European League of Legends Esports fans rejoice - the LEC is back! The opening week saw a great start for the summer champions G2 Esports and for Rogue, while Fnatic and Astralis struggled.
The LEC Spring split starts with a three-day super weekend. With fifteen games now behind them, we have seen the best European teams in action multiple times - and while it is far too early to make any judgement on their overall state for the season, things are shaping up to be quite exciting. G2 Esports and Rogue both looked on fire in the opening week, as expected. However, we were not prepared for Fnatic going 0-2 in their first two games. Sure, the iconic LEC team has had some rough starts and nearly missed the playoffs last summer only to go to Worlds - but how well will they cope with losing Martin "Rekkles" Larsson?
LEC 2021 Spring Split: Week 1 Day 1
The LEC spring season kicked off with a match between the summer champions G2 Esports and MAD Lions. MAD had won several underdog victories against their storied rivals in 2020, but despite a good early game, they would have to begin 2021 with a loss in the face of G2’s scaling and mid-game execution. The next bout saw SK Gaming take down Astralis after several early kills on their Aphelios and Astralis’ own indecision led to the German team taking over the game. Excel Esports, in the meantime, put up a good resistance to Rogue and were even close to securing an ocean soul, but it took only one fight for the summer season regular split winners to turn it around, and soon, they were flashing victory emotes around Excel’s Nexus.
Day one continued with a slugfest between FC Schalke 04 and Team Vitality. The two teams fought back and forth and the French team had an early lead, but S04 delayed the game and stole the win after an explosive back and forth in the last several minutes. The day ended with a showdown between Misfits Gaming and Fnatic. Misfits had their revenge for last split’s failures, getting a 14-minute ace and ending the game after a blood fight twelve minutes later.
LEC 2021 Spring Split: Week 1 Day 2
FC Schalke 04 and Excel Esports opened the second day of games. Despite winning an ocean soul, the Royal Blues were unable to put XL down and eventually, Patrik "Patrik" Jírů’’s Kai’sa was too much to handle. The trend of teams going 1-1 continued with the next game, where Team Vitality upset Misfits Gaming after using an early baron secure and a great long-range engage to dominate the teamfights.The third match of the day saw MAD Lions go against Astralis. After a comedy of errors in the early game, İrfan Berk "Armut" Tükek’s Aatrox reached critical mass - and behind him was a Kai’Sa just waiting to take over.
G2, meanwhile, was the first team to go 2-0 after defeating SK Gaming. Sadly, for the German team, they were simply unable to keep up with the Summer champions as the game went on. The final match on Saturday and the expected match of the week pit Fnatic against Rogue. The two teams were close, but Rogue had a clutch fight that secured them the Baron. Rogue’s midlaner Emil "Larssen" Larsson put on a clinic in the game and led his team to a 2-0 score at the top of the table.
LEC 2021 Spring Split: Week 1 Day 3
The third time was indeed the charm for Astralis and Fnatic, who finally got on the board with wins against Team Vitality and FC Schalke 04. The former Origen team had to struggle for it, only rallying after a clutch fight despite being behind most of the game. Fnatic, meanwhile, looked like the team their fans wanted to see, dispatching S04 with good performances by both their carries.
Meanwhile, Misfits Gaming had another good performance against MAD Lions. The team has struggled often in the last two years - will 2021 mark their return to the top of the LEC? Yet if they do, they will face some stiff competition from Rogue and G2, who continue their perfect streak. Rogue looked clean against SK Gaming, losing several early dragons but having a huge gold lead. It only took them one decisive teamfight 24 minutes in to get an ace and the Baron and they ended a few minutes later. G2, meanwhile, had to fight hard for their win against Excel, as the UK team fought tenaciously despite an early game deficit. Eventually, however, the Summer champions’ superior execution made the difference.
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