The Worst Players of the 2020 LEC Spring Split
With the 2020 LEC Spring Split finally behind us, let’s take a closer look at some of the worst players who stood out in all the wrong ways. This isn’t a list of the worst 2020 LEC Spring Split players — if that were the case then we’d pretty much have a list of Team Vitality and SK Gaming members. Instead, we can approach this as a list of players who failed to deliver. They are by no means bad, but they did fumble and fail on more than one occasion throughout the last three months and they did so in a myriad of ways.
Saying that someone’s bad or that they didn’t perform up to expectations never feels good (unless you’re one of those folks who revel in such a thing). Much like everyone else, these players are made of flesh and blood and most of them try their hardest, even though it might not be visible in the way things eventually unfold. They practice tirelessly, day in and day out, hoping to leave a mark in a hyper-competitive region such as the LEC.
But for one reason or another, they failed to get the job done and — in some cases — miserably so.
One can only hope that they’ll work on their issues and return for the 2020 LEC Summer Split hungrier than ever. After all, everyone loves a good redemption story!
Konstantinos-Napoleon “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou (Schalke 04)
The return of the Greek mechanical phenom was arguably the biggest and most exciting storyline of the split. Naturally, his return to competitive play sparked quite the conversation during the off-season. His abrupt decision to leave Schalke six games into the split, however, takes the cake as the most baffling and unexpected twist in recent LEC history, rivaled only by the famous 2019 G2 role swap.
It was a resounding crescendo that came out of nowhere. It was such a shocker that you didn’t even know how to react at first — it made no sense whatsoever. It was without precedent. For a veteran player to call it “gg” and abandon his teammates and competitive League after three weeks of play? Many words were written and videos recorded on this topic. It divided the community in half and, as is natural, everyone wanted to chime in. Fans vehemently defended him, but even a great deal of FORG1VEN apologists failed to muster the strength and justify his actions. Every story has two sides (and two “truths”), but FORG1VEN — in his own patented way — decided to crush his (already feeble) reputation and go out guns blazing.
Was it a smart decision? Only if he has no plans to return to competitive League. Frankly speaking, his actions were the result of a bruised ego. Not only did he fail to win, but he looked like one of the worst performing members on the team. On a line-up that was horrendous from day one, that’s quite an “accomplishment.” For a player that is known for his drive and ego, that was simply too much to handle.
And so the drama ensued.
Fortunately for Schalke, they not only managed to bounce back, but looked far better with FORG1VEN’s replacement than they ever did with him. That’s an obvious case of karmic justice at work.
One can argue that each player on this list failed in one way or another, but they all share a common trait: they tried. In that sense, it’s impossible to blame them. They were professionals from start to finish, and the fact that they failed to find success should in no way impact their worth — every career has ups and downs, much like life itself. All we can do is point out their fumbles and hope they’ll put in the work to fix what needs fixing.
FORG1VEN, on the other hand, didn’t even try. Instead, he opted to burn every bridge he could and dramatically leave competitive League. That makes him a loser through and through.
Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm (Origen)
Nukeduck is a staple presence in the LEC — a veteran in every sense of the word. He’s also prone to disappointing for a bevy of reasons. Sometimes it’s because he’s just not that good — not as good as we’re led to believe, at least. Other times, however, it feels like he’s a victim of unadjusted expectations. Split after split, he’s tasked at reaching an exceedingly elusive mid lane pantheon. He’s expected to trade blows with the likes of Luka “Perkz” Perković or Rasmus “Caps” Winther, and split after split he fails to deliver.
To be fair, he’s getting the grunt of the blame without any good justification. In lane, Nukeduck can always go even with these mid lane behemoths, but when it comes to impacting the map, pulling the proverbial trigger, or producing those mind-blowing game-bending moments, Nukeduck is nowhere to be found.
He’s always on the outside looking in, always at the right place, positioned pristinely and yet hesitant to do what is necessary. His stats are pretty much the same split after split. Solid all around, but just not impressive enough to stand out. His 11% First Blood rate and mediocre laning stats go along the visuals as well: he’s rarely taking any risk whatsoever. He’s second worst in Damage Per Minute with an absolute worst Damage Share out of all mid laners (22.8%).
Now sure, statistics don’t always tell the full tale, but a lot can be gathered from these numbers. Nukeduck’s name has constantly been thrown “into the mix” without any apparent reason. He’s not a top-tier mid lane titan who’s going to blow you away with his incredible laning and impact. Instead, he’s a solid player with fantastic fundamentals and a ton of experience. These are highly valuable traits and he deserves to be praised, but at the same time it feels like Origen need a more dominant mid laner — someone who’s going to create leads for himself and then (equally as important) disperse his advantage across the map to the rest of the team.
