2020 was an interesting year for the LEC. It started out great but COVID-19 ravaged the league and forced it to be played online. The league pulled through, however, and provided us with one of the most exciting seasons of LEC in recent memory.
In this article, we’ll recap what went down in 2020 in the LEC, some of our highlights, and what it could mean for the 2021 season.
Spring Split saw G2 Esports pick up yet another LEC title after topping the regular-season table and beating Fnatic 3-0 in the Grand Final. They did have a slight slip up in the first round, however, dropping 3-2 to MAD Lions, however, in the reverse fixture they took down MAD Lions 3-1 to secure a Grand Final spot.
The All-Pro Team featured heavily players from G2 Esports, with jungler Jankos, mid-laner Perkz, and support Mickyx all featuring. Fnatic ADC Rekkles and Origen top-laner Alphari were the other two players to feature. The overall MVP was Jankos, with best rookie going to Misfits Razork, and MAD Lions coach Mac picking up Best Coach.
Though a good split, it was fairly uneventful, with G2 and Fnatic coming first and second with Origen and MAD Lions rounding out the top four. MAD Lions fourth place would be a good omen for the side going into Summer Split, as the near-full rookie roster turned out to be one of the dark horses of 2020. Team Vitality was by far the most disappointing side of the split, picking up just two wins across their eighteen matches.
Summer Split was a similar tale for G2 Esports. Despite a really rough start, and Caps swapping back to the mid lane, G2 did eventually find for at the right time as they ended the regular season in third place. Rogue shocked everyone by taking first place, with MAD Lions coming second and Fnatic down in fourth. Despite the heroics in the regular season, it was yet again G2 that won the Summer Split Finals and secured their first seeding for Worlds 2020.
The all-pro team saw just Alphari retain his position from Spring Split, with MAD Lions jungler Shad0w, G2 mid-laner Caps, Excel ADC Patrik, and MAD Lions Kaiser filling out the side. Overall MVP went to Caps, the best rookie went to Labrov of Team Vitality and MAD Lions coach Mac once again won the best coach.
With Worlds 2020 featuring four LEC sides for the first time a lot of hope was placed onto the European sides that went to Worlds. It got off to the worst possible start, however, as MAD Lions failed to bring their Summer Split form to China as they slumped out of play-ins.
The group stage went a similar way for Rogue, who just couldn’t get out of what was a very tough group. Fnatic and G2 Esports did make it out of their groups, though both did so via second place. Fnatic failed at the first knockout round, losing 3-2 to Chinese side TOP Esports, while G2 Esports would lose in the Semi-Finals to eventual winners DAMWON Gaming.
2020 in Review and Looking Ahead
In the end, it will go down as a disappointment for Europe. After back-to-back Worlds Grand Finals, a LEC side failed to achieve ultimate success in 2020 and, ultimately, moved Europe down a ranking as the third-best global region.
With COVID-19 likely to continue to impact the league in 2021, nothing is certain with regards to performance. With some of Europe’s best players, including Perkz, the region’s most successful player, and Spring Split MVP Alphari both moving to North America.
Europe has always managed to endure, however, with more talented players coming from the regional leagues in 2021, and some exciting roster changes which could include G2 Esports poaching rival sides Fnatic’s ADC Rekkles, we are certainly in for some stories.
As we look ahead to 2021, expect more drama, more exciting games, and even more quality League of Legends content from Europe.