By Petar Vukobrat
February 20, 2020
Let’s take a closer look at a couple of incredibly exciting 2020 LEC week 5 matches you absolutely need to watch. Week 4 was, for a lack of a better word, surprising. To say that it was action-packed would truly be an understatement. It had it all: upsets, twists, turns, and a metric ton of top-tier play. Even though we’ve hit the halfway point of the split, no one’s quite sure what to think. Eight games are no small sample size, and yet it feels negligible after all that we’ve seen over the last four weeks.
The only thing that’s certain now is that SK Gaming, Schalke 04, and Team Vitality are unequivocally the worst teams in the region. They’re not all equally bad, but the point still stands. While it’s still too early to predict anything with confidence, it’s fair to say that they’ll still be bottom-tier dwellers once the regular portion of the split concludes.
Even though they have quite a solid number of veterans, the region upgraded beyond belief, which is one of the main reasons as to why they weren’t able to put up much of an offensive.
The next seven teams, however, are insanely close in regard to the current power level. We’ve seen titans drop games no one ever expected, and the long-established LEC status quo has finally been challenged. Now, things will probably still resolve in an expected manner (meaning G2 or Fnatic will win the whole shebang), but the road towards that denouement should be incredibly exciting.
The fact that G2 Esports is tied for first place with Origen and Misfits Gaming is quite surprising, given their inherent talent and overall potential. Then again, Origen did upgrade during the off-season so seeing them challenge the defending champions isn’t such a big surprise. Misfits, however, are the severe outlier. No one’s quite sure what to make of them, and yet their six-game win streak speaks for itself.
The next clump of teams is perhaps equally perplexing. Fnatic, MAD Lions, and Rogue — the former “kings of Europe” and two young line-ups brimming with potential. Is this the passing of the guard? Or just the standard honeymoon phase that always happens before things settle back into place. Again, it’s hard to tell. Even Excel Esports ranked seventh now sits comfortably with a very commendable 4W-4L record. Much like everyone ranked above them, they too possess all the right tools to fight for a playoff spot once the regular portion of the split concludes.
Everyone in the Top 7 is taking turns and trading heavy blows with one another. They’re all perhaps equally inconsistent, which makes each game much harder to predict. That’s also the main reason why the LEC has never been so darn exciting. Anything can happen now, and we’re seeing some brand-new narratives materialize which hasn’t happened in quite a long while.
So, with that in mind, it’s fair to say that Week 5 should bring us even more entertainment. We’re in dire need of a bigger sample size so that we can rightfully assess each team and their current power level. At this time, nothing is set in stone, and while that’s exhilarating from a viewer’s standpoint, it’s also irritating that we can’t really point to any one team and confidently say whether they’re good or not. Some choices are obviously “safer” in that regard than others, but the point still stands. These new rookies are fighting their hearts out, and who knows — maybe they’ll even leave a mark once all is said and done.
Let’s focus on Week 5 then. There are a couple of mind-blowing clashes and you really do not want to miss them.
To start the week, we have an endlessly fascinating clash between two of the most hyped rookie teams of 2020. Misfits Gaming certainly didn’t have a lot of hype coming into the season, but their six-game win streak kind of proved everyone wrong. They might not be a League of Legends behemoth, but they’re flexing over a good chunk of their opposition. They’re fearless and have displayed incredible prowess in most of their wins. LEC legend Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten is leading the charge which makes this one of the more fascinating and successful experiments in recent history.
Everyone’s always talking about the perfect rookie team: a couple of up-and-comers and a seasoned veteran or two that can lead these talented greenhorns towards success. Someone who can both carry in-game but also be a vocal leader once push comes to shove. Febiven has experience in spades and is exactly what this Misfits line-up needed. Still, it’s surprising to see them pop-off to such an incredible degree.
Some fans will point out that their upset wins over G2 Esports and Origen were flukes because neither team drafted (or played) as well as they can (or should). There’s quite a lot of truth in that statement, but it doesn’t really diminish what Misfits accomplished. When this young line-up plays as well as it can, they look like a top-tier team, and that’s confusing.
Opposite them, however, we have an equally talented roster that was also able to string a couple of high-profile wins. MAD Lions are entering this clash with a fair bit of hype after outclassing Fnatic in last week’s barnburner. In many ways they’re fairly like Misfits. Although, depending on who you ask, they might have a bit more long-term potential. Most people are expecting the Misfits hype train to derail quickly. MAD, while not as flashy in some of their wins, feel like an actual challenger that’s still synergizing, rather than a team that’s capitalizing because they’re in the honeymoon phase.
