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The League of Legends European Championship 2021 summer split kicks off on June 11. After an offseason filled with surprise role swaps, and the introduction of rookies and roster changes, LEC fans are definitely in for a spicy summer split. Unlike the LCS, the LEC summer split provides a clean slate for every team. This means that their spring split results do not count in summer.
Following this rule, any team hoping to qualify for Worlds must first make the playoffs. With the stakes higher than ever, a lot of players in the LEC will be looking to prove themselves. The players who role swapped will want to quickly adapt to their new roles. Meanwhile, the rookies who joined will be eager to shed off that tag. In the end, every LEC player is looking to help their team qualify for Worlds and possibly win the LEC summer playoffs.
There are a lot of players to keep an eye on during the split, however. The five players below stand out for various reasons.
5. Martin “Wunder” Hansen (G2 Esports)
Not many people would expect G2’s Wunder on this list but the 22-year-old Danish top laner could determine how G2 Esports’ season goes. While their AD Carry Martins “Rekkles” Larsson had a fantastic spring split, his performance alone could not guarantee G2 a place in the spring playoff finals. Throughout the 2021 LEC spring split, Wunder struggled in certain games and went missing in crucial team fights. He finished spring with the second most deaths for a LEC top laner. While he maintained an impressive K/D/A and assist tally, Wunder certainly will want to improve heading into the split.
Currently, Wunder has been playing a lot of Lee Sin, Jayce and Rumble top, which fits into the meta. After missing out on the LEC spring split trophy for the first time in a long while, G2 will be determined for that to not happen in summer. And Wunder will be eager to get back on top as the best top laner in the LEC, widening the gap between him and the other contenders.
4. Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau (Fnatic)
Bwipo heads into the LEC summer split with a lot to prove; not just to himself but to the LEC community. After three years of being Fnatic’s top laner, Bwipo begins a new journey with the team as their jungler. The decision to make Bwipo the new jungler of Fnatic came as a shock to many in the LEC community. However, given the experience and champion pool that Bwipo has, he’s one player to bet on to excel there.
Over the years, and especially in spring split, a lot of fans criticized Bwipo’s top lane playstyle. His aggressive nature didn’t really fit well with the meta or the team’s game style. It always felt like he and Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov were reading a different strategy book than the rest of the roster.
The switch to jungle looks like a perfect fit for the 22-year-old Belgian. However, he must only play a new role but lead the team in-game in a crucial summer split.
3. Jesse “Jesiz” Le (SK Gaming)
Today we are announcing a few changes to our #LEC Roster for the 2021 Summer Split.
— SK Gaming (@SKGaming) May 29, 2021
SK Gaming ended the offseason with some of the most disappointing changes. From swapping their best player in spring to moving their head coach to support, SK’s changes see them placed at the bottom of our rankings. Already, most eyes will be on Erik “Treatz” Wessen and his new role as SK’s jungler. However, Jesiz, who replaces Treatz in support, is a must-watch.
Jesiz was previously the head coach of SK and played at the 2017 Worlds for Fnatic. The 24-year-old Danish support made it clear that he has no intention of returning to professional play. He only returned at players’ requests and because of his confidence that he can still perform on the LEC level. From coaching SK, Jesiz is now faced with the challenge of playing in a lane that was part of their win conditions in spring.
2. Oksar “Selfmade” Boderek (Vitality)
Selfmade’s exit from Fnatic came as a shock to many in the League community. The 21-year-old Polish player is regarded as one of the best junglers in the LEC. However, things have not worked out for him. He joined Vitality in one of the most hyped roster moves of the summer split. Selfmade is known for his aggressive playstyle and for the fact that he doesn’t shy away from carry champions. According to Oracle’s Elixir, he finished within the top four of most charts for LEC junglers, with the highest creep score difference in early games.
He begins the split with a fresh start and the opportunity to play with a like-minded Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov. Perhaps, with all these, Selfmade is now in an environment to better succeed. While Vitality are still not favorites to win it all, they could cause upsets with Selfmade playing a major role.
1. Adam “Adam” Maanane (Fnatic)
Our first ten years in League of Legends ends. Our next ten begins.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) May 25, 2021
Fnatic’s new top laner is one player to watch closely during the summer split. The former Karmine Corp player proved himself in the LFL as the best top laner in the spring split. Adam finished the LFL regular spring split with the highest kills for a top laner and the best Kill/Death/Assist ratio. He also boasts an impressive early game performance, especially in gold difference and first blood rate.
Moreover, Adam has shown that he can carry on the Renekton if needed. The addition of Adam in Fnatic’s roster is another huge gamble in a crucial split. Nevertheless, he is surrounded by four extremely experienced players who will show him the ropes where needed. With Bwipo moving into the jungle role, it will be interesting to see how they form a jungle-top synergy.
After a disappointing fifth-place finish to the spring split, Fnatic decided to switch things up with their roster. Adam’s introduction to the team may just be the answer they need. His presence and play style could provide more stability around that top lane. However, a rookie stepping into a LEC team, such as Fnatic, has big shoes to fill and huge expectations to meet.
Jimoh Rashidat is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience. She covers FIFA, League of Legends and general gaming content.