Like the games this week, we come to a pause to examine where each team stands. From super teams to disappointments, the first week of the LEC has held plenty of surprises, but it can still be difficult to determine just where each team is headed. Throughout each week, we hope to demystify some of that, hopefully amusing you in the process. Please do remember that all rankings are opinion rather than fact, and while this is meant to stir some debate, keep it civil. 

All photos provided are the property of Riot Games and can be seen here.

1: G2 (2-0)

To the disappointment of Fnatic fans across the world, G2 is off to a flying start, securing two crushing victories against Origen and Schalke 04. Running unique, mid-game heavy compositions, G2 manhandled their opponents once their draft came online around the 15 to 20 minute mark.

In the early game against Origen, the G2 botlane seemed to show some signs of weakness, with Perkz and Mikyx giving up first blood and getting outmaneuvered by Patrik and Mithy resulting in an 0/3 scoreline by 15 minutes in the game. This wasn’t enough though as quickly after, G2’s poke and execute composition quickly took over, taking any chances Origen had of winning within minutes.

Against Schalke, G2 had a similar idea, but instead of poke and execute, they ran a composition filled with hard engage and a Karthus execution. In similar dominating fashion, G2 made quick work of Schalke, winning fight after fight until the game ended.

The team’s success cannot be acknowledged without praising Mikyx, a huge part of the team’s success. With a whopping 15.5 KDA, he put in major work in the first week of the LEC, enough so that he’s our pick for MVP this week, which we cover more further down in this piece.

Another player that should be highlighted this week is of course G2’s bot lane carry, Perkz. During the preseason, many naysayers doubted Perkz’s ability to quickly transition from the Mid lane to the AD Carry role. In his first week, Perkz has already silenced many of those doubters, putting up impressive stats, dealing 31.8% of his team’s total damage (2nd of all LEC players) and a crazy 740 DPM (1st of all LEC players).

While this may be only the opening week of the LEC, G2 are already looking at the trophy with hungry eyes, and are certainly hoping to start a second G2 era. 

Grade: S+

2: Misfits (2-0)

Misfits came in swinging like a gorilla, averaging the fastest game time (23:41) in the LEC and boasting near-perfect score lines in two very one-sided games.

Thus far, Misfits has played mostly through their Bot lane, relying on Hans Sama’s hyper-aggressive laning style and backed by their former LCK superstart Support, Gorilla. Hans Sama has yet to die, boasting a perfect KDA of 15/0/8 across two games, as well as the largest average gold lead at 15 minutes, an out-of-this world 3665 gold, a lead that most teams don’t have at 15 minutes. This lead comes off the backs of both Gorilla and Maxlore, who both devoted much of their time in the first week to get Hans Sama as far ahead as possible. In the game against SK, a 3 minute invade by Maxlore into the enemy’s Jun/gle resulted in an all-out skirmish, resulting in a clean two kills for Hans Sama. Less than a minute later, Maxlore came Bot, securing Hans Sama yet another kill, with Hans Sama then boasting a 3/0 scoreline 4 minutes into the game.

Meanwhile, both Soaz and Febiven opted for more teamfight utility-based roles, with Febiven playing Galio and Lissandra, helping secure key kills in team fights and snowball the game out of their opponent’s control.

Like G2, Misfits clearly has winning the LEC in mind, and will do everything to make that happen. While they might play a more traditional game than G2, Misfits has shown that same explosive nature that we praised G2 for earlier, and will be watched closely this split to see if they can finally join the likes of G2 and Fnatic and add a trophy in their name.

Grade: S

3: Origen (1-1)

While a 1-1 start may not seem so great, Origen had a tough matches going into Week 1. Unlike Schalke, Origen came into their game against G2 with a clear gameplan: Exploit G2’s new and perhaps inexperienced Bot lane, and snowball the game through that. They succeeded at doing so, securing three kills and seemed ahead until G2’s composition came online.

Their game against Fnatic went somewhat better. Origen consistently held a small gold lead throughout, this time pouring resources into Nukeduck in the Mid lane, exploiting Fnatic’s rookie Mid. This certainly did pay off, with Nukeduck being up by 5k on Nemesis towards the end of the game, and melting through Fnatic’s lineup with his Vayne, securing them the victory.

