Despite all the roster changes, the top 3 of the 2022 LEC Summer Split might just retain their spots.
The LEC 2023 Winter Season is less than two weeks away and after a very hectic preseason, fans are getting ready to see Europe’s best teams in action. The Kickoff event next week will give us another opportunity to gauge everyone’s shape, but at the end of the day, a split is a marathon and not a sprint - at least for the teams who make the top 8 after the first stage and proceed to the winter split proper.
Still, so far there appear to be three groups of teams - the clear favorites, the dark horses, and the likely underdogs. Here is our best guess of where the teams will likely be standing at the end of the split:
Bringing up the Rear
10. SK Gaming
8. Team BDS
7 Team Heretics
With several low-ranking teams making big changes to their rosters, it’s anyone’s guess who will end up where in the lower half of the ranking, especially as two of those teams will be eliminated after the first round robin. Still, we lean towards putting SK Gaming in last place. While they, Astralis and Team BDS are all rebuilding their rosters, it’s the German team that might be operating with the weakest of the three roster. Team BDS has opted to take most of the academy roster that almost won the Summer’s EU Masters and the synergy they have there is why we tentatively put them over Astralis in 8th place.
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For our money, the team most likely to surprise us is the very uncertain Team Heretics squad, recruiting probably the greatest European jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski, several new players and a veteran top laner from the LJL known for bending the meta. However, considering the other roosters, we lean towards putting them just on the cusp of making the Top 6.
The Dark Horses
6. MAD Lions
5. Excel Esports
4. Team Vitality
In the middle of the table we have three teams that could either be amazing or crash and burn - and either of these are fairly likely. MAD Lions have truly bet on what could be one of the most explosive duos this spring, pairing the aggressive support Zdravets "Hylissang" Galabov with an equally gung-ho ADC in Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság. While the team’s mid and jungle should prove to be fairly reliable, the sidelines can be quite crazy.
After finally making playoffs and just missing Worlds, Excel Esports have made a big change in their roster, rebuilding it around AD Carry Patrik "Patrik" Jírů. Boasting top-tier talent in the top and mid lane and an up and coming support player, Excel is making a bid to the top. One thing we want to see is how well jungler Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir will work on a team with high expectations.
Team Vitality, meanwhile, has shed its star-studded roster with one exception - Luka "Perkz" Perković. The Croatian mid laner has shown flashes of brilliance but is yet to fully replicate his success from before going to NA. This time, he is paired with two lesser known but supposedly extremely capable import players in the mid and jungle, with a relatively low-economy AD carry in Matúš "Neon" Jakubčík. If Vitality’s gambles pay off, this team could easily break the top 3, but for now we leave them just outside it.
The Top Three
3. G2 Esports
It’s a new version of G2 Esports without the veteran Jankos in the jungle and Carlos "ocelote" Rodríguez Santiago at the helm of the organization. However, they still have Rasmus "Caps" Borregaard Winther, and in the bot lane we will have a reunion of former Misfits Steven “Hans Sama” Liv and Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle. This team should be formidable when all the members click, but we aren’t quite sure they will be at full power just yet.
For us, Fnatic has a leg up on their old rival as they only made changes to the bot lane - and both of them are familiar to the orgazation. Their new support is their former academy player Rúben "Rhuckz" Barbosa, who raised eyebrows during his one-day intervention for Fnatic in the Play-Ins. The return of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson is no doubt a spicy take for the team, but we expect that he will eventually rise to the position.
Finally, Rogue might have changed their name to KOI, but they kept all but one of the team that delivered an amazing playoff finals weekend and then proceeded to have the best showing of all LEC teams at Worlds. While the loss of veteran Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu is signifcant, Mathias "Szygenda" Jensen has had some good showings and seems comfortable both on weak side champions and on carry laners. Meanwhile, the rest of the team has proven its mettle last year, and after we saw his plays at Worlds we want to see if Emil "Larssen" Larsson will keep his top form. For us, KOI is the team that has the best chance of coming on top in the winter split.
One thing's clear, though - it will be a hyped winter with the best players of the LEC eager to take on the competition. If you have forgotten how this looks, perhaps this can remind you:
Read More About the LEC:
- LoL Season 13 Kickoff Event: Format, Livestream & Dates
- G2 Esports Announce League of Legends Team For 2023
- LoL: LEC Winter Split - Start Date, Teams, Livestream & More
The LEC 2023 Winter Season begins on Saturday, January 21st. In the meantime, don't miss the Kickoff event on Tuesday and Wednesday, showcasing the best of the various regions before the new split starts!
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