LEC 2022 Spring Split Playoffs: First Round Analysis
The LEC’s postseason is finally here. Each team has completed 18 maps, and the final six that have made it to the playoffs will begin their matches starting Friday. We take a look at the matchups and analyze which teams could have a potential advantage going into the next round of the playoffs.
Rogue vs Misfits Gaming
Let’s start with a match between Rogue and Misfits. One against three. The best in the LEC this season against one of the most improved teams in the league. Rogue have had a terrific season in spring so far. They won their last two games of the regular season to move to the top of the standings with a 14-4 record. Rogue have been one of the most consistent teams in the LEC for a few splits now, and that is testament to their depth and skill.
This season, Rogue have had three players with a KDA of over 6. That is incredible because all three of those players are laners, which means the path to the opposition nexus has not been blocked. Over in the bottom lane, Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos has the highest kill rate, producing 4.94 kills, 1.61 deaths and 5.83 assists at a KDA of 6.69 with a creep score of 307.33, the highest CS in his team.
The most efficient player, though, has been mid laner Emil “Larssen” Larsson, who has been in sprightly touch right through this season. He has a kill participation rate of over 10, with 4.28 kills, 1.61 deaths and 6.94 assists per map at a KDA of 6.97. These numbers are crucial to understand exactly why Rogue have dominated the offensive part of their matches, both in the mid as well as the end game.
Andre “Odoamne” Pascu has been arguably Rogue’s best player. For a top laner to have a K/D ratio of close to 2 is exceptional, and he has proved his worth by just staying incredibly solid in the top lane. He has 2.61 kills and 1.33 deaths with 5.94 assists at a KDA of 6.42. From a matchup standpoint, it is hard to see exactly how Misfits will match up with these three in the lanes.
Misfits have a roster that has undergone several changes since 2021. While they would disagree, it is a fair case to make that Misfits have overachieved this season. They finished with a 12-6 record in the regular season to leap past G2 and into third position on the standings.
Vincent “Vetheo” Berrie has probably been the best mid laner in the LEC this season, at least from a kill rate standpoint. He has generated 5.44 kills, 2 deaths and 6.33 assists per map at a KDA of 5.89 and a creep score of 305.22. In Misfits, he has the highest kill rate, lowest death rate, highest KDA and highest creep score. In fact, he is leading the LEC in kills this season. The next highest is Rogue’s Comp. That will be the battle to keep a watchful eye on as team fights break out for elemental dragons.
“It’s insanely competitive when it comes to making Worlds,” Misfits’ Director of Gaming Europe Martin “Deficio” Lynge told Inven Global. “But I think we’ll only get better as a team. I think it’s a natural growth pattern with the young players we have. I think we have insane coaches when it comes to improving in-game. I think we have a really strong setup outside of the game as well to solve any conflicts and work with people outside of the game. I think, ultimately, if we continue to improve, as we should, I see us competing as one of the top teams for that Worlds spot.”
The matchup will plausibly be between Vetheo, because of his proximity to the rest of the lanes as a mid laner, against the might of Rogue’s three-pronged offensive core across all the lanes. Even though Misfits are not entirely reliant on Vetheo, he will have to play a crucial role again if they are to have any chance against one of the best in Europe.
Fnatic vs G2 Esports
This could be the blockbuster fixture of the first round of the playoffs. Fnatic, despite losing their core roster, have come together quickly and made their way up to second on the regular season standings while G2 Esports have also made significant, albeit subtle, progress up into the top four.
Fnatic seem to have a bit more offensive firepower when compared to G2, who seem to have found some increased production on account of strong performances across their lanes, just like Rogue.
“I think no team has an idea how to rotate around the map past 15 minutes,” Marek “Humanoid” Brázd said. “And usually, it’s pretty free to gain really big advantages, unless you’re pretty far behind. But I think if we are even, it’s pretty easy for us to win the game from like 15-20 minutes. Team fights are usually about personal skill. So there’s not really that much you can do as a team to win team fights, because it just depends on mechanics a lot. Which is I guess why we are winning a lot of team fights.”
For Fnatic, only their support player has a kill rate of below 3 per map, indicative of their depth and class across almost all positions of Summoner’s Rift this season. As you would expect, they have been led in an offensive capacity by their bot laner Elias “Upset” Lipp, who has produced simply sensational numbers of 4.44 kills, 0.61 deaths and 5.67 assists at a startling KDA of 16.55 with a creep score of 306.33 and a CSPM of 9.68.
To have a kill participation rate of over 10 (of which almost half of that are kills) and a death rate of under one per map certainly creates a point of differentiation for any team. Upset has been aided by proper support in the top and mid lanes as well as in the jungle, which usually resulted in dominance in team fights. Fnatic will not veer away from their preference for staying aggressive, similar to Edward Gaming last year or even Top Esports in 2020 in the LPL. G2 will need to find a way to stay abreast with that level of offensive dominance.
Who could they rely on for that? Well, for starters, all three lanes have a kill rate of over three per map, which is a commendable achievement. That aggressive response could be one way G2 opt to counter Fnatic and Upset.
Germany’s Sergen “BrokenBlade” Celik has been sensational in the top lane, with 3.72 kills and just 2.5 deaths. He also has a creep score of 280.33. In a matchup, man for man, player for player, G2 are not too far behind Fnatic. Upset seems to provide a telling difference for Fnatic, but if Victor “Flakked” Lirola can win a few one-on-one battles against him in the bottom lane, this could be closer than many suspect.
Excel vs Vitality
Nothing separated these two teams after the regular season. Excel finished fifth while Vitality had to settle for sixth, but they both had a regular season record of 9-9. Mad Lions finished with three straight wins to pile on the pressure on Vitality but a win in their final round ensured progress into the playoffs.
If we’re being critical, it’s safe to say that Vitality have underperformed for the level of skill in their roster. The franchise made some shrewd offseason acquisitions to bolster the team across almost all positions but they suffered a dip in form towards the end of the season. Jungler Oskar “SelfMade”Boderek had the team’s highest kill rate after the regular season, with 3.33 kills but he also had 3.28 deaths and 5.11 assists at a KDA of 2.58.
Vitality might need to step up their offensive production across the mid and bot lanes because even if they progress, there is a high chance of facing a team with better lane penetration for team fights.
Luka “Perkz” Perkovic has made the move to Vitality after a long stint with G2. In the middle lane, Perkz has the advantage of experience over his counterpart, but he has not had a strong season to date as evident from his overall returns of 3.11 kills, 2.78 deaths and 4.67 assists at a KDA of 2.8. That is not a KDA becoming of one of the strongest mid laners in Europe.
Excel have a strong differentiator in the bottom lane. Patrik “Patrik” Jiru has been in exceptional form, at least from a kill production perspective. He has produced 4.33 kills, 2.44 deaths and 4.78 assists at a KDA of 3.73 and a team-leading creep score of 300. He will have support from various other avenues as well but Excel will be heavily reliant on his production in order to stand a chance against a team that can produce from almost all areas.
Excel dominate the matchup, on paper, in the bottom lane but Vitality have the advantage in most other areas. It could come down to each team’s proficiency in team fights, getting to soul point early and then protecting against the counter-attack, either through a quadra or penta kill or even a stolen baron. We do feel that Vitality should be the one to back because they have a little more depth across positions, as well as more firepower.