In any case, this is an insane match-up and you should not miss it. They both have something to prove and getting a win over the “other” rookie line-up should further increase their momentum.
Perhaps an equally exciting clash, although for entirely different reasons. No one’s expecting Rogue to win, but they’re a top-tier challenger, and if Fnatic don’t prepare well, they could drop another game. They’re in desperate need of a statement win after losing to MAD Lions last week, and Rogue is certainly not an easy obstacle. They’re young, talented, and have already proven their worth on multiple occasions.
They’re not that consistent, however, and have slowed down quite a bit when compared to their Week 1 and two performances. Neither of them will pull punches, which means top-tier play should not be absent. Just the mid lane match-up alone is reason enough to tune in. If both teams draft to their strengths, we should be in for one heck of a fight.
Depending on how Friday’s matches unravel, this could either be an insanely competitive (and important) match-up, or a negligible clash. Misfits Gaming could fail to deliver against MAD Lions and the same goes for Rogue. They’re far from perfect and prone to making egregious mistakes in-game but also drafting underwhelming team comps and then failing to execute.
Still, it’s an exciting match-up between two fantastic line-ups. In any case, even if it doesn’t deliver as much as we’re expecting, it should still give us a better read into each team and their inherent potential.
Pretty much the same set-up as the one above. A clash between a talented, up-and-coming roster and a known, proven quantity. Taking on G2 Esports is never an easy task, but after dropping both games last week, this could be the best chance MAD will have all year at taking down the best and most talented line-up ever assembled on European soil.
The defending champions are vulnerable. They’ll either bounce back in style and dominate beyond belief, or further regress and drop in the standings. Both options are viable. We simply cannot know what’ll happen before they step foot on stage to compete. On the one hand, their issues are obvious and, therefore, should be easy to fix. On the other, they looked so bad and out of sorts that it might take them a bit longer to fully mesh and get back on the right track.
In any case, the fact that they’re starting to drop games isn’t a good enough reason to sound the alarms — not yet, at least. They became complacent and were expecting to have an easy time with anyone other than Fnatic. However, they’ll have to fight harder than ever to preserve their position at the top. This should make them much stronger and resilient in the long term.
The match of the week. There’s always a reason to tune in whenever these two teams compete. This clash should be no different.
Origen, however, are entering the match with a bit more momentum. They bounced back last week with two stellar wins over MAD Lions and Excel Esports. Now, those two teams aren’t exactly the toughest opposition you can find in Europe, but they’re well-rounded and deceptively dangerous. Origen, to their credit, didn’t skip a beat in either match and were able to make two resounding statements. They once again drafted to their strengths and were able to outclass their opponents with relative ease. This is the Origen everyone expected to see. When they’re playing what they’re good at, they’re a Top 3 team in the region and a shoo-in for the World Championship.
Opposite them, however, we have Fnatic. While they’re every bit as talented and dangerous (if not even more), they didn’t exactly look that well last week. They struggled early on against Team Vitality whereas their loss to MAD Lions certainly left a lot to be desired.
They’re just not playing well as a five-man unit now and at times look bafflingly out of sync. Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov is, without a doubt, the biggest offender now. Saying that his play was underwhelming would truly be an understatement. The veteran support looked uncharacteristically abysmal over the last two weeks and has single-handedly brought his team down on more than one occasion. He’s engaging by himself, often overreaching and going for “plays” that simply aren’t there. If he doesn’t improve, Fnatic might struggle more than people expect. He was always a coin-flip kind of player, but his lows have been far more frequent this time around.
Without solid support, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson becomes far less impactful which means the rest of the team must carry an uneven amount of weight. While they’re all insanely talented and capable, they’re certainly not showing now. Origen is currently performing exceptionally well. If Fnatic doesn’t improve and fix their issues, they’re bound to drop another game. That wouldn’t be such a big problem if they hadn’t already lost to Origen a couple of weeks ago.
Fnatic desperately need a win and they’ll face an uphill battle from the moment they step foot on stage to compete. Still, if they bring their “A-game,” we should be in for one heck of a ride. This is one of the most important 2020 LEC week 5 matches and it could, in theory, heavily affect the standings once everything is said and done.
Tags: League of Legends