By Isaac Chandler
July 16, 2019
Welcome to another exciting weekly LEC Power Rankings! We’re once again taking a look at the LEC teams and where they stand in relation to each other after another week of triumph, failure, and upsets. While the top half remained basically the same, outside of the top two spots, the bottom four were reshuffling around like crazy, especially after a surprise win from Excel, their first of the split! We have a lot to talk about, so let’s get going.
Isaac: After a week that saw G2 finally drop out of the top spot in our power rankings, the boys in black are back and looking more dominant than ever.
Continuing their trend of showing that they can all play everything, the team started the weekend out stomping all over struggling Misfits, annihilating them in a 26 min game with a Renekton mid, before their closer game against Schalke on Saturday. Considering how overly cocky that draft against Schalke was, it’s no surprise they gave up a few more kills than usual, yet the team still managed to hold their foes to only two turrets for the entire game.
At this point, I think it’s clear the final is going to be G2 vs either Spylce or Fnatic, and the team should really spend the rest of this split preparing themselves for their eventual run at Worlds. This could finally be Europe’s time to return to the throne at the top of the world, and it all rests on G2’s shoulders.
Petar: The defending champs are still at the top, and with good reason. In fact, let’s take things up a notch: they transcend any standings or power rankings. They could lose ten games in a row and still remain this high.
They’re just on another level, and they’re showing no signs of stopping. Not even close. They’re going to lose here and there, that’s for sure, but not because they’re worse, but because they just can’t muster the strength to tryhard week after week. They’ve done and seen it all, and now they just want to recharge their batteries and prepare for the big matches — the matches that count. Winning or losing a Best of 1 match on home soil carries absolutely no significance. The reigning LEC kings have no plans to relinquish their throne.
Petar: Last week gave us a showing of Fnatic’s best and worst. We saw just how good they can be when they start off on the right foot, but also how out of sync and unimpactful they are when that fails to be the case.
Despite their slight fumble against Splyce (a game they could have even won), they’re still at the top of the region. They’re still rough around the edges and they need more time before actually challenging for the LEC throne, but they’re a spectacular five-man line-up across the board.
Perhaps most importantly, there’s a fair bit potential with this Fnatic roster and their ticket to the World Championship is all but a given.
Isaac: Fnatic looked very out of sorts to me in-game two this weekend against Spylce. Yeah, they destroyed Vitality in their first game of the week, but they looked completely unprepared going into Saturday, especially in regards to Qiyana.
The team appeared to not have either spent the time researching the champion, thinking it would just get banned out or teams would be unwilling to play it into them, or practicing counters to it, as Humanoid ran rampant on the map, cutting down everyone in his path. The match was just a hiccup in an otherwise fantastic split from Fnatic (it is their first loss of the season), but it’s concerning that something everyone talked about being huge in pro play wasn’t even in Fnatic’s prep for the week.
Hopefully, they better prepare for it this upcoming weekend, otherwise, they’ll find themselves giving up unnecessary wins and a chance at a bye.
Isaac: Third place this week is really a tale of team very different teams. While Splyce has been surging up the standings, Origen has been faltering as of late, almost like Spylce absorbed their talent Space Jam-style.
Origen came incredibly close to giving Excel their first win the split on day one, managing to even lose an inhibitor to the winless team. Nukeduck was there, thankfully, to save the day for the team, going 8-1-0 on his Azir and dragging the team across the finish line. The Azir giveth and the Azir taketh away, however, as the team was honestly brutalized by Rogue, with their mid-laner Larssen popping off 8-0-4 on the Shuriman emperor.
Origen as a team reminds me a lot of FlyQuest in their first split in the LCS: a strong showing in Spring Split, followed by a faltering Summer Split. It remains to be seen if their lows will be just as low as FlyQuest’s (hopefully not), but this split is looking worse and worse as time goes on.
On a more positive note, Spylce is looking absolutely insane this summer, having only dropped two games so far. Their win against Fnatic was definitely a statement game and proves they deserve to be in the talk for the top of the ladder. Humanoid, in particular, is really coming into his own, and has the potential to be a star mid-laner in the making *G2 heavy-breathing intensifies*. The young team is really coming together, and if they keep this up will definitely be pushing for a spot at Worlds 2019.
Petar: Putting Splyce this high just doesn’t feel good — and I’ve been a Splyce fan for many years now. It’s strange, really. And it’s not because they’re not worthy of such a prestigious spot. Instead, they always give us a tease; they give us a glimpse of their full potential and we immediately board the hype train. But I’ve been burned on too many occasions. I believed in them time after time, and there wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t let down.
Now, they’re giving it their all, and this is a fantastic well-rounded line-up, but until they maintain this level of play and actually string a couple of additional wins, I’m going to be skeptical. Despite my own opinion, their strength and overall potential are undeniable. They’re definitely one of the strongest and most consistent teams in the region right now.
They know what they’re good at and they’re playing to their strengths. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel and that’s a good thing right now. In a moment when every other team is trying to get the upper hand either by drafting off the bat stuff or by playing in a completely unhinged way, Splyce focus on the good ol’ stuff — the fundamentals.
Watching them develop over the coming weeks will be extremely exciting. Maybe Europe really did get a brand-new contender? Or, conversely, maybe this is just one of Splyce’s patented flashes of brilliance.
As for Origen, the second-best team from Spring really isn’t doing that hot. Perhaps that’s even an understatement. They nearly lost to Excel Esports, and actually dropped a game against Rogue just a day later.
So… All things considered, why are they so high right now? First of all, we know how talented they are as a five-man unit. A bad week or two isn’t cause for alarm, although they are running out of time. We know that they have the capacity to turn things around in a matter of days. It is only a matter of time before they get back on the same page and start dominating, much as they did in Spring. They might not be as dangerous as they once were, but they’re hovering near the top of the standings for a reason.
