The European League of Legends championship entered the last stage of the playoffs this week as the top 3 teams of the playoff clashed. Rogue made history by eliminating G2 Esports and reaching the final. There, however, they were unable to put MAD Lions down and lost in a dramatic reverse sweep.
The LEC 2021 Spring Playoff came to an end with a pair of showdowns between the three best teams in Europe. After last week’s series of upsets, G2 would once more have to defend their title with a lower bracket run. Would this be the season a new team gets the LEC title?
G2 Esports Falter at The Last Step Before Finals
The 2020 summer champions had a good start against Rogue, their biggest rival this season. Despite falling slightly behind early on, their heavily-scaling composition survived the early game and staved off an ocean soul before winning the game with a 4-1 fight around the 34-minute mark.
However, Rogue learned from that and did not let their opponents use such drafts for the rest of the series. They remained stronger in the early game. They won the second game, after an early advantage for their carries transitioned into a powerful mid-game. Game three had an explosive beginning, but as team fights started, Rogue seemed to have G2’s number, eventually taking the baron, breaking into the enemy base and ending the game shortly afterwards.
With their playoff run on the line, the favorites took an early first blood in the next game, but their opponents won a clutch skirmish 7 minutes in and took three kills. Rogue continued extending their lead and once more used the Baron to break in the G2 base, ending the game after a long siege and avenged their losses during the season in the best way possible: in the playoffs.
This is Rogue’s first LEC final and the first one G2 will be missing since entering the European pro scene. With neither of Europe’s most decorated teams making it to the final round, we will see only the fourth different team take the LEC crown. But who?
Nerve Racking Final Ends in MAD Reverse Sweep
The grand final saw the rematch of that first round series between Rogue and MAD Lions. Rogue got first blood in the series: despite a rocky beginning, they won a clutch fight near the third dragon. This gave their teamfighting-oriented composition the lead and with clean execution, they took the win.
Things started well for Rogue in Game 2, but MAD hit back hard after a big team fight 23 minutes in gave them the first Baron. The game continued to be interesting and the Lions were on the verge of winning, before a big fight for the Ocean soul went against them. With two kills and a wave mid, Rogue committed to the Nexus and ended the game just as the respawns were coming to get to match point.
Yet, when it was do or die for the Lions, they struck back. Despite a difficult start to Game 3, the team slugged it out in the mid-game, led by İrfan Berk "Armut" Tükek on Wukong. For a while, Rogue had the lead and even got the first Baron, but MAD rallied and won a series of team fights to take their first win. Emboldened by the win, they would start strong in the next game as well, gradually extending their lead with several mid-game team fights until they got a 4-0 fight diving in the Rogue base 23 minutes in to bring us to Silver Scrapes and a game 5.
Rogue started strong in the decisive game, determined not to let victory slip away. Several active calls gave them an early advantage in all three games and a gold lead: reaching 5K before the 15-minute mark. Yet despite an early baron going their way, they were unable to press their advantage and the Lions came back with a series of teamfights, eventually acing Rogue after splitting them near the Baron to complete the reverse sweep.
It was a heartbreaking loss for Rogue, who came so close to victory in two games, but in the end, MAD’s resilience and their amazing top and mid-game play secured them the victory.
MAD Lions earned their LEC title. They have put their name alongside the only three other teams to ever win the European title: Fnatic, Alliance and G2 Esports. The next challenge is coming soon, as they will go to the Mid-Season Invitational to prove their mettle on the world stage.
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The LEC will continue in the summer. However, European pro LoL fans can also follow the EU Masters main event that stats on April 14th. For more League of Legends news and analysis, you can follow our coverage. Make sure to also follow our Facebook page and join us on Discord.