LEC 2022 Spring Split Preview: New Faces and Returning Legends

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A new year means a new season of League of Legends European Championships with players returning to the league, new faces coming through the ranks and a new team in the LEC. 2022 is set to be a great year.

League of Legends European Championship 2022 Preview.

It feels like it’s been months since we last saw competitive League of Legends action. While Worlds is now but a distant memory, LEC fans will want to forget the region’s poor run at the event. With just MAD Lions making it out of the group stage, they failed to make it past the first round, losing to DWG KIA 3-0.

MAD Lions – Return of the Kings

After a double title-winning year in 2021, picking up both the Spring and Summer LEC splits, MAD Lions are looking to build on that for 2022. Surprisingly for some, MAD replaced two of their double-title winning players as new mid laner Reeker, and ADC Unforgiven joined the roster. The pair replaced outgoing players Humanoid (now at Fnatic) and Carzzy (now at Vitality). It’s easy to look at MAD as favourites due to their performances in 2021, however, MAD has lost two of their best players to rival teams, so it might not be so simple this time.

G2 Esports – New Faces

It’s been a very strange off-season for G2 Esports. Having formed a “dream team” at the start of 2021, that roster has been ripped apart for 2022. G2 has made three new signings, with top lane Broken Blade, and bot lane duo Flakked (ADC), Targamas (Support). Just caPs and Jankos remain in the active roster. Mikyx will remain with G2 Esports as a sub, with no team looking to trigger his buyout. Now, the big worry for G2 is how well these new players can gel together, and how quickly they can do it. It’s certainly safe to say that, on paper, G2 are a weaker side than 2021, but that’s with the caveat that MAD has also been downgraded.

Fnatic and Vitality – Rising Stars?

It’s safe to say that Fnatic had a turbulent off-season. Putting aside all the drama between players and leadership fallouts, Fnatic has somehow managed to come into 2022 with a deadly looking roster. With Upset and Hylissang staying (Nisqy has also remained as a sub) – Fnatic has added Wunder (former G2) in the top lane, Razork (former Misfits) jungler, and the aforementioned mid laner Humanoid. Fnatic might not be favourites, but they’ll be up there with the best, providing they can work together as a team quickly.

For Vitality, they’re the closest Europe has to a super team right now, and with it, they’ll be looking to win their first title. They’ve retained 2021 jungler Selfmade, and support Labrove, while adding top laner Alphari, mid laner Perkz, and ADC Carzzy. While it might be too early to pin a favourite to the LEC title, you’d be mad not to consider Vitality as one of the favourites.

Team BDS – New Kid on the Block

Team BDS are the newest side to enter the LEC, buying the spot off FC Schalke 04. Who sold their spot due to financial issues stemming from their football side being relegated. As a new side, BDS has decided to build an entirely fresh roster for 2022, and on paper, it looks like a good start. Firstly, they’ve picked up the former G2 head coach GrabbZ, and added some new faces, three of whom hail from the side’s native France. Top laner Adam, jungler Cinkrof, mid laner Jaylink, ADC x Matty, and support LIMIT will lead the line for BDS in 2022. We don’t expect BDS to rip up the LEC, however, they look like a solid top half contender.

Misfits, Rogue, Astralis, Excel, SK Gaming

Of the remaining five, Misfits and Rogue are likely to be the more exciting rosters to look out for. Both sides have added two new faces, though, in both cases, have done so at the loss of better players. For Misfits, they lost Kobbe and Razork, while Rogue have lost Inspired and Hans sama. The two will certainly be expecting to be competitive and heading into the Summer, Split might be challenging for a Worlds spot.

The remaining three sides ultimately look far behind the rest on paper. Astralis has added Kobbe and Dajor, though the roster doesn’t appear to have moved on much from 2021. SK Gaming added Sertuss and Gilius joined the roster, while former jungler Treatz swapped to support for 2022. It probably won’t be SK Gaming’s year, as they once again look to go through the motions.

While Excel Esports has retained four of its roster, adding just Finn in the top lane. They’ve retained a roster that ended 2021 outside the playoffs once again, so unless something drastic happens, it doesn’t look like Spring Split will be a winning one for Excel.

When does the LEC start?

The LEC gets underway on January 14th with a three-day-long opening week of matches. The action starts off with Vitality taking on MAD Lions, as the 2022 favourites take on the 2021 champions.

Where can you watch the LEC?

All the action is streamed on the LEC Twitch channel.

David Hollingsworth has written for games media and esports outlets for the last seven years. His work has appeared in websites such as Esports Insider, ESTNN, Red Bull and Esports News UK. His focus is mostly on League of Legends and World of Warcraft, the latter of which he’s an advisor for with the British Esports Association. David shares his League of Legends betting tips with readers of the MansionBet blog every week.
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