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With Worlds 2022 about to begin, the League of Legends European Championship’s MAD Lions are one of the 24 teams from across the world that are making their way to the biggest event of the year. Every team entering the League of Legends World Championship have the same goal: to stand at the top uncontested and hoist the Season 12 Summoner’s Cup high.

MAD Lions are the fourth seed of the LEC, and have not missed Worlds since 2020.

MAD Lions (LEC) Worlds 2022 starting roster breakdown

Top: İrfan “Armut” Tükek | Signed in November 2020, formerly a member Papara SuperMassive.

Jungle: Javier “Elyoya” Prades | Signed in November 2020, formerly a member of Movistar Riders.

Mid: Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer | Signed in May 2022, formerly a member of Fnatic.

Bot: William “UNFORGIVEN” Nieminen | Signed in November 2019, formerly a member of SK Gaming Prime.

Support: Norman “Kaiser” KaiserSigned in November 2021, formerly a member of MOUZ.

How they got here

After winning back to back LEC titles in 2021, MAD Lions were unable to hold on to their star mid and bot laners. They replaced them with two rookies, UNFORGIVEN and Steven “Reeker” Chen. The change for 2022 did not begin well for MAD Lions as they struggled in the spring split and eventually failed to qualify for playoffs.

Following a disappointing spring split, MAD decided to bid farewell to the rookie midlaner Reeker and sign Fnatic’s Nisqy. This decision completely changed the trajectory of the team as many feared that they would not qualify for Worlds given their spring performance. Nisqy brought in the much needed experience and quality to MAD.

They kicked off the 2022 LEC summer split with dominant wins against Vitality and SK Gaming. They also had one of the best mid-jungle synergy with Elyoya and Nisqy controlling the map.  MAD ended the regular summer split with a second place finish and a first round Playoffs spot; their performance during the regular split earned them four spots on the LEC All-Pro team with their mid laner Nisqy as MVP.

The LEC Playoffs was a much different story for MAD as they failed to win a single best of five series. However, with the LEC allocated four Worlds spots, Misfits loss against G2 was enough to guarantee MAD Lions a ticket to Mexico City for the Play-In stage.

Players to Watch

MAD Lions have a lot of players that can steal the show at Worlds 2022 but the ones to keep an eye on remain Elyoya, Nisqy and UNFORGIVEN; both Elyoya and Nisqy are central to MAD Lions being as proactive as they are on the map, while UNFORGIVEN is crucial to MAD’s team fights. UNFORGIVEN  contributed more than 28% of the team’s damage in the regular summer split and had some of the highest damage stats per minutes among bot lane players in the LEC.

Moreover, throughout the LEC summer split, MAD formed a system that allowed Nisqy move freely from mid lane to advance MAD’s overall map presence. While it did not always work, it was effective whenever it did. Even though we may see a varied playstyle from MAD at Worlds, there is no doubt that these three players will be key if the team is to advance to the main stage and win.

How MAD Lions can succeed at Worlds 2022

MAD Lions find themselves in  a stacked Group B with RNG and DRX. A top one finish will guarantee them an automatic spot in the main stage while a finish in the top four will mean a fight in the knockout stage. For Worlds 2022, MAD must ensure that their top lane does not fall far behind and they protect UNFORGIVEN during team fights. With a star jungler and mid laner to carry them, MAD need to ensure all other lanes are on even terms and use it to their advantage in late game team fights.