We’re only one week away from the start of the European LCS, and the landscape of the competition is going to look dramatically different than it did last year. There are a whopping three new teams, and even the returning organizations underwent a lot of changes.
With that in mind, it’s time to give a quick rundown of how strong each team looks in the preseason, and rank how we expect them to finish in the Spring Split. This list is, of course, completely subjective, but at least gives us a starting point for discussion. Let’s get to it!
|Top Lane||Etienne "Steve" Michels|
|Jungle||Berk "Gilius" Demir|
|Mid Lane||Jérémy "Eika" Valdenaire|
|AD Carry||Rasmus "MrRalleZ" Skinneholm|
|Support||Hampus "sprattel" Abrahamsson|
Elements, much like Team Impulse in North America (also rated #10 in the NA LCS preseason rankings), is an organization that didn’t even want to be here. They attempted to sell their LCS spot, but were unable to do so in time, forcing them to cobble together a lineup from the players that weren’t signed by any other team. It’s not there’s absolutely no talent on the roster; MrRalleZ is at least a serviceable AD Carry, and Gilius isn’t the worst jungler in the world. With that said, there’s no one on this roster that appears to be a huge threat, and the team as a whole looks entirely underwhelming.
|Top Lane||Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek|
|Jungle||Kim "Trick" Kang-yoon|
|Mid Lane||Luka "PerkZ" Perkovic|
|AD Carry||Kim "Emperor" Jin-hyun|
|Support||Glenn "Hybrid" Doornenbal|
Given the amount of talent on the roster, it’s actually difficult for me to list G2 this low, and I’ll be the first to admit I could be wildly off the mark here. Trick and Emperor certainly have some skill, and PerkZ could be the next big thing in the mid lane. However, we don’t know what communication will be like with the two Koreans just recently added to the lineup, and the fact that this roster hasn’t had much time to play together is a factor. Add in that Kikis just recently role-swapped to top lane, and there are a lot of question marks here. This team could be strong given time, but right now, I don’t think they’ll accomplish much in their first split.
|Top Lane||Simon "fredy122" Payne|
|Jungle||Karim "Airwaks" Benghalia|
|Mid Lane||Felix "Betsy" Edling|
|AD Carry||Mohammad "Safir" Tokhi|
|Support||Edward "EDward" Abgaryan|
ROCCAT had to completely rebuild their roster this offseason, and while they didn’t put together the next “super team”, they certainly could have done worse. Their weak point is clearly in the jungle, as Airwaks has never looked great. However, the bottom lane of Safir (formerly Jebus) and EDward should be able to carry at least a few games, and Betsy has shown he at least needs to be respected in the mid lane. Fredy122 has seen his stock fall quite a bit, but was known as one of the better top laners in Europe not all that long ago. In the end, I don’t expect this to be a good team, but they should at least be good enough for the #8 spot.
|Top Lane||Martin "Wunderwear" Hansen|
|Jungle||Jonas "Trashy" Anderson|
|Mid Lane||Chres "Sencux" Laursen|
|AD Carry||Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup|
|Support||Nicolai "Nisbeth" Nisbeth|
Opinions on Splyce seem to be divided, and understandably so. There is certainly talent on the roster, and the solo lanes in particular might surprise some people. With that said, I’m in the camp that has their doubts about this team’s true capabilities. All except Trashy were part of Dignitas.EU, the team that just barely beat mousesports 3-2 to win their LCS spot. It’s certainly not impossible that Splyce could place as high as fifth, but I believe that would be over-achieving for them. Of course, getting the chance to hone their skills in the LCS could be the boost they need to be a playoff-caliber team.
|Top Lane||Peter "Atom" Thomsen|
|Jungle||Tri Tin "k0u" Lam|
|Mid Lane||Isaac "xPepii" Flores|
|AD Carry||Adrián "Adryh" Pérez|
|Support||Oskar "G0DFRED" Lundstörm|
I have a personal history of over-rating Giants Gaming, so it’s possible that trend could be continuing here. However, I believe that k0u should be a decent upgrade over Fr3deric in the jungle, and if Atom is even simply reliable in the top lane, he should be better for the team than Werlyb was. xPepii is a star in the mid lane, and the bottom lane should, at the very least, not get destroyed by the top teams. The team’s new and improved organizational structure should also benefit the players. With that said, it’s still likely going to be up to xPepii to carry most of their games, and a one-dimensional play style has been the doom of better teams. Giants should have enough talent and support to make the playoffs (especially considering they did so last split with an arguably weaker roster), but I don’t anticipate much more than that from them.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our League of Legends Game Page.