It’s finally January, which means that the LEC and other competitive LoL leagues are starting back up soon. But what should fans expect from the 2021 LEC Spring Split?
A long offseason is soon behind us, as the big competitive leagues are starting back up this month. The LEC is one of the most anticipated leagues after a lot of big roster moves in the past months. Fans have also said goodbye to some big names who are now traveling to other regions to compete, while new rookies are getting the chance in 2021 to prove themselves.
Predicting the outcome of a split will always be hard, especially entering a brand new season. There will be new exciting storylines over the next months, developed new star players, and maybe even be crowned new kings of the LEC.
Here are a few things to expect from the upcoming 2021 LEC Spring Split.
One of the biggest topics of the offseason was when former G2 Esports bot laner Luka “Perkz” Perković decided to join Cloud9 in the LCS for the mid-lane position. Replacing the European legend is another superstar and former Fnatic veteran Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. The roster swap itself is one of the biggest in European LoL history, but the question still remains if G2 can keep dominating the LEC without its key player.
On paper, G2 still looks like the strongest team in Europe by a stretch. What’s interesting to see is if Rekkles will fit on the team and synergize well enough to unleash his full potential. Playing with mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther will without a doubt be a big advantage for Rekkles and the rest of G2. Both players already played together back on Fnatic and even reached the 2018 World Championship final together.
The rest of G2 remains the same from the 2020 season, giving them a natural edge when it comes to synergy. Most teams in the LEC have made more than one roster change in the offseason, so the Spring Split will naturally be a development process for several squads.
G2 is expected to win another LEC split, this time with Rekkles on the squad. With that said, other strong teams are looking to challenge but it might be too early to do so in the spring split. If Rekkles ends up jelling with this G2 lineup, fans might be looking at another year of domestic dominance.
Rekkles moving to G2 has fans also speculating about Fnatic. The old kings of Europe will for the first time in years be playing without Rekkles and it’s hard to predict how it will turn out. Rekkles has been the face and leader of Fnatic over the past years and his absence could be enough to throw the whole team off.
To replace him is former Astralis bot laner Elias “Upset” Lipp, who has been known as “baby Rekkles” in the community. Now it’s finally time for the German bot laner to show what he is made of but he will need to fill some very big shoes.
Besides the big changes in the bot lane, Fnatic has brought in former C9 mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer for the upcoming season. Nisqy won the 2020 LCS Spring Split with C9 after a dominant performance but didn’t manage to take the momentum into the Summer Split. Because of that, the Belgian mid laner didn’t reach the 2020 World Championship as expected, which has led to a lot of Fnatic fans being worried about how he will perform back in the LEC.
Despite the many question marks around Fnatic, the team could end up as the biggest threat to G2. Fnatic is still full of individually talented players, including veterans to keep the troops together like support Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov and Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, who have been with the team for a while now. Jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek also had a great 2020 season and will likely keep improving as a player in 2021.
With the two big LEC teams covered, there will obviously be other contenders. Some of these contenders might be completely unexpected, as organizations such as SK Gaming, Vitality, and Misfits Gaming are betting on young talent for the upcoming year.
One of the expected candidates to stand up to G2 and Fnatic is Rogue. In 2020, Rogue had a great season and even made it all the way to Worlds. For 2021, Rogue is holding on to the strong core of last year but made a significant change in the top lane. Bringing in veteran Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu will likely give Rogue an even stronger base that could develop into a rock-solid team to compete for the titles. Rogue also added rookie support Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus to the bot lane, bringing in a lot of hunger to compete.
Besides Rogue, MAD Lions will also be a dark horse to make a deep run once again. MAD Lions made changes to both the top and jungle position, changes many esports insiders would call upgrades. MAD Lions will likely bring its aggressive playstyle once again, surprising opponents who might underestimate them. The 2020 team took down G2 in a best-of-five and nothing is stopping the 2021 iteration from repeating that upset.
The 2021 LEC Spring Split starts on January 22 and will run for nine weeks before entering the playoffs stage. If the circumstances allow it, the winner of the 2021 LEC Spring Split will qualify for the Mid-Seasonal Invitational. Later in the year, the summer split will start but there isn’t any official date for that yet.
The same teams from the 2020 season will participate in the upcoming LEC season since all spots in the league are owned by the respective organizations. The only change is Origen who is now playing under the Astralis name and brand.
The 2021 LEC teams are:
Both the Spring and Summer Split in 2020 were won by G2 Esports. Even though G2 ran off with all the trophies, other teams such as Fnatic, MAD Lions, and Rogue made them work for it. G2 has been dominating the European scene for several seasons now, but 2020 wasn’t as clear cut. With that said, G2 remains the Kings of Europe as the teams enter the 2021 LEC season in January 2021.