The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Spring Split is already in its second half, with the top European League of Legends teams setting themselves up for the sixth week of the split. Although the Spring Split is far from over, given that there are still four more weeks left to be played, enough time has passed to give us a solid idea as of which teams have what it takes to go all the way and which team are still struggling with their performances.
There are a handful of teams who have asserted their dominance and sit at the top of the standings and three teams who have proven to be too weak to compete with the top dogs. Although the current standings of the teams don't tell much in terms of their true potential, it's still quite easy to see how the teams rank. Here we will look over the LEC power rankings ahead of the sixth week of the Spring Split in a bid to shed some light on which teams are the most likely to go the distance and lift the trophy at the end of the split.
Undisputed underdogs of LEC: Schalke 04, Team Vitality, SK Gaming
Almost no one had high expectations for these three teams at the start of the split, however, five weeks in, and it’s already clear that Schalke 04, Vitality and SK Gaming are undoubtedly three of the worst teams in the league.
Before we go any further, we have to address the elephant in the room, which is Schalke 04's win over G2 in Week 4, which was one of the biggest upset wins of the split. And it was not like G2 were trolling or throwing the match, Schalke somehow managed to look better and took advantage of any mistake the reigning LEC champions made. It truly was a David versus Goliath match and one that won't be easily forgotten.
Following their impressive win over G2, Schalke took the momentum into Week 5, where they bested Team Vitality, but failed to deliver against Excel Esports, who basically won the match before it even began with their superior draft. We are ready to see Schalke bounce back and impress, but from what we have seen so far, they're unfortunately still among the bottom teams in the LEC.
While there is still some hope for Schalke, and maybe even for the young roster of Vitality, we can't say the same for SK Gaming. In week 5, SK Gaming had one of the worst performances ever and although their loss against Origen was expected, SK Gaming's performance against Vitality in game two of the week was plain disastrous.
After the commanding win from Vitality over SK Gaming it would be fair to say Vitality are now officially the second-worst team and considering the team is assembled from very young players who are at the beginning of their professional career, Vitality is bound to improve, but, it's hard to expect they will start moving mountains anytime soon.
Not quite there yet: Excel, Rogue, MAD Lions
There is a clear gap between the bottom three teams and the remaining seven who will compete for the playoffs in the Spring Split. That said, even the remaining seven are clearly divided into the top four and the three mid-table teams in MAD Lions, Excel and Rogue.
Looking at the trio of the teams, there are arguments to be made that Excel should be in their own cathegory, below Rogue and MAD Lions, however, they are not as bad as many would like to believe, which is why we ranked them right next to the fifth-placed teams in MAD Lions and Rogue.
While all solid teams in their own regard, all have some kind of flaw which prevents them from sitting amongst the alpha dogs of LEC. That said, they are all more than capable of keeping even the top dogs on their toes.
The most "dangerous" team for the league's frontrunners, yet very volatile one is Excel, who had their flashes of greatness, which tend to get overshadowed by the mistakes they make in the majority of their matches. The team is extremely well-coached, seeing how they acquired the former Fnatic coach in Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpoolm but it still seems like they lack the needed consistency to get themselves in the upper part of the standings.
Much of their inconsistency is due to Son "Mickey" Young-min, who has shown before he can be an excellent mid laner, however, he is a very volatile player, who can impress one day, only to completely fall flat the next.
Despite their potential and upset capability, Excel are still ranked below Rogue, who are overall a stronger team with better individual quality. This squad is a huge enigma as they should, in theory, be sitting much higher in the league standings. Although they have extremely strong laners, Rogue fall flat when it comes time to close out the matches. Despite that, however, they are 6-4 and 3-1 in last two weeks, which is not all too bad, especially considering they managed to derail Misfits at the end of last week.
That leaves us with MAD Lions, who are one of the most exciting teams in the LEC. Based on what they have shown so far, MAD Lions deserve to be sitting among the top five teams and their win over G2 last week made them one of the most talked-about teams in the league and let's not forget their win over Fnatic at the end of Week 4. Unfortunately, MAD Lions failed to deliver against Misfits and Origen, who prevented them from sitting with the big boys five weeks in.
The biggest problem with MAD Lions is their drafts. While the team plays extremely well, they tend to lose their matches even before they start. Fortunately, fixing drafts is much easier than improving the quality of their players, which is why it's safe to assume MAD Lions just might climb the standings and find themselves among the top four sometime soon.
