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Good lord, where has the time gone? One moment we were lamenting on how we could ever make it to 2022, and now the League of Legends European Championship 2022 Spring Season has already concluded its Week 6 of games. Two more weeks and it’s playoffs calling. Time for Europe’s finest to put the pedal to the metal!
With Rogue already locking in their spot in playoffs, five more teams are now vying for the remaining slot, with Fnatic, G2 Esports and Misfits Gaming looking like the clear frontrunners at the moment. This means Week 7 and 8 will provide long-time fans a familiar scenario: Another power struggle for the final playoffs spots.
As the LEC approaches the Spring playoffs, Upcomer’s staff have put their heads together —and tried to avoid butting each other in the process— to give some quick thoughts on the LEC teams and potential MVP candidate.
What are your quick takeaways from LEC 2022 Spring Week 6 going into Week 7?
Aykut “Kots” Sapaz: My main takeaway would be Astralis becoming the gatekeeper of playoffs due to the surprising results of Week 6. The bottom ranked will play four out of five of their matches against teams in the bottom half of the table: MAD, SK, Vitality and BDS. Teams looking to grab the last playoff ticket must face Astralis and rise triumphant, since Astralis can set them back as much as they can help them.
Another thing that grabs my eye is Excel having the chance to make their own luck in Week 7. Against MAD Lions and SK Gaming, two teams that can possibly overtake them, Excel have the chance to strike their opponents’ chances of making playoffs down while securing themselves their first ever playoffs spot and helping Team Vitality secure theirs.
Brieuc “LEC Wooloo” Seguer: Rogue is a good team. I will admit it, I was worrying a bit for Rogue after Week 5 but they’re back on track. I don’t think they’re perfect, but they’re still the most consistent team in the LEC, despite their two losses.
On that topic, my second takeaway would be that the LEC is very unpredictable right now. Each team in the LEC had its shining moments, which is nice. Astralis may only have two wins, but lately they’re very proactive against anyone and manage to make a lot of good early game plays. SK Gaming is on a winning streak now as they manage to win in the late game. Team BDS is the opposite, as they have an impressive early game. All the bottom teams have showed up this split.
The #LEC Spring Season standings after week 6!
— LEC (@LEC) February 19, 2022
E.G “Megalodontus” Kant: My first one is Misfits’ run of form. Rashidat was the first to point out their strength of play in the early weeks, and look where we are now. They are currently tied for second, a five game winning streak, their mid laner Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié’s is on fire and they still have room to grow. Remarkable. Next week they play Fnatic and G2, a good test for the young rabbits as playoffs beckon.
My second is I think realistically we have four teams locked into playoffs now, regardless of maths, and barring catastrophic collapses, two spots remain. MAD Lions and Team Vitality have not convinced me they will have solved their issues, but they had bright spots, while Excel Esports have been looking good in recent weeks. One should not sleep on SK Gaming after their 2-0 week, which included taking down G2, so this means the last two spots will probably go down to the wire. The usual scenario then, for the LEC.
Rashidat Jimoh: I’ve always been a fan of underdog stories, so I never boarded the Vitality super team hype train. However, a part of me expected they’d be in contention for the top three spots by now. This week has forced me to accept the Vitality reality and their battle for playoffs.
My second takeaway is how different G2 can look in each game played. It’s like as Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé constantly changes champions, the team also changes in form. Before this week, I was quite willing to argue that G2 were coming for that top spot. But heading into Week 7, I’m just confused on what to expect from the team.
Which team do you think will surprisingly make LEC 2022 Spring playoffs?
Kots: It’s very tempting to say MAD Lions, given their level of power last year and the way that schedule works for them. Having matches against Excel and Vitality, they do have the chance to prove themselves worthy of showing us that best-of-3 stage monster MAD Lions squad.
But you know who else has the chance to prevail by taking down Excel and Vitality? SK Gaming. Currently tied with the MAD Lions in the seventh spot, they are ahead on the head-to-head. But they have to also face big bads of LEC, Rogue and Misfits Gaming. If they can pull this off, this will be a miracle run worth talking about for a very, very long time.
I say this as a MAD Lions fan, I would bet my bottom dollar that SK is going to finish better than them.
Wooloo: I would love to be spicy here but I’m not expecting any surprises. I believe that the current top 6 will make playoffs. However, if one of the current bottom four teams makes it, I believe it will be MAD Lions. We tend to be harsh on teams when they have an 0-2 weekend, but they face Rogue and Misfits Gaming.
MAD Lions are also one of the early game teams. They average a plus-680 gold lead at 15 minutes. Now that they will have an easier schedule, if they manage to snowball those leads, they could end the regular season on a good note. If they choke, I can see the opposite happening.
Megalodontus: It’s so tempting to say yes to Excel Esports locking in their spot. They’ve performed convincingly in recent matches and yet I just…can’t bring myself to invest my already short supply of confidence into them.
I’m of two minds on either MAD Lions or Team Vitality making it through and based on Week 6 alone…I’m going to say MAD Lions. It’s unthinkable to me that the LEC’s defending champions would not make it. I’ve been critical of them, but I still hold a modicum of hope they will do what they usually do where they ramp up hard towards playoffs. They’ve no doubt had a difficult two weeks and they need to step it up, but their recent performances against Rogue and Misfits had glimpses of potential of what this team can achieve, final results notwithstanding.
If they can somehow find a workaround and win their next game against Astralis, it could be the turnaround they desperately need.