This hints at a pattern in Origen’s game plans: punish the unknown or rookie players on the enemy team and create leads through that. With carry players in every lane, as well as a number of rookies coming into the LEC, this might just work.

Problems do arise with this strategy though, as when facing off against the likes of G2 and Misfits, the plan can easily falter due to those teams simply not being exploitable. As a result, a 3rd place finish seems to be within reach for this roster, but breaking into the top two currently is another feat entirely.

Grade: A

4: SK (1-1)

As a completely new roster in the LEC with 2 Rookies and the rest being unproven, there were little to no expectations for how SK Gaming would do in Week 1. However, they attracted some attention after decisively beating the past year’s World Finalists, albeit with Fnatic looking like a shell of their former selves. In their matches against Fnatic, they grew leads through taking objectives and winning fights over them, showing potential as a team.  The same was not true for the game against Misfits though, where they were outclassed and subsequently run over by their opponents, losing in what is bound to be one of the fastest games of the year.

The teams laning phase was uninspiring, with slight early deficits against Fnatic and getting rolled by Misfits. However, their rookies’ performance against that of Fnatic did attract some attention, with both Selfmade and Crownshot have excellent moments in the later parts of the game. As Ezreal, Crownshot positioned himself well in teamfights, urning the tide of the game in a teamfight 27 minutes into the game with his consistent damage. Meanwhile, Selfmade got some deserved praise for his stunning sidestep ultimate on Sejuani in the game’s last teamfight, locking down Rekkles in the back of Fnatic, thus eliminating Fnatic’s main damage source and as a result securing the game for SK. If these two continue on the trajectory that they set themselves on in Week 1, they may very well be in the running for Rookie of the Split, but as for now, it’s too early to say.

Does this team have a shot at taking the crown? Probably not.

Does this team have a shot at impressing in their first year? More likely.

Grade: B

5: Schalke 04 (1-1)

Schalke looked like the most average team in the LEC this week. They were dismantled by G2, and had a shaky game against Vitality that only ended once Schalke forced Baron and aced their opponents.

Their cohesion in the last team fight was perhaps what won them the game against Vitality, with Upset’s signature Ezreal pick dishing out consistent damage in that fight. All eyes will be on him to solidify himself as the franchise’s star player that he set out to be, and to prove that he indeed is one of Europe’s best bot laners, as many fans claim he is.

That being said, their game against G2 was nothing short of a disaster. Schalke fell apart in the early game and by 15 minutes in, the game had snowballed out of their control. Schalke’s lanes were outclassed by that of G2’s, and the previously mentioned team fight cohesion simply did not show up as G2 time and time again ran them over with their burst composition.

We’ll be keeping our eyes on Schalke’s bot lane, but also on their rookie Mid, Abeddage, who, while not having the best opening one could hope for, did provide constant teamfight utility with his Lissandra. As of right now, Schalke looks like a solid mid-tier team with plenty of room to grow. If they do want a shot at the trophy though, they’ll have to greatly improve their early game though, as in no way are they ready to face the likes of G2 or Misfits, at least not yet.

Grade: B

6: Vitality (1-1)

The team that inspired many at Worlds inspired few this week with a less than stellar opening week. In the 2018 season, Vitality was a team that played fast and as a unit, averaging a gold lead of 1679 at 15 minutes during the Summer, the highest of any team. Comparatively, they were down an average of 277 gold at 15 in their first two games this season. Paralleling Fnatic in changing only one player, fans expected Vitality to come out of the gate swinging, but so far their start has been the opposite.  

Yamatocannon’s decorative shirts and encouraging speeches may not be enough to bring this team back to the top.

Grade: B

7: Fnatic (0-3)

Starting the LEC without a win must hurt for the returning World finalists. After only switching one starting player on their roster, many expected Fnatic to come into the season strong, but they did just the opposite. The entire team appeared lost in the two three games played, showing little cohesion as a team: Bwipo appears exploitable, Broxah has been underwhelming, Nemesis’ debut has been the opposite of Caps’ in 2017, Rekkles is still farming and Hyllisang’s famed roaming has been lackluster.

