2019 LOL European Championship Summer

07 June, 2019 - N/A Berlin, Germany

The European LOL Championship Series (EU LCS) is replaced by the LOL European Championship (LEC) for 2019 and onwards. The European league has joined the likes of LPL and NA LCS in franchising the league, meaning that the promotion and relegation have been removed. All of the teams competing has bought their way in and have been approved by Riot Games as owners.

The European Championship will continue to be broadcasted and played from the studios in Berlin as they have been in the EU LCS. The second season is to start in Juni

2019 LOL European Championship Summer Betting Tips

MisfitsvsFC Schalke 042019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-22 16:00:00
Win

FC Schalke 04

1.95

Petar

MisfitsvsFC Schalke 042019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-22 16:00:00
Win

FC Schalke 04

1.80

mintcrystall

Team VitalityvsSK Gaming2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-22 15:00:00
Loss

SK Gaming

1.55

Morgonrock

Team VitalityvsSK Gaming2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-22 15:00:00
Win

Team Vitality

2.62

Kekan

Team VitalityvsSK Gaming2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-22 15:00:00
Loss

SK Gaming

1.49

Petar

Team VitalityvsSK Gaming2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-22 15:00:00
Loss

SK Gaming

1.49

mintcrystall

G2 EsportsvsFnatic2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-21 20:20:00
Win

Fnatic

2.66

mintcrystall

MisfitsvsSK Gaming2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-21 19:15:00
Loss

Misfits

1.70

mintcrystall

OrigenvsFC Schalke 042019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-21 18:10:00
Loss

FC Schalke 04

2.75

Morgonrock

SplycevsRogue2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-21 17:00:00
Win

Splyce

1.50

mintcrystall

Team VitalityvsexceL2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-21 16:00:00
Win

Team Vitality

1.57

mintcrystall

G2 EsportsvsTeam Vitality2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-15 19:00:00
Win

G2 Esports

1.22

Morgonrock

MisfitsvsOrigen2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-15 17:05:00
Loss

Misfits

2.62

Morgonrock

MisfitsvsOrigen2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-15 17:05:00
Win

Origen

1.46

Petar

SplycevsexceL2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-15 15:00:00
Win

Splyce

1.33

Morgonrock

FnaticvsOrigen2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-14 18:00:00
Loss

Origen

1.90

Petar

G2 EsportsvsOrigen2019 LOL European Championship Summer
2019-06-08 19:10:00
Win

G2 Esports

1.41

Kekan

Preview

Photo: Riot Games

2019 is, without a doubt, the most exciting year in League of Legends history — if you’re a European, that is. The year that not only European teams stepped up to the plate, but also won something significant. G2 Esports have just dominated at the most recent Mid-Season Invitational, and were able to become the first ever European champions.

Let that sink in. After years of fighting, years of preparation and practice, a European team has finally been able to emerge victorious when it mattered the most. Now, teams came close on multiple occasions, that’s for sure. Fnatic back in 2015 along with Origen, H2K in 2016, and perhaps above all — Fnatic and G2 Esports at the 2018 World Championship. Europe always had teams that were able to throw down with the titans of competitive League, and they were successful more often than not.

But being so close to winning so often, without actually getting the job done, is perhaps the most crushing fate a team can have. The average esports career is so stunningly short, and if a team fails once, chances are, they won’t get another shot. Playing at such a high level where each and every move a player makes is magnified and highly important, is stressful business.

But G2 Esports were up to the task, and then some. They emerged victorious, and have made Europe the region to beat right now. They were the ones who defined the meta, and were able to find the most optimal way to play League of Legends right now.

How things will unfold over the coming months is a completely different matter, but right now, there’s no stronger region than the LEC. So, by proxy, this Summer Split should be downright spectacular.

Perhaps most importantly, Europe isn’t a region that is only defined by G2 Esports. Sure, they’re the best and most talented of the bunch, but they’re far from being the only dangerous and capable team that the region has to offer. As the years went on, quite a lot of talent got developed which means the top five teams right now have a metric ton of potential. They’re all stacked with some of the best players in the world, and while they’re not all on the same level, they’re at least incredibly capable.

So we’re not just looking at G2 Esports. We already know they’re going to leave a mark at the upcoming World Championship. Instead, let’s focus a bit on the rest of the teams that are competing, and how high they could eventually climb once the dust settles.