Up there, but not at the top: Origen and Misfits
At this point, it really comes down to small details, as we have four teams tied-first with a 7-3 record next to their name ahead of Week 6 of LEC Spring Split.
From a neutral standpoint, it's great to see there are other European teams who can go toe-to-toe with Fnatic and G2, which implies the region as a whole got significantly stronger, however, when it comes to the power rankings and the team's overall quality, both Origen and Misfits still come out a bit short to be considered as the top two teams in the LEC.
Comparing Misfits and Origen to MAD Lions and Rogue, the only thing that sets them apart is consistency. This might sound a bit out of place, given that Misfits lost to Rogue last week, however, in terms of overall performance, Misfits and Origen tend to put up way more consistent performances.
Origen while an excellent team, which already bested Fnatic in Week 1 and put up phenomenal performances against some weaker teams still tends to play a bit too slow for the current meta. In a way, their playstyle would be more suited for LCS, however, that is not to say they are a bad team. The sheer individual quality and overall approach to the game of Origen is enough to make us believe they are bound to finish the split as a top-six team and possibly even make a deep run in the playoffs.
Same can be said for Misfits, who looked unstoppable until last week when their seven-game win streak was snapped at the hands of Rogue. Nonetheless, the whole team is performing exceptionally well and have proven before they can be extremely deadly. Most of the Misfits' strength comes from the top-jungle-mid connection, with Danny "Dan Dan" Le Comte, Iván "Razork" Martín and Fabian "Fabiven" Diepstraten working extremely well together, while their ADC Ju "Bvoy" Yeong-hoon has his moments when he shocks everyone with his phenomenal performances.
Both teams are arguably guaranteed to finish high up the standings this split, however, there are still two teams who reign supreme at the top of LEC power rankings.
New season, old names: Fnatic and G2 Esports
Fnatic and G2 might not have established themselves as the undisputed favourites to claim the spoils at the end of this split just yet, but that is not to say they're anything less than top two teams at this point of the Spring Split.
The problem when it comes to ranking G2 is that you never know if they're playing to their full potential or just having a great time. As a team, they are known to not take their games too seriously due to the lack of any serious competition, but was that the case with their losses against Schalke, Misfits and MAD Lions over the course of last two weeks? Well.. not really, however, there's never been any doubt about their quality. Even though they have lost two games they should have won, G2 retains the tag as the strongest European team and it will take much more than three losses for them to lose it.
The biggest question here, however, is whether Fnatic are a stronger team compared to their arch-rivals and it's a hard one to answer. In the grand scheme of things, G2 are still the superior squad, but based on the performances in Week 5, it's Fnatic who looked far better.
Martin "Rekkles" Larsson and his squad had a tough week, as they played against Rogue and Origen, but managed to deliver with two commanding wins, which in our eyes makes them the strongest team heading into Week 6.
They had some iffy displays this season, namely, their bottom lane, due to Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov's shaky performances, but overall, this team is good, very good. Even their new arrival Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek did not need a long time to fit in with the team and has proven to be a great replacement for Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen, although he needs to prove himself some more before he will be considered as an upgrade to the Danish jungler.
The season is still long and there are still four more weeks left in the Spring Split, which could, in theory, turn the rankings on their head. However, as we enter Week 6 of the competition, Fnatic and G2 are still the top two teams, closely followed by Origen and Misfits and MAD Lions, Rogue and Excel in contention for the playoffs. Schalke 04, Vitality and SK Gaming, however, will probably hope for better success comes Summer Split, although considering how stacked LEC is this year, they will need much more than just luck to fix their issues.
LEC Week 6 Spring Split fixtures:
Friday, February 28
Rogue vs Excel Esports - 18:00 CET
Vitality vs MAD Lions - 19:00 CET
Fnatic vs Misfits - 20:00 CET
Schalke 04 vs Origen - 21:00 CET
G2 Esports vs SK Gaming - 22:00 CET
Saturday, February 29
Misfits vs SK Gaming - 17:00 CET
MAD Lions vs Excel Esports - 18:00 CET
Fnatic vs Schalke 04 - 19:00 CET
Rogue vs Origen - 20:00 CET
G2 Esports vs Vitality - 21:00 CET