LEC Playoffs Predictions, Round 1

The six teams that made it to the LEC Playoff will face off this weekend, with the LEC title and four Worlds seeds on the line. Who will rise and who will fall?

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Excel made playoffs again, but can they go further this time? © Riot Games

After eight weeks and eighteen matches, the six best teams of the LEC have advanced to the playoff. This weekend, they take to the Rift in the first round of matches. With two upper bracket series that guarantee their winners a Worlds spot and a lower bracket match that will see either Excel Esports or Fnatic cut their run short, we will have plenty of drama. With four Worlds spots on the line, many teams feel the tickets to North America are within reach. On the other hand, the LEC playoffs have often surprised us, and we will probably see some upsets before it's all over. Still, here are our predictions.

Match 1: Rogue 3-2 MAD Lions

How time change - less than a month ago, Rogue and MAD Lions were our best teams in the LEC, but both of them seemed to miss some steps in last few weeks. Their earlier performance was enough to secure them second and third place at the end of the season, they did not look like they are ready to take on G2 Esports at the end of the season. Still, they will have some time to refocus and practice for the playoff meta.

The big question is what form we will see from both teams. At their best, MAD Lions would take the edge for us, and their teams was nearly universally voted for the LEC top 5, on top of having a map control style should be a good strategy into Rogue's focus on laning dominance. However, the level we saw from the players in the last few weeks has not been that much better and the meta seems to favor Rogue's carries. This could be a very close series or a complete blowout, but I lean towards giving Rogue the nod for a 3-2 match.

Match 2: G2 Esports 3-0 Misfits Gaming

Sure, Misfits Gaming were some of the most successful teams of the last three weeks, but they come as heavy underdogs against G2 Esports. The spring champions scored six wins out of seven games by being a mid-game juggernaut that demolished the best teams of the LEC, while Misfits won the fans over with some amazing comeback victories. In theory, this could be an interesting showdown, but in practice G2 should have all the cards in a best of five series.

During the spring, Misfits were very reliant on their star mid laner Vincent "Vetheo" Berrié and the Frenchman is an amazing player, he does not have nearly as much experience or as rounded a team as his lane opponent. What's more, G2's players seem to all be in good shape, and it is too much to ask for for Misfits to overpower the mid lane against a G2 led by Rasmus "caPs" Winther. Barring something causing G2 to fall out of shape or a catastrophically bad read on the meta, this should be a solid G2 victory, and probably a 3-0.

Match 3: Fnatic 3-1 Excel Esports

Before this year started, we expected Fnatic to be be likely the best team in Europe and definitely a top 3 contender. Meanwhile, after a slow start in Spring Excel Esports came back from a boot camp in Korea with some of the best tactical games in the West, leading many to think they could be a dark horse this season. Sadly, both teams slumped in the secon part of the split and they were both close to not making playoffs until a catastrophic last week for Team Vitality saw both sneak in the top six.

Both of these teams had several bad weeks before rallying just before the finish line, but I would give the advantage to Fnatic. Their players have both experience and skill, and as their AD Carry Elias "Upset" Lipp showed last week, star players can carry games. Excel will have to negate their disadvantage with better picks and bans and good teamfighting, but I do not think this would be enough and expect Fnatic to carry the series 3-1.

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The playoffs begin on Friday, August 26 as Rogue and MAD Lions add another chapter in their by now impressive rivalry. In the meantime, make sure to check our coverage for more LoL news and analysis!