The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) returns this weekend on June 12 with three days of jam-packed action. The rules surrounding COVID-19 in Germany are progressively relaxing, and with it, brings the LEC competition back to the studio in Berlin; a huge relief to not only the fans but also the teams and production crew. Ahead of the LEC returning this weekend, here is Level Push’s Games to Watch for the first week of competition which you definitely do not want to miss!
Our League is f****** great.
— LEC (@LEC) June 8, 2020
MAD Lions vs G2 Esports
This matchup never fails to entertain. Both teams love to skirmish, and both teams love to make flashy plays. MAD Lions taught us that teams who are willing to throw the kitchen sink at G2 can match their aggression and even knock them down to the losers bracket as shown by the MAD Lions in the 2020 Spring playoffs. The focus on this matchup will most definitely lie in the jungle. Zhiqiang “Shad0w” Zhao narrowly missed out on the 2020 Spring Rookie of the Split award but still, received high praise from his fellow competitors and the community. His early game aggression and proactive mindset mirrors Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski’s playstyle, and although Jankos is still the master of such playstyle in Europe, his apprentice, Shad0w, consistently gives him a run for his money.
It would not be an offseason without G2 pulling some whacky changes in their roster, and although their change this time was not as unconventional as those in the past, Rasmus “Caps” Winther returning to the mid lane and Luka “Perkz” Perković to the bot lane is definitely a better look for G2.
Caps’ short spell in the bot lane during the 2020 Spring split was not as convincing as Perkz’s full year as an AD Carry as Caps’ coinflip nature was too much of a detriment to his team. Expectations for Perkz amongst the community is for him to swiftly return to form and be considered as one of the top AD Carries in Europe once again.
This matchup will be fast, bloody, and adrenaline-filled, anything else would be a disappointment for the fans.
Rogue vs Misfits Gaming
Rogue and Misfits sat at fifth and sixth seed respectively at the end of the 2020 Spring regular season, and both teams had to fight it out in the first round of the losers bracket which saw Rogue roll over Misfits, winning the series 3 games to 1.
From being in first place at 9-0 to finish sixth place in the 2020 Spring regular season, Misfits have changed things up in their roster in an attempt to bolster their roster. Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup short spell at Team Solo Mid in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) was not the prettiest and adds to the list of players who left Europe to join Team Solo Mid to ultimately, regress in their careers. For Misfits Gaming, picking up Kobbe during the offseason was a huge win, who will play alongside both Petr “denyk” Haramach and the newest addition to Misfits, Mads “Doss” Schwartz as both players will share the support role in the 2020 Summer split.
With the upgrades to Misfits’ roster and Rogue’s remaining the same, this matchup could provide us some insight into how the top end of the table will look like during the Summer split. Expect all eyes to be focused on the bottom lane for this matchup.
Fnatic vs Excel Esports
The UK derby that is always one-sided may just get a bit more competitive. Excel Esports have made some changes during the downtime between Spring and Summer, acquiring Felix “Kyrze” Hellström from the Unicorns of Love to replace Ki “Expect” Dae-han and also, promoting Joran “Special” Scheffer to the main roster in place of Son “Mickey” Young-min.
Fortunately for Kyrze and Special, this was a move that was rather telegraphed to the community as both Expect and Mickey failed to make a mark on this Excel roster and were the consistent weak points of their team throughout the 2020 Spring split; aside from the occasional highlight movement.
Fnatic’s roster remains the same heading into 2020 Summer, a roster stack with talent and dominance over the league, but still falls at the final herald when it comes to taking down the final boss in G2 Esports. From previous seasons, we know that Fnatic can struggle to gather momentum at the start of the season, so their derby against Excel is a must-win for the seven-time LEC champions.
This matchup is going to be all about the solo lanes as both Kyrze and Special will want to make a mark within the first week of the LEC. Similarly, Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau’s dip in form in the 2020 Spring finals vs G2 is something Bwipo will want to leave in the past. Top lane tower dives are almost guaranteed in this matchup as both teams frequently played around 2v2 or 3v3 skirmishes in the top lane during the 2020 Spring split and with new champions entering the top lane such as Wukong, the diversity in the top lane meta certainly favors the early game scraps.
The League of Legends European Championship returns on Friday 12 June, 17:00 CET with G2 Esports facing off against MAD Lions in the first match of the 2020 Summer split.
Adam is a master's degree student studying esports at Staffordshire University. He is originally from Manchester, UK, and possesses an unrivaled passion for everything esports.