1. G2 Esports

At number one we have none other than the “kings of Europe” and the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational champions G2 Esports. They’re an absolute titan of League of Legends and they’re only just getting started. It’s shocking to remember that this roster only played together for five months or so. The fact that they accomplished so much in such a short time span is a testament to their innate talent and potential.

No one doubted their strength coming into 2019, but it was hard giving them any benefit of the doubt before they actually won something. The fact that Perkz role swapped into the bottom lane was a decision that could have backfired completely — and yet it didn’t, which is the only thing that matters.

If feels like everything that mattered resolved in their favor. Wunder solidified his spot as the number one top laner in the region (and the world, as well), Jankos reached his former peak and is a force of nature in the jungle, Perkz proved that he play both traditional AD carries as well as any mage in the bottom lane at an exceptionally high level, and Mikyx shined as one of the best and most talented supports the region ever fostered. That leaves us with Caps. The Danish prodigy is currently considered the best Western mid laner in history — a title he earned for himself in just two and half years of LEC play.

There are simply no words that can rightfully explain his talent. He is truly something unique, and much like the rest of his team, he’s only just begun. He’s still developing as a player and one can only imagine how high he’ll be able to go with the right guidance.

That all leads us to one important question — will anyone be able to dethrone them?

Quite frankly: no. At least not on home soil. There isn’t a team that can match their insane mechanical prowess, game knowledge, or willingness to throw down and play the game in an entirely different way. They’re all on the same page and are always prepared to throw caution out the window and do the thing you least expect them to.

That’s the G2 way. And because of it, we are witnessing brand-new narratives spring to life. These are exciting times for any Western fan of competitive League, to say the least.  

How does one stop such a momentous giant? They always find ways to win and to snowball regardless of opponent. A team will have to not only beat them on an individual level but also outperform them as a five-man unit. That doesn’t mean they won’t lose any of their upcoming games — not in the slightest. They’re a team that’s known to slack off and experiment at the most random of times.

But when push comes to shove, when it’s time to perform and prove their worth, they’re always on the mark. Always.

This Summer Split should be no different, and while they might drop a couple of games throughout the next couple of months, they should be more than capable of winning the whole shebang.

2. Origen

It’s hard to argue against Origen’s overall potential, considering all that they’ve accomplished. A lot of people doubted them, and they had reason to do so. Sure, four out of their five players were grizzled veterans, but they were also somewhat past their prime — or so most thought.

But against all odds (and skepticism), Origen found an identity for themselves and played to their strengths. None of their players were mechanical behemoths, but they opted to play the game to the best of their ability — team fighting, clean macro, rotations, and so on. They used their game knowledge and experience in order to gain an upper hand. They didn’t want to play the game like the “new kids on the block” do. Instead they opted for an “old school” approach.

Now, the meta didn’t exactly favor their playstyle, but they made it work. And they were able to do so primarily because they have experience and skill in spades. They’re the veterans of the scene, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pack a punch. On the contrary.

This time around, they’re entering the Summer Split with quite a fair bit of hype. They know their worth, and so do we. They’re a deceptively strong team and they were recently reinvigorated by their highly respectable triumph. Second place in their very first split as a five-man unit is an accomplishment worthy of praise, especially considering the fact that they bested the likes of Fnatic, Vitality, Schalke 04, Misfits Gaming, and so on.

They might not have spectacular solo laners, but they’re solid in every regard, and it’s enabling them more often than not. Will they be able to take down G2 Esports? Not really, but they’ll remain at the top of the region if they play to the best of their ability. They’re a layered challenge, and their preparation (and coaching staff) is fantastic, which should give them an upper hand this split as well.

They have all the right tools in order to represent Europe at this year’s World Championship, and if they continue playing their own game, they’re bound to succeed in the long run. They will surely have ups and downs, but once the dust settles, you can expect Origen in the Top 3.

3. Fnatic

The “former kings of Europe” have taken a hit over the last couple of months. The fact that they lost one of their key players — in a meta that is focused primarily on solo laners — seriously impacted their overall strength and potential. The fact that they retained four fifths of their 2018 World Championship roster didn’t matter. The meta had shifted so much that many of their previous avenues towards success were no longer viable, and it was evident on the Summoner’s Rift as well.

Their first half of the Spring Split was downright abysmal, but they were able to correct course and eventually climb the ranks — much like everyone expected them to. That said, they were never really as dominant or as clean as they once were. They had a new mid laner, a player who lacked in certain areas of play when compared to Caps, and Fnatic once again found themselves going through growing pains.