Jimoh: I know most people would probably already have MAD Lions missing the playoffs, but I think they’ll scale through. However, if they don’t make drastic gameplay and even draft changes from Week 7 then it becomes harder. Even though MAD lost two of their star players, I still believe Javier “Elyoya” Parades and Norman “Kaiser” can both help the team in the coming weeks. Moreover, four out of their five remaining games are against teams in fifth place and below.
One of MAD’s biggest problems in Week 6, especially against Rogue, was their draft. They let Rogue run a similar composition to SK Gaming and failed to have an answer for it. Also, they were unable to deal with Vetheo’s Corki in the Misfits game. With a 2-0 in Week 7, MAD will keep their playoffs hope alive.
Which team do you think surprisingly won’t?
Kots: With four important matches next week regarding this question, it’s hard to give a concise answer as everyone has a chance this split. The odds, while not great for many, are against MAD Lions as they end Week 6 with a four game loss streak. They have an easier schedule in Week 7 compared to their main opponents SK Gaming and Vitality, but it’s obvious that they have problems that require time to fix, and time is in short supply for the champions of the last year.
I also want to say that if they do stand victorious in their trial by fire, they do have a considerable chance to lift the trophy again. One of MAD Lions’ strengths is their unbreakable mental resolve, which allowed them to reverse sweep Rogue in the finals of Spring Split last year.
Wooloo: Well I think that the teams most likely not to make playoffs are the current bottom four teams, so yes this includes MAD Lions, but also SK Gaming, Astralis and Team BDS. I actually believe that Astralis is the most proactive of them, but they don’t have enough wins to make it.
It’s possible that Team Vitality won’t make it, but when they’re under a lot of pressure it seems they can pick things up, at least in game. We’ve seen them come back against both Team BDS and Astralis recently. Yes not the best teams, but playing with a deficit is always harder. Against Rogue they did falter in the late game, but it was a nice match against the best team in the LEC. They lost the game because they got engaged on while Alphari was splitpushing. It was a good macro play, but they didn’t respect Rogue’s ability to go in. Vitality with a bit more discipline can be scary.
They won early game but we showed discipline in fullclearing and outscaling 👍
— selfmade (@selfmade_LoL) February 18, 2022
Megalodontus: Golly, I really want to say Excel here too. I really do. Weird how this works, huh? Coming into 2022, I thought their playoff dreams were well, just that. But then they broke Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle out of prison and replaced Henk “Advienne” Reijenga, and now they’re looking solid.
However, their Week 8 fixture is a nightmare with Rogue, Fnatic and G2 in the cards. In the past, Excel almost always misses playoffs on the final week, and mostly it was due to FC Schalke 04 denying them. But now that they’re gone, can Excel really take advantage of this? I’m not sure, honestly.
If I look at the form of teams from Week 6, I’d almost say Vitality are not going to make it. But I can’t help but think Excel will somehow repeat history. To Excel I say: Prove me wrong!
Jimoh: I really want to say Vitality, but truthfully they have enough clutch players to make it to playoffs. Aside from the bottom three teams, I’ll add Excel to the list even though they currently sit in fifth place. My reason here is simply because I think their last three fixtures are quite tough. They face Rogue, G2 and Fnatic in super week. If they lose these games and teams around them win theirs, it can complicate matters. However, wins against SK and MAD in Week 7 will put them in a very good position for playoffs.
If you had to pick the LEC MVP of the 2022 Spring season now, who would it be?
Kots: We don’t often fully realize some of the stuff professional players go through. Coming to an LEC team that did not even qualify out of Groups from one of the greatest teams of Korea, nay, the world. Taking the language barrier into his hands and fixing it. All the while having to fill the big shoes of Inspired, the former LEC MVP. Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong went through all this in his first split and his success has shown in Rogue’s ranking and score.
The ever-present problem of “Rogue Time” is now, to many fans’ surprise, fixed. No one is entirely sure if the fix was the addition of new players or the leaving of the old, but one thing is for sure: Rogue are looking like a Worlds competent team with Malrang in the jungle.
Misfit’s mid laner Vetheo would be a close second.
Wooloo: This isn’t the easiest question because there is always debate whether the LEC MVP should be the best LEC player or the one that was most valuable for his team. Personally I believe it should be the best LEC player because the second scenario will reward or punish you depending on where you play. I think that Larssen is the best player in the LEC right now, so I’d give it to him.
Megalodontus: If I had to pick one now, I’d probably say Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov, though it’s close with Vetheo and maybe Malrang. I think Hylissang has done everything people expected of him, with his magnetic Pyke hooks, being an utter nuisance to play against and much, much more this Spring season. Hylissang has even managed to play Zilean like an engage champion!
The one thing we all tend to associate Hylissang with is the number of deaths he tends to have due to how he leads Fnatic forward. Interestingly enough, he’s averaging 2.62 deaths per game at the moment, which is the third lowest of all LEC supports. This is in stark contrast to 2021, though admittedly, Fnatic did have their struggles then. If this is the form he’s already showing before playoffs, I feel like we have yet to see what else the ‘The Professor’ has up his sleeves.
HYLIPYKE GG GO NEXT pic.twitter.com/GeDHxa7OBE
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) February 19, 2022
Jimoh: It’s hard to choose one player for LEC MVP because several have played well this season. Also, I’d like to see how the super week goes before picking anybody. However, my decision for the LEC MVP of the season now will be Misfits Vetheo. Vetheo has had tremendous growth from the last season to this one. He has gone from being a Zoe one-trick, landing those deadly bubbles, to being a solid carry for his team. Misfits have played far better when Vetheo is ahead and able to influence the game.
Additionally, I also think the entire Rogue roster deserve a shoutout and can also be MVPs. They currently sit at the top of the LEC standings and each member of the roster has contributed to their success so far.