Week two saw a further diversification of the standings, with Rogue’s loss to G2 Esports meaning there are no remaining undefeated teams in Europe.
With Schalke 04 still yet to pick up a win, it looks as though they are destined for a repeat of their abysmal performance at the beginning of Spring Split. Joining them at the bottom of the table are Excel, whose singular win saves them from being tied for last.
Topping the standings are Rogue and MAD Lions, two teams with remarkably similar MO’s of bottom-lane focus combined with a stable, consistent mid laner. Creeping in behind them are league giants Fnatic and G2, with G2 finally beginning to see the light after a poor start to the Summer Split.
But what's in store ahead? Here's the lingering questions as we approach week three.
Where are G2 Esports headed?
G2 in their current state are an analyst’s worst nightmare; going 1-2 in their opening weekend to teams who on paper are significantly weaker than they are, and then turning it around to go 2-0 in week two.
Analysis is made even more difficult when you realise their games last weekend were against Schalke and Rogue, the first and last place teams coming into week two.
It’s almost impossible to gauge G2’s performance at the moment- it feels as though they are still unsure of their drafts, bringing out older picks like Galio and Akali to mixed success.
With their matches this weekend putting them up against two members of the current four way tie for second place in Fnatic and SK Gaming, now is the chance for G2 to move ahead of the pack and claim the first place spot early in the split. However, whether they will be able to overcome their bad start remains to be seen.
Can anyone make Soraka ADC work?
Fnatic’s innovations have been known to either work fantastically well or come back to haunt them - with Zac top lane/support an example of the former, and Graves midlane an example of the latter.
This week, we saw another innovation coming out of coach Alfonso "mithy" Aguirre Rodríguez in Soraka bottom lane. However, this particular pick is doomed to join Graves midlane in the discard pile, having landed Fnatic an 0-2 weekend.
The problem, however, came from the fact that without AD Carry Martin "Rekkles" Larsson on a damage dealer, the team felt directionless; meaning that for a team who is less reliant on their AD Carry as a primary damage source, the pick could potentially still be viable.
Who will be the first to pick Nidalee?
In the old days of League of Legends, the evil trifecta of carry junglers was always considered to be Nidalee, Lee Sin and Elise. While Lee Sin and Elise have maintained some of their popularity over the years, after a long succession of nerfs Nidalee has fallen out of the competitive meta.
However, 2020 may turn out to be the year of the cougar; with the transforming huntress picking up an incredibly high competitive win rate in both the LPL (64% over 11 games) and LCK (75% over 4 games). She is yet to be seen however in the LEC - a region where junglers do not tend to be their team’s primary carries.
If anyone were to pick it up, our bets would be on Fnatic’s Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek or Schalke 04’s Lukas "Lurox" Thoma - both junglers willing to opt for more carry-oriented picks like Kindred and Graves.
Fnatic in the LEC Spring Split (Picture: lolesports)
Who is the best ADC in the LEC?
It’s pretty much been accepted as gospel that the LEC’s AD Carry role is absolutely stacked with talent this split, with the top four players with the highest number of kills in a single game all being AD Carry players.
Historically, Fnatic’s Rekkles has been the poster boy of European League of Legends - and with a current KDA of 42 and kill participation of 78%, it doesn’t look as though he or his team are willing to relinquish that title. However, recent years have seen a new wave of talent taking over the LEC’s bottom lanes - with players like Steven "Hans Sama" Liv and Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság working their way towards Rekkles’s title.
It’s currently too early in the split to start handing out the title of ‘Best European AD Carry’, but the development of some of the LEC’s new players is clearly showing that nobody can afford to rest on their laurels.
Battle of the drafts - Ezreal or Aphelios?
These two marksmen have been dominating the rift ever since the beginning of the split, with an international presence in 219 games so far this split.
With the high presence of Varus, Kalista and Syndra (a new bottom lane favourite) in bans, a gentleman’s agreement seems to have been struck in the competitive community. Namely, that if one of these two champions is allowed through the ban phase, the other will be picked against it.
There are many reasons for this; the most obvious being the champions individual strengths, and in the case of Ezreal their synergy with current strong support champions (with the Ezreal/Yuumi combo continuing to terrorise the rift).
However, the analyst community is up in arms as to whether either can technically be considered a counter to the other. One of Aphelios’s few weaknesses is poke champions, an area in which Ezreal excels, particularly with a Yuumi. However, the tendency to combine an Ezreal with bruiser champions that Aphelios thrives against means that overall, Aphelios sees a higher win rate: 59% compared to Ezreal’s 48% globally.
In the LEC however this difference is almost negligible, with Ezreal seeing only one more win over Aphelios. With the upcoming nerf to Death’s Dance set to affect both champions, it will be interesting to see the change in bottom lane dynamics in the upcoming weeks, and whether less popular picks like Miss Fortune, Ashe and Sivir will begin to make a resurgence as they have in other regions.
The LEC Summer Split continues on Friday 26th June. You can catch the action across YouTube, Twitch and lolesports.com.