Fortunately, they were able to pick up the pace when it mattered the most, and they ended the split at third place Now, a Top 3 finish after reaching the finals of the World Championship is kind of disappointing, but considering just how bad of a start they had it’s at least somewhat commendable.

It could’ve been worse.

So what about 2019? Is there a positive outlook when it comes to Fnatic and their overall potential? In a way — yes. But they will have to grow; they will have to adapt to the ever-changing meta and find new avenues towards victory. It feels like they lost a lot of their confidence in 2019 and they will need to regain it back if they want to throw down with the likes of G2 Esports and Origen.

The reason why we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt is because they have some of the best players in the region, even though they might not be as capable or as dangerous as in years past, they’re still a force to be reckoned with — even in their somewhat weakened state.

If they play their cards right, they should be able to remain at the top of the region. That said, don’t expect them to dethrone G2 Esports — that’s just not happening at this point.

Photo: Riot Games

4. Splyce

At number four we have Splyce. Now, the Splyce boys constantly find themselves in a limbo of sorts. They are a fantastic team that is filled with fantastic talent. They’re all either veterans of the game or exceptional up-and-coming rookies. They’re simply solid in every sense of the word — but they’re not “great”, and that’s a problem at this level of play.

They’re simply not good enough as a five-man unit in order to challenge the upper echelon of the LEC. Now, they will come close on many occasions, and they will even win a couple of games here and there during the regular portion of the split, but when push comes to shove, when they have to step up and get the job done, they will always fall short. That has been their modus operandi over the last couple of years, and it seems like it won’t change any time soon — for various reasons.

This Summer Split should bring no big change to Splyce, for better or worse. They’ll be near the top, they’ll fight tooth and nail, they’ll have a couple of insane games like they always do, and when the dust settles they’ll end up near the very top of the region. There’s no shame in being a very good team (or a gatekeeper rather), but they have so many recognizable names that it’s still a bit underwhelming to see them stuck in perpetual limbo.

They will simply need to make more changes to their roster/coaching staff in order to actually stand a chance of taking any LEC titans down. That said, they’re deceptively strong and definitely have flashes of brilliance.

5. Schalke 04

At number five we have Schalke 04. Now, this might seem like a strange position for a team that imploded so hard last split, but there’s an underlying logic behind it all. Most people only remember the fact that their play deteriorated considerably as the split went along. Now, that’s a fact — they fell off the rails pretty darn quickly.

But there were so many positives on display for a good portion of the split.

It’s easy to forget that they were at one point right behind G2 Esports. They had sole possession of second place and were making all the right moves in order to not only reach the playoffs but make huge waves as well. Every member of the team was doing his fair share of the work and they simply functioned like a well-oiled machine.

Then came the halfway point of the split, and for one reason or another, their play decayed considerably over a shockingly small amount of time. They were shadows of their former selves, and it was evident in their play as well. They went from a top tier contender that had the tools to challenge G2 Esports to a mediocre out of sync bottom tier team.

Coming into the Summer Split, they opted to sign former G2 Esports jungler Trick, who also happens to be a two-time “MVP of the Split” winner. Not too shabby. Ever since Trick left Europe, he was unable to find much success in both Korea as well as Turkey, but his exceptional performance and aggressive style of play should propel Schalke 04 back into playoff contention.

We’re not only banking on Trick’s veteran status here, but also on the fact that this Schalke 04 line-up has everything it needs in order to be successful. They have the right players, the mechanical prowess as well as deep champion pools. The only thing they need now is time. And if they make the right moves they might not even need a lot of it, seeing how they already have a lot of synergy built-in from the Spring Split.

This is their second chance at making a mark in the LEC, and they don’t intend on wasting it. We’re ranking them fifth here but they could, by all means, end up higher.

6. Misfits Gaming

It’s hard to put into words just how disappointing Misfits’ most recent run was. They were being thought of as a bona fide LEC super team, and yet they failed to mount much of an offensive. There had a couple of exceptional games, but they were too few and far between to actually warrant any kind of long-term success.

They were a disappointment in every sense of the word, and no one expected it to happen to such a degree. After all, they had veterans in every single role; players who are still capable of throwing down at the highest possible level. But it didn’t matter, unfortunately.

We’re putting them sixth this time around, and we’re doing so because they had more than enough time to figure out how they want to play the game, and where their strengths lie. That fact alone doesn’t mean they’re going to succeed, but the odds are stacked in their favor. There is only so much a team can fail when they have this many talented players, and they’re bound to improve sooner rather than later.