In their first two games, they’re sitting at an average gold deficit of 1652 at 15 minutes, managing to fall behind in every game they played. In terms of draft, it appears that Fnatic hasn’t changed their strategy from Worlds. From an outsider’s view, it seems that their only strategy is to draft losing lanes Mid, comfort picks for Bot and Jungle, and one of three champions Bwipo can play at a high level in this meta.

For a roster that’s mostly unchanged and ended their 2018 run in the World Finals, the level of play they displayed as well as lack of strategic development (especially in comparison to the likes of Misfits and G2) sets Fnatic on a path similar to their 2016 year.

This may just be a slow and gradual start for Fnatic, but maybe losing Caps (and Dylan Falco) was enough to take this team out the running for the title.

Grade: B-

8: Splyce (1-1)

Once again, Splyce have shown that their expertise in stalling out games until Kobbe can come online and win them teamfights. Jokes aside, Splyce has a long history of playing painfully long games and relying on Kobbe’s scaling picks to win them the game, which they showed once again this week in their games against Vitality and Excel. Averaging the slowest game times of 39:35, nearly 10 minutes longer than the average game time of 29:41, Splyce’s strategy is questionable.

In the games, Kobbe played Caitlyn and Sivir, two classic late-game carries, and ended both games on a 5/1 (5/1/0 and 5/1/6 to be more precise) scoreline while having the fifth highest damage share in the LEC (31.1%) and had the highest share of gold on his team. With these stats, it’s clear who Splyce is focusing on in their games. It is surprising, then, how little time Xerxe devoted to his Bot lane, failing to pull off even one Bot lane gank successfully during the entirety of the two games. This can be attributed to Splyce’s Rookie in the Mid lane, Humanoid, who also has shown some carry potential, with a 30.4% damage share, comparable to that of Kobbe, as well as a 5/0/8 scoreline as Aatrox against Excel. That being said, his game against Vitality was less impressive, where he went 2/2/2 as Cassiopeia. He still had a damage share trailing Kobbe’s (23% to 26.7%) and had a good early game compared to his opponent, Jizuke, but failed to translate that early game lead into teamfight advantages later in the game, much like Splyce did in general, where they failed to pull the trigger again and again in a game they were ahead in for the majority of the time.

Splyce’s unwillingness to engage in team fights and instead resorting to playing an overly safe style will hinder them in the future, especially against better teams that rely off team fights to win. Until that happens, I don’t see their results improving much.

Grade: C

9: Excel (1-1)

With a ten man roster, Excel offers thousands of roster combinations to let you down with. Jokes aside, as a team with a completely new roster and staff, Excel came into the split with little to no expectations. Their on-stage performances haven’t been awful, but they weren’t great either.

In their first game, they battled with Splyce in a near 40 minute game in which they actually got the best of their opponents in the early game. However, like many new teams, they failed to translate their early game advantage into a victory, letting Splyce slowly choke them out as they scaled.

Against Rogue, they played a much quicker game, actually falling behind until they found a winning fight in the top side of the map. After equalizing the gold lead, Excel managed to take control of the map, leading to an explosive 26 minute baron and winning teamfight. With a previously set up wave in the bot lane and Baron buff on all their players, Excel walked into Rogue’s and finished the game.

What Excel has shown so far hasn’t been much to write home about, but if they manage to come together, this team could come to surprise the European league. The 8-Ball said not to count on it though.

Grade: D

10: Rogue (0-2)

Rogue’s best moves in the off season were getting Kikis and snagging the Roccat guy. This team follows the trend of past bottom teams in grabbing nearly no star players and recycling imports while hiring a completely unproven coaching staff.

Their opening week was nothing short of a disaster, losing both games decisively and averaging  gold deficit of -2040 gold at 15 minutes. Wadid currently holds the highest KDA of 1.3 on the team, while both Kikis and Sencux boast negative KDAs. Per game, they averaged a mere 3 kills, a fact not helped by the fact that one of their games was against Excel, the second weakest team in the LEC as of right now, a game in which Rogue only secured 3 kills and 1 objective (a tower).

I secretly hope this team succeeds to prove myself and everyone wrong, but I do not see that happening unless the team makes major changes.

