The League of Legends European Championship (LEC), the premier home of competitive League in Europe, is back for another season. An offseason filled with ground-shattering roster moves has set the league up for an unprecedented 2022 season. While the league has most notably felt the effects of the offseason at the top of our table—with teams like Vitality, Fnatic, and G2 Esports, in particular, all sporting new looks going into the new year—the sweeping changes of the 2021 offseason have rippled throughout the entire LEC.
The LEC has gotten noticeably weaker across the board, with several top players, such as Rekkles, Inspired, and Mikyx, all finding themselves without a home in the LEC this season. But although some of the scene’s biggest names have moved on, hungry new faces and proven superstars alike will surely be gunning for a championship.
With the beginning of the new season in mind, we asked our team of League writers to rank the teams of the LEC ahead of the 2022 season. Here are our LEC power rankings heading into a new season of pro European League.
On the bottom looking up: SK Gaming, Astralis
Though they may be starting the year at the bottom of our power rankings, we have a lot of hope for both SK Gaming and Astralis. Both teams had their highs and lows throughout the 2021 LEC regular season, but extensive changes to their rosters may prove fruitful for their performances this year, though we won’t know for certain until these new rosters step onto the stage.
Dajor and Kobbe join Astralis’ 2022 Spring Split lineup, entering the team from the EU Academy scene and Misfits, respectively. Bringing Kobbe into the Astralis squad offers the team’s many fresh faces the opportunity to learn from a seasoned veteran of competitive League. Dajor has received great praise from Astralis in his short time being signed, seeming to be the organization’s hope for their next big prospect and the future of the LEC.
SK’s roster looks quite different from what we saw a few months ago, bringing about the potential for us to see a whole new side of an organization that began to slide when their momentum picked up. Joining the team are Gilius, who’s entering as a veteran of competitive League, and the debuting rookie, Sertuss, who’s taking control of the team’s mid lane. Treatz has role-swapped back to support after some time as the team’s jungler and is looking to re-stabilize the team whose cracks began to show as the year came to an end.
Astralis and SK have a lot to prove to the rest of the LEC and their fans, but the changes made to their rosters show the potential for them to step up to the challenge—and the LEC is certainly full of challenges for them this year.
Looking to make a statement: Team BDS, Excel Esports
While BDS and Excel don’t necessarily have the same firepower as other teams at the top of our table, they do have respectable pieces that could drive them into the LEC playoffs if they play to their respective ceilings. For Excel, young players like Advienne and Markoon will likely continue to bear the torch for the team’s up-and-coming core, while BDS sports promising sophomores in mid laner Nuclearint and reigning LEC Rookie of the Split Adam.
If tickets to the playoffs end up coming their way as a result of their development, then so be it, but postseason success shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all for these two squads. If anything, sustainable growth should be the top priority for both of these rising squads. It’s a longshot that they’re able to get past top-tier teams like MAD Lions, Fnatic, and others in their current state. But if BDS and Excel can outpace other relatively young, upstart teams in the LEC over the course of the next eight months, late season success wouldn’t be too far out of the realm of possibility.
Playoff contenders: Rogue, Misfits
Rogue is coping with some significant departures. LEC MVP Inspired is now an Evil Genius in North America, and Hans sama traded Trymbi for CoreJJ when he joined Team Liquid this past offseason. All that being said, Odoamne and Larssen were at certain points in the MVP discussion in their own right, and ADC Comp and jungler Malrang have potential at only 20 and 21 years old, respectively. Malrang got stage time for the best team in the esport over the last few years in DWG KIA. The bottom lane will have some question marks, and Malrang might need time to adjust to the region and his teammates, but this is still a talented roster.
Misfits were so close last year. But win streaks and taking series to five games only count in horseshoes and hand grenades. At least we think that’s how the saying goes. What’s unfortunate for Misfits is that last year came a year too late, and instead of getting the band back together for another run at an LEC title with a now considerably weaker top four, Razork bet on himself and left to join Fnatic, while Kobbe and Vander followed suit in different directions. HiRit has a high ceiling in the top lane, and Vetheo will only add more experience to his gameplay, but the rest of the roster is unproven at the highest level. It has a ton of upside with an aggressive jungler in Shlatan and solo queue god support Mersa, but sticking in the LEC is a tall, tall task.
Back on the rebound: G2 Esports, MAD Lions
For many G2 Esports fans, this upcoming spring might be uncharted territory after witnessing the last few seasons of dominance during their reign over Europe. But now that the crown has completely fallen away, one of the most successful Western teams in League history has a chance to build a new legacy in 2022 with a rookie bottom lane, a new top laner, and a familiar jungle-mid duo.
Many eyes will be watching their newest members, Flakked and Targamas. The former is making his LEC debut while the latter is finally making a return to the league after spending four years away, which means they’ll need to adjust quickly to a highly elevated level of play while also representing one of the biggest organizations in Europe. They have two of the best players in the region to learn from with Jankos and Caps looking for a return to their all-star forms. They also have a steady top lane presence in Broken Blade, who had some flashes of brilliance during his time with Schalke 04. Overall, the army’s blades need some sharpening before they can challenge for the throne, but they have plenty of time to hone themselves for battle.
Similarly, MAD Lions have gone from league favorites to uncertainty following the loss of Humanoid and Carzzy, who were two essential pieces in their run to back-to-back LEC championships. They too will be fielding two new rookies with Reeker and Unforgiven jumping into the LEC from their time in the Prime League in Germany. The team will need to regroup and help their cubs grow before they can hope to climb back to the top of Pride Rock. Thankfully for MAD fans, the trio of Armut, Elyoya, and Kaiser should be enough to lead this team to greater horizons.
Grand Final favorites: Team Vitality, Fnatic
It’s no secret that Team Vitality wants to become one of Europe’s powerhouses and has chosen the best players to reach that goal. The names on everyone’s lips are undoubtedly Perkz and Alphari, the legendary mid and top laner who returned from overseas to reclaim the throne. After two seasons of struggles, both players are in need of redemption and want to seek it in their home region. A perfect addition to this already stellar lineup is Carzzy. From lion cub to king of Europe, the ADC will not give up his crown without fighting. Carzzy will be playing in the bot lane alongside Labrov, who was already part of Vitality along with Selfmade.
This stellar team is certainly worthy of the powerhouse name, but they will have to work cohesively to bring home the crown, or they will succumb under the weight of their own talents and expectations that Europe is placing on their shoulders.
If Vitality is hungry for the crown, Fnatic are ravenous for victory. Fnatic is undoubtedly one of Europe’s powerhouse, but its only World Championship trophy is long gone now, and more than three years have now passed since they were last on the top of Europe.
Looking ahead to 2022, however, Fnatic has picked up all the pieces and created one of the favorites for victory. The team kept the bottom lane duo of Upset and Hylissang since both performed well throughout 2021. In particular, Upset had to step up to fill the position once dominated by Rekkles. Fortunately, he has succeeded in doing so.
Besides the duo in bot lane, the whole Fnatic roster went through heavy changes. In the top lane, the team acquired former G2 top laner and Worlds finalist Wunder. For the jungle, Fnatic invested in one of the youngest talents Europe has to offer, Razork. Closing the lineup is none other than LEC champion and former MAD Lions mid laner Humanoid, whose arrival will strengthen the team by providing a strong and reliable presence in the mid lane.
Both Vitality and Fnatic have the talent and experience to lift the LEC trophy of the first split of 2022. Tune at 2pm CT on the Lolesports website to watch the first clash between these two titans.