They only need to make smaller, nuanced changes in order to improve in the standings, and now that they have Hussain Moosvi back in charge in the head coach position, they should be able to reach at least a portion of their innate potential.

7. SK Gaming

At number seven we have the unlikeliest of challengers — SK Gaming. If there’s one thing that this ragtag group of up-and-coming players proved last split, it is the fact that they should not be underestimated. They’re willing to fight for every inch of the Summoner’s Rift, and they have a fairly capable roster to boot.

They might not have any household names (other than perhaps Pirean), but they’re all at the top of their game and they’re far more in sync than one would think. They are a bit rough around the edges so an experienced adversary will probably be able to exploit their inherent weaknesses, but they’re improving with each week, and they’re definitely in the running for playoffs.

Now, the only reason why we’re putting them outside of the playoffs is because they’re entering the split with a brand-new top laner — Sacre. The Croatian top laner was one of the best performers at the most recent EU Masters, and he’s pretty much a known quantity, but until we see them clash against the upper echelon of the LEC, we’re going to be reserved.

SK Gaming has the right tools in order to become an actual threat, but it all comes down to how well they prepare, and how strong they’ll be in the current meta. Either way, we will only be able to fully judge their potential and overall strength after a couple of weeks of play.

Photo: Riot Games

Bottom Three — Team Vitality, Rogue, Excel Esports

Finally, we have three teams at the bottom of the standings. Now, make no mistake — this is by no means a definitive ranking, and these things tend to change on a weekly basis. But all three of these teams have debilitating weaknesses that either slightly slow them down, or completely neutralize their strengths.

Without a doubt, Team Vitality definitely has the most potential of the three. We’ve already seen their spectacular highs at the 2018 World Championship, but for all their playmaking potential, they always fall short because of their unrelenting aggression. They’re also shockingly one-dimensional, and that single fault has been on full display ever since this team (or line-up, rather) joined the LEC. They have just a single speed in which they do things, and if they don’t manage to impose their own playstyle then they simply fall apart.

When you add the fact that they’ve been individually underperforming in quite a long while now, it’s hard to get excited about their upcoming split. We know they’re talented, but without the ability to grow and learn new tricks, other teams will be able to counter their playstyle with more ease as time goes on.

Rogue and Excel Esports, however, are ranked this low because they need to prove their worth. Sure, they had more time to develop synergy but so did every other team in the region, and it’s not like their LEC run is going to get any easier this time around. Now, both of these rosters made significant changes between the two splits.

Excel brought over KaSing’s old lane partner Hjarnan (of H2K and G2 Esports fame), whereas Rogue promoted three players from their Ultraliga roster. By all accounts, both of these teams should improve in their play almost immediately. That, in and of itself, is great but it raises an important question — is it too little too late? Every other team already has built-in synergy, not to mention more capable rosters. Excel and Rogue will be able to fight a lot harder this time around, and they’re bound to win more as well, but they shouldn’t be able to upset the LEC status quo. That said, they should not be underestimated this time around, and if you’re betting on the LEC, then make sure to wait a couple of weeks before betting on (or against) these two teams because they definitely have the capacity to upset.

That leaves us with Vitality. How high they will rise once the dust settles is always up for debate. There are simply too many factors that are out of their control, and even the ones that are aren’t being handled in the right way. They will surely remain a dark horse that is capable of exceptional flashes of brilliance, but once push comes to shove, they shouldn’t be able to leave a mark.

Verdict

As always, make sure to watch as many games as you can before deciding on whom to bet on. Competitive League of Legends is often incredibly volatile, and games tend to resolve in an unexpected manner more often than not. By watching regularly, you’ll have the latest possible information on each team which will allow you to make educated, empirical guesses and predictions.

The 2019 LEC Summer Split is currently underway, and you can watch the action every Friday and Saturday on multiple different platforms — LoLEsports website, YouTube, and Twitch! If things go as expected, this could end up being one of the best and most exciting splits in Europe’s history!


 

Tournament Format

Group Stage:

Double round robin, matches are Best-of-One. 

Top six teams qualify for the Summer Playoffs.

Playoffs:

Double elimination bracket with best-of-five series. Top two faces each other in the winners final, the 3rd seed decides which team from the 5th and 6th they will be facing in the lower bracket semifinals, the 4th seed faces the remaining team.

Regional Finals:

Single elimination gauntlet style bracket with the teams seeded in based on their 2019 Season circuit points. The winner moves on to the World Championship as the third seed from Europe.