Following up a successful week one in the LPL, this weekend saw the LEC and LCS return with a fiery passion! The return of the Spring Split brought to the forefront the latest changes in both leagues. While the LEC only had some small changes to their winning formula, the LCS has had a significant shake up as legacy organisations took to the stage as North America aims to challenge the status quo.
Over in Europe, Splyce have rebranded as the MAD Lions. Orome is the only true legacy player from Splyce on their current active roster, with the rest having left the organisation towards the end of 2019.
The remaining players on the Lions roster, Shadow, Humanoid, Carzzy, and Kaiser are new to LEC league. Their opening debut could not have been more difficult as they faced off against the World’s finalists, G2 Esports. G2 have kept their roster intact over the interim period, with the only notable change of Perkz and Caps switching places to Mid and Bot respectively.
Despite the daunting challenge, MAD Lions showed a commendable effort as they attempt to best the LEC champions, even securing an early 3-0 lead over them. It was not to be, as G2 later turned the game around with greater team fighting co-ordination. G2 Esports went onto face SK Gaming on Day 2 and secured their position with a 2-0 opening weekend.
Still, many were no doubt surprised at the lackluster early game ability that G2 showed, leaving their fans and critics alike to wonder how they intend to correct this weakness moving forward, if they intend to secure the World Championship this year.
Two more organisations stood up to the mantle this week. They are Origen and Rogue. Rogue have been an organisation that have faced criticism over their performance in 2019, as they struggled to find any momentum, but the off-season seems to have been good to them.
Facing off against Misfits and Excel, both whom have improved the quality of their games since last year, Rogue emerged victorious to secure that elusive 2-0 weekend. For many, this is a sign of things to come as Rogue now step up to the top of the League. Can they stay there is the question?
However, what caught many off guard this weekend, was Origen’s performance. While this is a beloved organisation and many do not doubt the team’s capabilities, to see them face off against Fnatic on the opening day and emerge victorious certainly threw the predictions out the window.
After all, Fnatic did make it to the World’s semi-finals in 2019 which is no small feat! Origen went on to use their momentum to knock Schalke 04 out of the fight to secure a 2-0 weekend for themselves. Many will agree that Fnatic are experienced in dealing with the unexpected and rally back, but this writer does wonder how they intend to overcome this organisation in the future when they face off once more.
Not to be swept completely aside, Fnatic, SK Gaming, Excel Esports and MAD Lions each managed to secure a win over the weekend. Vitality crumbled under the combined pressure of the SK and MAD line-ups, while Excel also pushed Schalke 04 back to their inhibitor and Fnatic comfortably secured a win over Misfits.
With the close of the opening LEC weekend, Europe’s gaze now moves to focus on the pack leaders going into week 2. Can they maintain their position, or will they crumble under the pressure? Will any team take advantages of G2’s weak early game before they adapt, or will the LEC continue on the road of G2 dominance? Origen face off both Rogue and G2 Esports this week, so one titan must fall from the leader board. Stay tuned for this and more as the LEC is only heating up!
Written by Brendan ‘PlantsDontFly’ Feely