Excel Esports 2022 LEC Roster Breakdown
Excel Esports have finalized their 2022 LEC roster and, well, it’s not exactly stellar. Then again, it could’ve been worse, and seeing how this is Excel Esports we’re talking about, ending up with a roster that’s even remotely solid can (and should) be considered as a “W” for the organization.
Now, don’t take that last paragraph as disrespectful as it is not — we all want Excel to succeed and are frustrated that they haven’t moved the needle ever since they became a permanent partner. Heck, we’re putting it mildly here — they’re the only team in the LEC that has never reached the playoffs. To put it bluntly: Excel always finds a way to disappoint. It might be a harsh way of putting it, but it is by no means incorrect.
On a good day, they’re definitely better than one would expect. On a bad one, they’re arguably the worst team in the league. And, the thing is, you can never really predict what’ll happen, whether they’ll step foot on stage and surprise everyone or implode trying. The latter has, obviously, happened a lot more often, but the point still stands.
We just want them to do better. And, frankly, they’ve been given more chances than anyone else and still, they haven’t done anything worthy of mentioning. They’re not dreadful, mind you, but they’re not far off either. As is so often the case with mid-tier gatekeepers and bottom-dwellers, they often have these unexpected moments of brilliance which is precisely when our hopes start to rise. Unfortunately, these streaks and sudden surges never last long.
And, well, we’ve been burned too many times in the past to truly give them the benefit of the doubt. They’ve yet to earn it, plain and simple.
There’s Always Hope
A team failing to impress is by no means the be-all and end-all. Far from it, in fact. Most folks have forgotten, but it wasn’t that long ago that Rogue was the laughing stock of the region with just two wins and 16 losses (2019 Spring). That crushing result (10th place, to be more exact) didn’t stop them from correcting course and eventually challenging for the LEC throne.
Heck, they even went to Worlds (twice).
They’re proof that huge turnarounds are, in fact, possible — assuming you make the right roster changes and put the right folks in charge. We can only judge Excel based on their results and, unfortunately, there’s nothing worthy of praise and commendation.
Excel Esports 2022 Starting Roster
The following five players will all compete under the Excel Esports banner for the 2022 competitive season:
Top Lane: Finn “Finn” Wiestål [formerly of Rogue and Counter Logic Gaming]
Jungle: Mark “Markoon” van Woensel
Mid Lane: Erlend Våtevik “Nukeduck” Holm
AD Carry: Patrik “Patrik” Jírů
Support: Henk “Advienne” Reijenga
Joey “Youngbuck” Steltenpool, formerly of G2 Esports and Fnatic, will reprise his role as head coach. Now, the initiated reader will probably notice that just a single roster change was made, and that’s in the top lane. Excel was by no means stellar last split, so one simply has to question whether this really is the best course of action. They did have great moments, but they were too few and far between to actually amount to something.
By the same token, Markoon and Advienne showed a lot of promise, but it’s up for debate whether they’re capable enough to compete with the who’s who of the LEC. They deserve another shot, there’s no doubt about it, but if Excel wants to stand a chance at finally leaving a mark, bigger changes simply need to have been made.
Same Old, Same Old
We know what we can expect from this roster mainly because we’ve already seen four-fifths of it in action. Finn is a fairly solid addition overall, but he’s not going to change Excel in any hugely important way. The same can be said for Markoon and Advienne: even if they play out of their minds that still probably won’t be enough to turn Excel into a true playoff contender. And, well, Nukeduck almost definitely isn’t going to surprise anyone — he’s been a LEC regular for what feels like an eternity and has no more tricks left up his sleeve.
So where does that leave Excel? The short answer would be: outside of the playoffs. Again. It’s hard to envision a world in which this roster — respectable though it is — upends the status quo or leaves any kind of mark in the grand scheme of things. They might be better than, say, Astralis and Team BDS, but even that might be a stretch.
All in all, if you’re a fan of Excel Esports you’d be wise to temper your expectations (assuming you have any in the first place).