By Petar Vukobrat
June 7, 2019
We are just days away from the second half of the competitive season, so let’s quickly go over the ten 2019 Summer Split LEC teams to see where each team is at right now, what’s expected from them going forward, and what’s most likely to happen.
The upcoming Summer Split has the potential to become one of the best and most entertaining splits in LEC history, and that’s saying something. Europe, as a region, just keeps getting better, and we’re not just talking about sheer talent or success on the international stage either. Teams keep upgrading with each new split and almost every single game (between any two teams basically) has a lot of potential and is almost always entertaining. There are many new contenders rising up the ranks, and now that teams had an entire split to develop and synergize, we’re going to see a much more competitive fight for every spot at the top.
The Summer Split is infinitely more important when compared to Spring, and everyone knows it. Teams aren’t just fighting for bragging rights (and a big prize pool) but also a spot at the upcoming World Championship. Performing well in the upcoming split is all that matters. Months of hard work and preparation will all go down the drain if a team is unable to step up and perform up to expectations. That is just one of the many reasons why the upcoming split carries so much significance, making it an absolute must watch.
Europe is currently at the top of competitive League of Legends. If you want to see the meta redefined week after week, then you simply have to tune in every Friday and Saturday. Gone are the days of LCK domination, and LPL’s recent fumble at the Mid-Season Invitational is a worrying sign when it comes to China’s dominance and dexterity in the current meta.
Now, everything written below is based entirely on each team’s performance (and accomplishments) throughout 2019. Then again, it’s important to remember that — while everything below is based on fact — things tend to change fairly frequently. We simply don’t have any insider information on how well a team is performing in scrims or how confident they are coming into the second half of the season. Finally, with the meta changing on a monthly basis, a team that is deemed as a top-tier competitor right now might not start off as well as one might expect.
With that out of the way, let’s go over the ten 2019 Summer Split LEC teams, listed based on their accomplishments in the most recent Spring Split!
At the top of the world. G2 Esports has not only made quick work of all local opposition back in Spring, but they dominated on the international stage as well — against teams many thought were at least somewhat equal in strength. They’re entering the Summer Split as the reigning, defending champions and there isn’t a challenger in sight. They will surely slack off a fair bit seeing how they need time to recuperate and quite frankly, they’ve earned it. Expect them to clutch things out when it matters the most.
A brief, interesting aftermovie on G2’s MSI run
Nothing short of absolute domination. They’re simply playing on another level and they’re redefining the meta with each game they play. They’re the best and most capable team Europe ever produced. So anything other than first place (with an enviable win-loss record) would be a shocking upset.
First place yet again. G2 Esports simply have too many tools at their disposal in order to fail at this point. While their path towards the trophy might not be as clean or dominant, they should, by all means, be able to end the Summer Split at the top.
Second place. Origen accomplished quite a lot in the short amount of time they had to work with. While they were never flashy in their execution, they always managed to get the job done which was the only thing that mattered. When all was said and done, there was no doubt remaining — they really were the second best team behind G2 Esports.
This is a hard one, and it really depends on who you ask. Origen fans are expecting a repeat performance, but things are far from simple. Multiple other contenders had time to gel and synergize, so they’re entering the Summer Split with a lot to prove. Origen has solid solo laners so they’ll surely remain a threat in the current meta, but their spot is far from set in stone. They’re going to have to work harder than ever if they want to remain at the top.
The playoffs are basically a given at this point. Now, how high they will eventually finish still remains to be seen, but the odds are stacked in their favor. They have ample synergy and team cohesion, they’re all veterans of the game, and they have one of the best coaching staffs in all of Europe. So all the right components are there. When the dust settles, they should be able to finish near the very top and probably even lock down a spot at the World Championship. Their consistency is their biggest asset, and if they play their cards right they should be able to leave a mark.
Third place. Nothing spectacular, but far from bad either. Perhaps when we consider the amount of hype Fnatic had coming into 2019 (or right after the World Championship, rather), it’s easy to be disappointed. But seeing how they lost a key player and were unable to adapt to the meta, a third-place finish is far from bad. In fact, it’s spectacular if we consider just how bad of a start they had.
This is a tricky one. Everyone is expecting them to perform at a high enough level, but how high they will eventually soar still remains to be seen. They have the talent, but they simply aren’t functioning like a well-oiled machine, even though they’ve retained a huge chunk of their roster. Their strengths simply aren’t as compatible with the current meta and they don’t have that many avenues towards success either. They’re still a force to be reckoned with, but they’re nowhere near as strong as they once were.