Grade: F

MVP of the Week: Mikyx

With players like Caps and Perkz on his team’s roster, Mikxy’s name is often glanced over, but his individual plays in G2’s first two games of the season were near flawless. Playing Rakan and Alistar, Miky acted as the team’s primary engage, acting as the catalyst in quick picks and teamfights and allowing G2’s damage comp to accelerate out of control.

As of right now, Miky holds the highest KDA (15.5) of all Supports, and has shown some exceptional vision control, placing an average of 1.5 wards per minute. While that might not be the highest in the LEC, it’s important to note that G2’s game times were lower than other teams, with the amount of wards placed per minute having a correlation between the amount of time a game lasts.

The last stat we want to highlight is his kill participation. Standing at 76.9% across both games, Miky was part of 18 out of 19 of G2’s kills in their game against Origen (95% KP) where he played Rakan, and 13 out of 22 in his Alistar game against Schalke (60% KP). He also was a part of almost every single kill Perkz was a part of, showing just how cohesive the G2 Bot lane really is. Miky on engage supports was a pleasure to watch in Week 1, and with his excellent positioning and high teamfight IQ, he could very well become the LEC’s best Support this season, even with the likes of Gorilla in the scene. 

Predictions for Week 2

Fnatic vs. Vitality

Predicted Winner: Fnatic

Despite their lackluster performance, we expect Fnatic to change things up in Week 2 of the LEC, potentially drafting a winning lane for Nemesis, and picking engage junglers for Broxah, allowing him to set up for his star AD  in Rekkles.

Rogue vs. Splyce

Predicted Winner: Splyce

Rogue does not look like a team that’s going to be making moves in the early game, which would allow Splyce to relax until the mid and late game, where they seem most comfortable.

Excel vs. G2

Predicted Winner: G2

On paper, G2 are stronger player for player, and showed a lot more promise in their first week. Bar any surprises or Caps role-swapping to jungle, it’s difficult to consider G2 dropping this game.

Schalke 04 vs. SK Gaming

Predicted Winner: Schalke 04

Despite SK having an arguably stronger week one performance, Schalke is a roster loaded with proven talent. I expect them to come together and make more early moves after being in the hands of Misfits early aggression. With an early game lead, Schalke should have no trouble snowballing the game into a close.

Misfits vs. Origen

Predicted Winner: Misfits

Misfits seem at the top of their game, successfully making moves as a unit even 3 minutes into their game. Origen, on the other hand, despite looking alright, do not appear to be at their best yet. This matchup may be more evenly matched when they meet up again in week 6, but at the current moment, Misfits are on a different level.

Schalke 04 vs Fnatic

Predicted Winner: Fnatic

Despite their lackluster performance and expected loss on Friday, we expect Fnatic to change things up in their game against Schalke, potentially drafting a winning lane for Nemesis, or picking engage junglers for Broxah to allow him to take over as the team’s primary engage. Schalke, on the other hand may have a good game, but against a performing Fnatic they may lack the firepower to take the game. This will probably be a close game, but we’re hoping that 3 losses is enough to kick Fnatic back into gear.

SK vs. Excel

Predicted Winner: SK Gaming

This game is going to be very important for SK in clearly separating themselves from the bottom teams. If SK perform like they did against Fnatic, they should win this one easily. If they show up like they did (or didn’t) against Misfits, Excel may be able to take this one.

G2 vs. Rogue

Predicted Winner: G2

Similar to their day one match, it’s tough to imagine G2 dropping a game against Rogue. Their players are overall stronger and have seemingly developed synergy much quicker that Rogue have. Unless Rogue play above their own level or G2 play below theirs, this game should be an easy one for G2.

Splyce vs. Origen

Predicted Winner: Origen

Origen have shown that they can create advantages, but have also shown that they can fail to do anything with said lead. If they cannot close this game out early, this game can easily go to either Splyce or Origen, with a teamfight at baron most likely being the caveat for the end of the game.

Misfits vs. Vitality

Predicted Winner: Misfits

It would be nice if Vitality are in form for this one, as two early game powerhouses going at it is some of the most fun league of legends as a spectator and as a player. Unfortunately, it’s more than likely that one week is not enough time for Vitality to catch up to Misfits, and this game will probably be one sided.

We hope you enjoyed this first 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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