and dangerous Origen.
If they get the win, we’ll know that they not only mean business but that Origen is imploding far beyond what anyone expected.
Yet another fascinating matchup, much like the one above. It’s a clash of old vs. new. We rarely see a brand-new contender rise the ranks and challenge the long-established status quo. MAD Lions, much like Misfits and Team Vitality before them, seem like they fit the bill. They’re aggressive (perhaps even to a fault), in sync, proactive, unexpectedly flexible champion pool-wise and have shown great mental fortitude and resilience every time they fought on the Summoner’s Rift.
These are all great virtues that some of the best teams in the region lack. They’re a rookie-filled squad that’s hungry for the spotlight. They have all the right tools at their disposal to fight for a spot higher up the standings.
This clash against Fnatic will be their first true test. They don’t have to win it, but rather just put up a solid fight. If their first season-opening game against G2 Esports is any indication, they might score an upset if they draft to their strengths and impose their playstyle against Fnatic.
Speaking of the former “Kings of Europe,” they were on a four-game win streak before succumbing to G2 Esports in arguably the best and most exciting game of the split so far. It wasn’t a good showing from the boys in black and orange. However, they fought their hearts out and entertained us all the same. There are, however, some glaring issues that need fixing. Their synergy is still all over the place and their bottom lane needs to step up. Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov played some abysmal League of Legends last week. They need to step up if they want to stand a chance at challenging G2 Esports down the line.
Still, they’re a dangerous team with many avenues for success. They’ve improved steadily over the last couple of weeks. An uncharacteristically bad showing against a titan of G2’s caliber shouldn’t hurt their stock too much, especially seeing how they’re still synergizing with Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek.
This, in a way, will also be a good test for Fnatic. Will they be able to bounce back against a team like MAD Lions, a team that won’t pull punches and is hard to read? The odds are stacked in Fnatic’s favor, but the possibility of an upset is very real, especially if patch 10.3 heavily affects the meta.
That’s it for our list of 2020 LEC week 4 matches you need to watch! After this week of play concludes, we’ll have a much better understanding of each team’s strength and long-term potential. There’s no titan vs. titan clash this time around, but rather a couple of fascinating, layered matchups that are bound to entertain us with top-tier play.
Tags: League of Legends