By Petar Vukobrat
August 6, 2019
The end of the 2019 regular portion of the season is coming to an end. In fact, only two weeks are separating us from the very end. How are things coming along? Let’s take a closer look in our LEC Summer Split week 7 recap!
First, we must highlight the fact that last week’s games were insane. We’ve had incredible drafts, egregious blunders as well as staggering upsets all in the span of just two days. In short, if you’re a fan of competitive League, you were not left indifferent. Not in the slightest. Friday started with three mind-boggling upsets in a row — Splyce losing to Excel, SK losing to Rogue, and perhaps most importantly: G2 Esports losing to Vitality.
Right now, the LEC is pretty darn volatile. A lot of teams are dropping games you would never expect them to, and even the bottom-tier dwellers have a chance at scoring big upsets. Nuances are the name of the game, and in a Best of 1 format it’s extremely easy for a top-tier team to get caught off guard.
All that said, even though there are two weeks left, it feels like the standings are somewhat set in stone. We have a solid enough read into who’s going to end up in the playoff and who isn’t. While things could change over the next four games, the odds of it happening are extremely slim.
In the end, it seems like we really will get the six best teams the LEC currently has to offer. They’re not as solid or consistent as we expected though, and how high each team will end once all is said and done is still a mystery.
The reigning, defending LEC champions are bored. A lot. They’re just waiting for the playoffs to start so that they can step up and collect a couple of heads on their road to yet another LEC title. Right now, however, they’re just cruising on autopilot.
Fnatic are struggling. That’s just a simple fact. When they’re playing comfort picks, they’re a solid bona fide contender. When that’s not the case, however, they’re as vulnerable as possible. Last week showed us both sides of the Fnatic coin, and we’re kind of worried.
They always find a way to bounce back when it matters the most, but they’re just not as comfortable or as dominant when they’re pushed off their comfort picks. This raises a lot of questions — what will happen when the meta shifts? Will they be able to compete at the highest of levels, or are they destined for yet another fall from grace?
Time will tell, but they’re not a well-rounded challenger at this point in time. That said, they could step up in the foreseeable future and upset the status quo, at least ever so slightly.
As for Splyce, their one loss against Excel Esports really hurt their stock. They were able to bounce back just a day later against Rogue, but still — they simply don’t have the luxury of losing to bottom-tier dwellers.
They’re a good team and they should be able to compete with Fnatic for the second place in the standings (and the playoff bye as well), but they need more time in order to iron a couple of kinks out.
Next up in our LEC Summer Split week 7 recap it’s time to take a look at Schalke!
Over time, the Schalke boys have managed to prove one thing — they’re the real deal. There were times when we had our doubts, of course, but when push came to shove, they were almost always up to the task. They’re still not perfect, but they’re playing like a well-oiled, highly capable machine. They’re not exactly up to snuff when it comes to fighting G2 Esports (or similar behemoths), but they’re a layered threat and are a strong contender.
They have a relatively easy schedule going forward, which could allow them to overthrow either Fnatic or Splyce for third place — given that either of those two teams underperform over the next two weeks.
Vitality’s 2019 Summer Split has been one heck of a ride, that’s for sure. Are they good? Are they bad? Are they somewhere in between? It’s still impossible to know for sure. For every good move they make there’s an abysmal one immediately following it. One thing is for sure, however: they’re a playoff contender. Their record tells the tale as well. They went from 0W-4L to a perfectly acceptable 7W-7L win/loss tally. That’s commendable, to say the least. They’re still nowhere near being an actual top-tier behemoth, but they’re a tough nut to crack (as always) once they get on the same page and play to the best of their ability.
They’ve won four out of their last five games, and while they’re never perfect in execution, they’re at least getting the job done which is the only thing that matters at this point. They have a pretty acceptable schedule going forward and they should be able to score at least two wins, thus securing themselves a spot in the Top 6.
How well they will perform in a Best of 5 format remains to be seen, but their inherent inconsistency is a huge problem now.
Overall, the Origen boys are succeeding at one thing, and one thing only — inconsistency. They were never exactly a powerhouse during the Summer Split, but they did have exceptional moments of brilliance. That’s Origen in a nutshell right now: a ton of potential, and not a lot of solid play on a weekly basis.
When they get on the same page, they’re a marvel to look at. But those games are too few and far between — and time is running out. They don’t have the luxury of dropping games going forward, and they absolutely must step up if they want to stand a chance at leaving a mark once the playoffs come around.
Saying just how good or bad Rogue is at this point in time is a thankless endeavor. That said, one thing is for certain — they’re not predicted to reach the playoffs. It might seem premature to write such a statement, but they have one of the hardest schedules imaginable going forward: G2 Esports, Schalke 04, Fnatic, and Origen all one after another.
Even if they do deserve to be in the Top 6, their schedule will almost surely stop them from achieving such a feat. Overall, they did good. Perhaps even much better than anyone anticipated. That said, they’re sentenced to end the split near the very bottom of the standings. Maybe 2020 will be a bit more favorable to the Rogue squad after a couple of roster (and coaching staff) changes?
What a depressing turn of events for SK Gaming. While they were never exactly top tier during the Summer Split, they at least had a good shot of leaving a mark and reaching the playoffs. But time and time again, they failed to get on the same page and play like a five-man unit. They’re better than this, that’s a fact, but if they’re unable to maintain a consistent level of play then it’s all in vain. Ever since Rift Rivals concluded, they won just a single game and lost seven. That’s not a playoff-worthy contender in the making. To say the least.
As for Excel Esports, the fact that they took down Splyce in such spectacular fashion was an outcome no one had anticipated. It just made no sense, for a team that had only three wins on the board to take out a top-tier contender that was tied for second place. And it’s not just that they won — the fashion in which it occurred was the most shocking aspect of their seismic triumph. They were clean, dominant and commanding from the very get-go. Their team fighting was spectacular and the same goes for their incredible individual play.
Son “Mickey” Young-min had an awe-inspiring game on Irelia — he was almost unexpectedly good, considering his previous level of play. All in all, the Excel bunch dominated beyond measure. It is a shame then, that they were unable to pull off a repeat a day later against Team Vitality.
They are a deceptively strong mid-tier team that should not be underestimated, but they’re too low in the standings in order to leave a mark.
The same can be said for Misfits Gaming who, even though they had an unexpected resurgence, are still at the very bottom of the standings, and are still as abysmal and mediocre as ever. A few flashes of brilliance simply aren’t enough to warrant a spot higher up the standings.
That’s it for our 2019 LEC Summer Split week 7 recap! Make sure to tune in this Friday and Saturday on Twitch, Riot’s official website, or YouTube in order to see how the standings will further develop. If things pan out as expected, we should be in for one heck of a conclusion, and you do not want to miss it!