The two best teams of the League of Legends European Championship - Rogue and G2 Esports - began the second part of the Spring Split with a 2-0 week. With several of their contenders like Fnatic, Schalke and Excel struggling, the two favorites have finally broken away from the pack.
After four weeks of games saw 2020 champions G2 Esports and Rogue rise to the top of the LEC table at the mid-way mark, the league entered its second round robin stage. The first week of rematches gave us several much-awaited clashes: FC Schalke 04 faced off against SK Gaming and G2 Esports, while Fnatic took on MAD Lions. We were expecting developments both around the top and the middle of the table - and the week did not disappoint.
LEC 2021 Spring Split: Week 5 Day 1
The two German teams in the LEC - FC Schalke 04 and SK Gaming - kicked off the weekend. After a relatively bloodless first 20 minutes, SK got the advantage after several key picks. Schalke found no way to play around their opponents’ teamfighting composition and crowd control and had to start the week with a loss. In game two, MAD Lions trounced Excel Esports, getting a lot of early kills on Javier "Elyoya" Prades Batalla’s Kayn. The Lions’ jungler went shadow assassin mode and decimated Excel in the mid-game, paving the way for an easy win for his team. The third game of the day was a bout between G2 and Astralis that many expected to be extremely one-sided, but the underdogs held on for a while with good picks. A 4v5 fight near the elder dragon went to the Worlds semifinalists, however, and they finally put the scrappy Astralis down.
Rogue, meanwhile, had no problem beating Misfits Gaming. They started growing a lead from the early game and steadily expanded it, taking an early bot inhibitor and the mountain soul after a teamfight 23 minute win. Even a rare Baron steal by Misfits was for naught as Rogue aced them and ended in just over 26 minutes - the fastest game this LEC split. The last game of the day had Fnatic face off against Team Vitality. After a bloody early game, the French team used a pick to secure an early Baron and took over the game. Fnatic tried to fight back, but 30 minutes in they engaged only to get aced, giving Vitality only their second win of the split.
LEC 2021 Spring Split: Week 5 Day 2
Astralis and Excel faced off in the first game on Saturday. Losing to G2 did not seem to faze the underdogs as they went on the offensive early, getting several early kills and dragons leading to an infernal soul at 24 minutes. Jesper "Jeskla" Klarin Strömberg’s fed Kai’sa dominated the teamfights and after an ace in the bottom lane Astralis secured the win. In the next game, Misfits Gaming and SK Gaming duked it out. Early pressure gave Jean "Jezu" Massol’s Kalista four kills before 10 minutes had passed, but Misfits found a way to recover. Ultimately, however, they had no answer for Janik "Jenax" Bartels’s Aatrox. The Darkin Blade would wreak havoc on the MSF backline, carrying several fights and ensuring his team would end the week 2-0.
After that clash, game three was a lull where Rogue slowly and methodically dismantled the Vitality squad that had just beaten Fnatic. For a second time this week, Rogue saw the favorites get a Baron stolen underneath their noses. Even that was not enough to give the French squad a break, however: Rogue slowly ground them down, losing only 3 kills in a 43-minute game. The clash between MAD Lions and Fnatic, however, was a lot bloodier. Fnatic had an early advantage, giving their AD Carry Elias "Upset" Lipp 3 kills in the opening 10 minutes, but it was not enough. As the game went on, however, İrfan Berk "Armut" Tükek on Gnar carried MAD in several teamfights and the Lions ended the game in just over 30 minutes.
The final game of the week featured a G2 Esports eager to avenge their loss against FC Schalke 04 - and this time, the Royal Blues were humbled. LEC’s 2020 champions picked a risky composition, but executed well on it and after winning a 3-1 fight at the third drake 21 minutes in, they proceeded to style on Schalke with a series of long-range snipes. The German squad tried to fight back but it was simply outclassed and eventually had to accept their fourth consecutive loss. With this, Rogue and G2 Esports are again tied for first place with a 9-2 record after not losing any games this week. A 2-0 week and poor performance by Fnatic and Excel saw MAD Lions take the third spot with 7-4, while SK Gaming and Fnatic share the fourth spot with one win less.
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Next week will feature several clutch matches, such as Rogue’s rematch against a struggling Schalke and G2 taking on the second team to defeat them this split: Fnatic. In the meantime, follow our League of Legends coverage at earlygame.com for more LoL-related news, galleries and analysis!