Instead, we’re always hearing about his immense champion pool any time he locks in a different pick. Of what use is it, though? Is it not better to be a master of a few (like Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro, formerly of Team Vitality) than a passable jack of all trades?
Of course, Nukeduck shouldn’t get all the blame. Origen’s failures aren’t rooted in the mid lane exclusively. Their problems — even though they’re arguably few — are debilitating and they go far deeper than one would imagine.
Kangyun “Trick” Kim (SK Gaming)
Two-time LEC MVP sure does sound good on paper. Heck, it’s quite an elite club, as you can imagine. But if you saw Trick’s play last split, you’d probably think he was one of the worst Korean imports in the history of the region — he was that bad. Now sure, you can only blame a single player out of context, but many of the mistakes we saw were of his own doing. His pathing, his smites, engages, mechanical blunders, missed ultimates, you name it. If there was a way for Trick to fail, odds are, he found it.
Whether this was just him declining as an individual (performance-wise), or an indication of just how bad it must feel to play for SK Gaming is anyone’s guess at this point. What is certain, however, is that he disappointed in every conceivable fashion.
Whether or not he’ll return for the Summer Split is quite uncertain. His performance definitely doesn’t warrant a spot on any team’s starting line-up, but his name still carries quite a bit of weight, and if given the right infrastructure and guidance, there’s no doubt that he can bounce back and be an instrumental catalyst, much like he was back during his G2 stint.
Until that happens, however, it’s impossible not to consider him as one of the worst players from the 2020 LEC Spring Split. His stock took as big of a hit as possible, but it’s not all grim for the jungling veteran.
Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw (Origen)
This is a tricky one. It’s easy to fall prey to the unrelenting hate Destiny often received after a bad game or two, but still — a good chunk of it is warranted. Destiny didn’t impress that much, and the fact that he played on a team with multiple veterans often made him stand out in all the wrong ways. Many fans and analysts wondered why he got the nod instead of a native support (someone like Pierre “Steeelback” Medjaldi or Patryk “Mystiques” Piórkowski) and while wasn’t abysmal by any means, his play did leave a lot to be desired.
Perhaps the biggest problem of all was his lacking champion pool. Throughout the entirety of the Spring Split, Destiny played 15 games of Nautilus. Fifteen — that wasn’t a typo. Make no mistake, that didn’t happen because he’s a deity on the champion and can channel Faker when allowed to play the “Titan of the Depths.” Instead, it happened because he’s pretty unimpactful on anything else (barring a couple of solid Thresh moments).
The regular portion of the split is 18 games long, which means he’s almost a one-trick pony. Even as a strictly Nautilus player, he wasn’t all that great — a couple of solid engages and hooks don’t warrant region-wide respect and admiration.
Judging a support player through statistical analysis is always a double-edged sword, especially in a meta that often favors the “fasting Senna” approach. Still, Destiny’s numbers fail to impress. He excels at Kill Participation (second best at 71.6%), but then you realize that he’s able to rack up such a number by always being in the thick of things as evidenced by his horrendous Death Share ratio — he’s sandwiched between Team Vitality’s Jactroll and SK Gaming’s LIMIT at 25.6%.
That’s not exactly an elite club.
All things considered, Destiny’s first LEC split — while far from catastrophic — was severely, profoundly underwhelming. Perhaps that’s even putting it mildly. Hopefully he’ll improve in Summer, otherwise there’s no justification to keep him signed as he’s limiting the rest of the team both in-game as well as in the pick and ban phase.
- Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov had one of his 50/50 splits. One game he’d dominate beyond measure, only to regress and int without any apparent reason just a day later.
- Rogue’s jungler Kacper “Inspired” Słoma was often out of his depth against the better LEC teams. He wasn’t getting blown out of the water, but his in-game tendencies and champion pool were heavily exploited and it often meant Rogue couldn’t compete early on in the game.
- Erberk “Gilius” Demir “wasted” yet another opportunity and this time Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek wasn’t even a part of the equation!
- After a fairly strong start, Steven “Hans Sama” Liv played only a serviceable role for the remainder of the split. His play was depleted of any aggressiveness and proactivity. In the end, he didn’t make that big of a change to Rogue as most people had hoped.
- Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet had the bad fortune of playing for Team Vitality this split, so it’s downright impossible to blame him for anything. Still, even as an individual, he didn’t exactly do much throughout the split. You can play for a bottom-tier dweller and still stand out, much like Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu did on a struggling Schalke 04. Hopefully Cabochard will have a bit of help once the Summer Split comes along.