The highlights of the LEC Spring Season
Image source: Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games
The League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) is still hungover from G2 Esports’ victory in the winter season and is already forced to turn the page. The EMEA’s top League of Legends competition returns with the spring season, the one that traditionally opened the competitive season of the MOBA. But with the arrival of the new format, the league is more demanding. With the exception of G2, which seeks to revalidate the title of champion, the rest of the clubs are playing to get second place to represent the region in the Mid-Season Invitational (M: YES).
last winter season of the LEC has already generated historical events within the competition. Some clubs had the worst seasons in their history, while others emerged as pleasant surprises in the competition. For this reason, different clubs have moved between both seasons to make changes to their squad. Beyond the technical section, the spring season of the highest European competition aspires to compile some of the best stories of the year.
The resurgence of Fnatic and Excel
Great Britain has lived a start of 2023 for oblivion. On Fnatic and Excel Esports were two of the biggest weights in the competition in terms of expectations. However, a ninth and tenth position respectively has forced both clubs to make changes. The black&orange They have chosen to promote Óscar Muñoz «oscarinin» and return Henk Reijenga «Advent» to the maximum competition. Instead, XL has only chosen to replace Raphaël Crabbé «targamas» by Dino Tot «LIMIT«.
Comebacks in the LEC are the order of the day, but both organizations have the obligation to overcome the bad results. Fnatic is weighed down by not winning a title since 2018, while Excel is still stuck in the “choker” tag. In addition, the confrontation between the two clubs will have a special tension, since XL was the one who relegated Advienne to the European regional leagues after signing Mihael Mehle «mikyx» in full Spring Split. While in the winter season some teams went from less to more, the British clubs did the opposite.
The Super League has made the rise of rookies Spaniards a tradition. Since 2020, the competition has seen the following players move up to the LEC: Iván Martín «razork“Javier Prades”elyoya» and Victor Lirola «flakked«. This year the league couldn’t be left behind and Fnatic has given Oscarinin his turn. Óscar has relative pressure behind him, as Elyoya and Flakked normalized winning the top competition in their debut season. Furthermore, the young top laner He comes to a team whose obligation is to make us forget the recent past.
Oscarinin will take the step in one of possibly the most difficult contexts in the LEC. It is no longer only about the situation of the team, but it leaves behind a figure of the European League of Legends such as Martin Hansen “Wunder”. Doubts about his promotion exist both in the Spanish and European fans, especially when he has not yet won any Super League -as happened to Flakked-. However, the top can offer a profile of carry especially needed in the black & orange.
The return of upset
The absence of Elias Lipp “Upset” in the last season of the LEC is one of those things that escapes logic. Or, at least, without the complete information. The German player was one of the best Western players throughout 2022 and started 2023 at the rear. The shooter saw how Martin Larsson «Rekkles» took his place and Fnatic did not give him a way out. At the time, rumors indicated that the ADC was close to signing for Team Vitality but that the move was finally blocked. However, for this spring season it is already a reality.
Upset arrives at Team Vitality with the duty of improving a team that is also loaded with expectations mainly for one player: Zhou Yang-Bo «Bo«. The French organization has one of the best top-jungle duos in the competition but for the moment it has not exploited it enough to take another step for the title. During the winter season the team’s marksman, Neon, was relegated to weakside and wave-clearing. The unknown will be if Vitality chooses to give the German the same role or will make a all in with him just like Fnatic did.
The example of MAD Lions and SK Gaming
MAD Lions was one of the teams that ‘killed her by keeping quiet’. The lions reached the LEC final for the third time in their history, playing it for the first time against G2 Esports. They also lost for the first time in such a series, but the organization handled the season well behind Elyoya’s back. Along with MAD, other teams like SK Gaming were also positive surprises thanks to a good level that stood out for the group instead of the individual. Therefore, this spring season more teams can mimic the model.
KOI has the opportunity to work around their issues playing around the top lane, Astralis the ability to go one step further with room for 113, Team BDS the ideal context to have the most continuity in their history… There are different clubs that, with their particular jackets, can follow the example of MAD Lions and SK Gaming to aspire to more. There is only one factor that does not change in this LEC: G2 Esports wants to win absolutely everything. From this premise, organizations can hit the table.