Playoffs are definitely a realistic goal, but how high they will eventually climb still remains to be seen. There are many new challengers who are going to fight tooth and nail in order to land a spot at the top, and Fnatic will have to settle on an identity for themselves sooner rather than later. That said, a Top 3 finish is far from unrealistic.
Near the top of the region. The key word here is “near.” That’s kind of the leitmotif of Splyce’s multi-year-long LEC tenure. Always near the top, always highly competent and capable, but never strong enough in order to upset the LEC status quo. And unfortunately for Splyce, their last split was no different.
Much of the same. Seeing them any higher this time around would be surprising, and they’re going to have to fight harder than ever in order to maintain their spot or they’re bound to fall in the standings.
A finish in the Top 5. Sadly that doesn’t warrant a ticket to the World Championship, but they definitely have the depth and the right players in order to remain a top tier team in Europe. They’re deceptively dangerous and are capable of upsetting any team in the region if underestimated.
Vitality was last seen in the playoffs, but they weren’t exactly as threatening as one might expect from a team of their reputation. They started off in the best possible way but were unable to maintain their level of play and subsequently regressed on a weekly basis. It was a crushing sight, and not because of any particular allegiance.
Some highlights from their match today
Everyone is expecting more. We all know just how strong and talented Vitality is, but they’re also the definition of “volatile” and it seems like their inherent playstyle and unrelenting aggression often get in the way. They have the right tools in order to be a Top 3 team, but they need to diversify their arsenal and be a bit more thorough in their preparation and — perhaps most importantly — execution.
When it comes to Vitality, there’s no middle ground, and we love them for it. There’s no mediocrity. They’re either going to be extremely dominant, or they’re going to crash and burn in spectacular fashion. Either way, watching their rise (or fall) will be an absolute must watch.
Top six. Considering the fact that this organization fielded such a young and up-and-coming roster with only two recognizable names, their most recent accomplishment is nothing short of astounding and highly commendable. They were able to edge out both Misfits Gaming as well as Schalke 04 even though many deemed their line-up as sub-par. Still, it felt like they had plateaued which is the main reason why they made a slight change to their roster (and coaching staff) coming into the Summer Split.
Not a lot, quite frankly. Even though they reached the playoffs, everyone still knows they’re a young team that’s still developing, so there are no humongous expectations. If anything, people want to see them improve and grow into a solid, bona fide contender; a team that will be able to throw down with the LEC titans we all became accustomed to.
Seeing how they’re fairly well-rounded, they should be able to compete for a playoff spot much like they did in Spring. Whether or not they’ll be able to reach the Top 6, however, is a completely different matter.
Just outside of the playoffs. Schalke had the most painful trajectory out of all ten teams. At the halfway point of the split they were ranked second, right behind G2 Esports. They were cohesive, aggressive, and in-sync. Their play was fantastic — until it wasn’t. Their second half was downright abysmal and they went from “sure-fire contender” to “waiting on the sidelines” fairly quickly.
Depends on who you ask. Most people lost a lot of faith after witnessing their recent fall from grace, and it’s hard to blame them. Either way, Schalke is expected to be a solid mid-tier contender, at the very least.
This also depends on a lot of factors. Haas their synergy improved? Did they fix their biggest weaknesses? If the answer is “yes,” then they definitely have the potential to fight for a spot in the Top 4. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait for long in order to find out.
Near the bottom of the standings, without any hype or momentum. They were a train wreck in every sense of the word.
Not much, basically. They could potentially become a solid mid-tier contender, but don’t bet your money on it happening. They definitely have a spectacular five-man line-up but they’re just not playing as a unit, and have shown nothing to earn our benefit of the doubt.
A similar result. The organization also decided to experiment with its ten-man roster, so they could either slightly improve or implode even further.
One spot away from last.
Seeing how Excel improved near the very end of the split, it’s entirely possible for them to enter the Summer Split as a far stronger team than anyone anticipates. Whether or not that’ll happen still remains to be seen, but they should not be underestimated at this point. The fact that they signed Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss could seriously improve their chances at challenging for a playoff spot.
A similar result.
Last place, without any chance for climbing higher.
Last place. They did make a couple of good changes to their roster, but the odds are definitely stacked against them. Either way, barring any exceptional improvements, they’re bound to end up at the bottom of the standings once again.
That’s it for our list of ten 2019 Summer Split LEC teams! Make sure to tune in on Twitch, YouTube or the official LoL Esports website because we should be in for one of the best splits in Europe’s history!