Despite this, Origen has to step up. They’ve lost quite a fair bit of momentum and are not considered as an actual threat. They’re ranked this high because of their laurels, not because of what they’ve done over the last four weeks of play.
Isaac: Schalke is the gatekeeper for the LEC: if you want to make it to Worlds, or have even a chance at a deep playoff run, you have to beat this team. They’ve yet to put together a 2-0 week, but on the bright side have avoided any 0-2’s as well.
The team is almost the definition of average at this point, and I predict they’ll repeat what they did in Spring with another 9-9 split record. The team has a kit if potential in it with every player having popped off at some point in their wins. They just need to find more consistency and figure out how to not coin flip on how they’ll perform on the day.
They play Vitality and Excel this weekend, and I’m predicting a win over Vitality and a loss to Excel to, once again, give them another 1-1 weekend.
Petar: Right now, Schalke is playing the not-at-all coveted role of a gatekeeper. They’re great overall, but they just can’t seem to crack the Top 3. Maybe they lack the strength to push them over the line, or maybe they just need a bit more time. There’s no good way of knowing right now, and that’s just one of the many reasons why you should keep an eye on them going forward.
One thing is for sure: they’re not going anywhere. They have all the right tools at their disposal in order to become a force of nature, and it is only a matter of time before they realize their full potential. How high they will soar when that happens still remains to be seen, but the odds are definitely stacked in their favor.
Isaac: SK has a lot of future talent to work with, like many of the teams down here. Just like the other teams, however, SK’s problem lies in that word, “future,” as it’s going to be another split or so before these players finally start carrying this team into the playoffs. Until then, the team sits in the middle of the pack, vying with the other developing teams for one those last playoff spots as Origen drops into freefall.
Petar: I, for one, am not impressed. SK Gaming is as inconsistent as ever even though they have all the right pieces of the puzzle.
Petar: I expected more from Vitality, especially after watching them play for so long. This team is downright maddening. You simply can’t predict whether or not they’ll dominate or get outclassed. There’s no evident rhyme or reason and no underlying logic behind their play and overall power level.
We all know that they’re capable, but watching them play is becoming quite exhausting.
As for Rogue, saying just how strong (or weak) they really are is impossible. So instead of hypothesizing, let’s just focus on what’s certain: they will not leave a mark once the dust settles. Despite their solid talent and team cohesion, they lack the tools to compete with the absolute best.
Now, this statement is slightly challenged by the fact that they took down Origen with relative ease last Saturday. They’re a capable bunch, but they shouldn’t be able to reach the playoffs once all is said and done. That said, they definitely have the capacity to upset, so keep an eye on Rogue going forward.
Isaac: I think Vitality is starting to right the ship, though they’re still far from last year’s form. Jiizuke still appears too aggressive and easy to exploit in the mid lane, and really needs to be reigned in by the coaches, while Mowgli honestly hasn’t looked like the greatest pickup for the team, and likely will be replaced at the end of the season.
But they are looking more coordinated and confident, so I think they could still make a run for the playoffs if they can come a bit more online.
Rogue, on the other hand, is still developing as a team. HeaQ and Vander are looking like a solid bottom lane, while Larssen is looking more and more like a future tier one mid laner for the region. I don’t think they’ll make a deep run during playoffs, or even honestly make it to the playoffs, but next year should be a good year for the squad if they keep working to improve. Definitely a future dark horse right here.
Isaac: Season’s over for Misfits, not much more to say beyond that honestly. Rumor has it they’re going to be swapping their whole academy in for the rest of the split, and honestly, I think that’s the best decision they’ve made this year. Might as well give the rookies a chance to develop; see if maybe they have a diamond in the rough.
But Misfit’s campaign to make Worlds is essentially over, and I fully expect they’ll fall to 10 in the next ranking or two.
Petar: I am all out of empathy for them, to be quite honest. In fact, I don’t even feel any emotional investment whatsoever. Dominate or crash and burn, it’s all the same right now. They’ve disappointed beyond reason and should be given no benefit of the doubt going forward.
This might sound harsh, but in a region that is redefining the meta, a region that is filled with awe-inspiring challengers and titans of unparalleled strength, should we really still care whether or not Misfits step up?
I know I certainly don’t. Not any longer, at least.
Petar: Excel Esports has demonstrated a spectacular early game over the last couple of weeks. They nearly took both Fnatic as well as Origen down, and they’re riding quite a fair bit of momentum, especially after their one-sided win over SK Gaming.
They’re doing things no one expected them to. They’re challenging teams many deem superior. They’re doing the impossible. Now, they still lose more often than not, but they’re displaying incredible grit and mental fortitude. Things are finally clicking for the Excel bunch and it’s an exciting journey, that’s for sure. They still lost whenever they attain a gold lead, but who can blame them — they’re not used to having the upper hand!
Watching them try to upset the status quo will be incredibly exciting, and they should not be underestimated going forward.
Isaac: Excel finally got their first win, I’m so proud of them!
While the plucky Brits did give up several turrets and neutral objectives during the game, they’re a far cry away from where they started the split at, and only appear to be getting better and better as time goes on.
Mickey has shown he can fit well in this roster, and the team is showing strong coordination you don’t usually expect from a multi-lingual team like this. I can’t wait to see how they continue over the next few weeks, and honestly think they could pick up 2-3 wins by the end of week six, with their next four matches being G2, Schalke, Rogue, and Misfits.
Thanks again for tuning in to the LEC Week 4 Power Rankings. Tune in this Friday at 9 AM PDT for Week 5 of the LEC, with Misfits taking on SPylce in the opener. And for more League news, keep here with us and check back in later for the Week 6 LCS Power Rankings.