The League of Legends European Championship makes its triumphant return for the Summer Split this Friday, June 7. G2 Esports will set the pace for the rest of the league following their historic victory at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational, and the pressure is on for the rest of Europe to keep up with the best team in the world.
G2 enters the Summer Split as the kings of a hill with 45 rabid dogs waiting for them at the bottom. Most roster moves in the LEC offseason fell on low-tier teams like Excel Esports and Rogue, save for Fnatic’s addition of Daniel “Dan” Hockley to complete a six-man roster, but each player will be hungrier than ever to usurp the throne.
Europe has become a frenzied battlefield, war-torn by G2’s dominant run in Spring. There’s not a soul that won’t jump at the chance for redemption, but you should be watching these six players closely this split.
1. Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen (Fnatic)
- Following a disappointing third place finish for Fnatic in Spring, Broxah enters Summer in the hot seat. The weight of community backlash around the team’s rocky performance and competing with Dan for his starting spot will be on his shoulders. Keep an eye out for consistent synergy between him and solo laners Tim ‘Nemesis’ Lipovšek and Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau.
2. Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro (Vitality)
- Compared to his first split with Vitality in Spring 2018, Jiizuke had a surprisingly uninspiring Summer split. Now, a lackluster performance from Jiizuke really just means he wasn’t constantly 1v9, but he needs to return to his hard-carrying self if Vitality want to make it to finals.
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3. Patrik “Patrik” Jírů (Origen)
- One of the reasons people were excited about Patrik joining Origen was that the veterans on the team would be able to cultivate him and help him realize his true potential. Patrik knows more than anyone that his rookie days are over, but as bot lane’s importance continues to grow with the meta, he’ll need to become a reliable carry for OG.
4. Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss (Excel)
- Between being kicked from G2 and forced to play in the German national league, Hjarnan is out to prove that he can be a top ADC and not just a Heimerdinger one-trick. Getting revenge against his old team would be icing on the cake, but first he’ll need to help Excel make playoffs.
5. Paul “sOAZ” Boyer (Misfits)
- The Misfits super-team experiment crashed and burned last split, but if there’s anyone who can bounce back after something like this it would be sOAZ. It’s time for him to put his eight years of experience to the test. sOAZ’s leadership and clutch play will be crucial to fix Misfits’ sinking ship.
6. Kim “Trick” Gang-yun (FC Schalke 04)
- During his stint with G2, Trick was the best jungler in Europe, period. The former EU LCS MVP will have to show up huge if he wants to make up for his poor performance in the LCK over the last year and a half.
The LEC starts Friday, June 7 with G2 Esports playing Splyce at 9 a.m. PDT.