The 2022 LEC season is on the horizon and with that change, many new teams have opted for fresh rosters and new strategies in order to pull ahead competitively. For this edition of LEC Power Rankings, we will be focusing on roster potential and analyzing how each team will develop with a slew of promising rookies making their debut in the European scene across multiple teams. Rosters at the top, middle and bottom of the pack have all opted for roster changes.
Following their season over in the NA LCS, Alphari and Perkz have returned to the European scene once again. Despite their return, EU is still giving more chances to the rookies, especially considering Bwipo, Hans Sama and Inspired’s departures. In 2021, we saw the rise of the MAD Lions as the best team in the LEC, as well as the disappointing season of G2 Esports. How did they do in the off-season and what can we expect from all the other LEC teams? Let’s find out!
Astralis finished the 2021 season with a very positive result, achieving their first-ever playoffs finish in the Summer Split. Their strong momentum should’ve pushed the organization to upgrade its roster even further, but it seems like Astralis wasn’t able to make the extra step. Instead, they decided to go for a more risky strategy, sending away ADC Jesper “Jeskla” Klarin Strömberg, as well as mid laner Carl Felix “MagiFelix” Boström. Out of the two, the latter comes more as a surprise, considering MagiFelix’s overall contribution to their success. In order to replace the two missing elements, Astralis picked up Kobbe and mid laner Dajor.
Kobbe, who previously played for Misfits, is still technically an upgrade to Jeskla on paper, even though he’s not a top-tier marksman anymore. Dajor, on the other hand, is the risky play done by Astralis. Many fans have questioned whether he actually deserved a spot in the LEC: it might be a little early for him yet.
With that being said, considering the rest of the roster and the risk in Astralis’ plan, we can only put them last in our LEC Power Rankings.
9. SK Gaming
SK Gaming are looking to bounce back from last year’s unfortunate turn of events. In the 2021 Summer Split, support player Treatz ended up role swapping to the jungle role, which put the team on the back foot. It’s not that Treatz played badly, but it was visible that he wasn’t on par with other LEC junglers and Jesiz (who should’ve been the Head Coach) couldn’t make a strong enough impact. Despite finding a good replacement with Lilipp, SK’s season was already compromised.
With Treatz returning to the support role, SK picked up god Gillius and rookie Sertuss, former mid laner for Misfits Premier. The new lineup definitely has a higher potential than last year’s roster, but I think the LEC competition stepped up even more, especially on the bottom end of the league. All the bottom-tier teams have a relatively similar level, but for me, SK Gaming falls into the end of this pack.
8. Team BDS
Team BDS is the newest entry to the LEC 2022 season, replacing Schalke04. Despite being the newest organization, that doesn’t mean BDS will be the worst team of the LEC. In reality, I think they did a decent job at putting together a roster of youngsters with a lot of potential on paper.
By picking up ADC xMatty and jungler Cinkrof from Karmine Corp and reuniting them with top laner Adam, Team BDS might be the proof that the gap between ERL teams and LEC teams is not that big anymore. Together with former G2 coach Grabbz, they will have all the tools to make a good impression: we’ll have to see what they can bring to the LEC. However, for now, we can only put them in 8th place.
7. Excel Esports
Will this be the time Excel Esports breaks the playoffs curse? This might be it. XL have finally put together a team that has the potential to make playoffs. They were able to pick up top laner Finn after his disastrous stint over at CLG in NA, while keeping the rest of the roster unchanged. With the academy players Markoon and Advienne finally becoming starters for the team, XL has enough time to work around the flaws and aim for that long-awaited playoff finish.
The only big question mark is nukeduck, one of the oldest veterans in the competitive scene. After a few disappointing seasons in the last few years, we’ll have to see whether he still has the talent to fight with other formidable mids. Nonetheless, his experience will likely prove valuable to his younger teammates. With this roster, the pieces are in place for Excel to finally compete for a playoff spot.
6. Misfits Gaming
Misfits Gaming made their boom in the 2021 season, reaching playoffs in both splits and fighting for the top 4 in the standings. Unfortunately, the organization lost its best player, jungler Razork, for the 2022 season, lowering their chances of repeating a similar success. In order to replace Razork and the bot lane of Kobbe and Vander, the org promoted their academy jungler Shlatan as well as hired former S04 ADC Neon and support Nersa, who previously played for Gamers Origin. The mid and top Vetheo and Hirit are still very strong players in the role, but I doubt the team will make another exploit just like last season.
Rogue is likely the biggest “loser” of the 2021 off-season. Losing both ADC Hans Sama and the number one LEC jungler Inspired, Rogue knew they had to find suitable replacements if they wanted to continue to be a contender for the LEC title. For this goal, Rogue picked up former DWG Kia jungler Malrang and former Vitality ADC Comp. The choices are definitely not bad, but I feel like Rogue have lost some firepower overall. The most important question mark for the team will be Malrang: will he adapt to a different playstyle compared to Korea? How will the team deal with the language and culture barrier?
If Rogue finds a solution, then we might be looking at a potential contender for the title. Until then, however, Rogue will remain a middle-of-the-pack, especially for Spring Split.
4. G2 Esports
Following one of the most disappointing seasons in recent history, G2 Esports made the bold decision to rebuild its roster around jungler Jankos and their superstar mid laner Caps. As a consequence, G2 made the headlines in the off-season, parting ways with Wunder, Mikyx and Rekkles. The super roster experiment failed, forcing G2 Esports to make changes to their strategy.
As a result, the org picked up two rising stars from the ERLs, ADC Flakked and support Targamas. Flakked was in the MAD Lions’ Academy roster last year, while Targamas played for Karmine Corp in the LFL. To round off the roster, G2 picked up the best available top laner from the LEC, BrokenBlade. Considering his performance in the wreck fest that Schalke04 was last year, I think G2 made the right decision to get him.
G2 is no longer the team that have dominated the LEC in the last few years, and fans need to understand that the rebuild process might take a while. Nonetheless, G2 is still a very strong team that will definitely be in the top 4 by the end of Spring Split, so make sure you don’t count them out for a potential title run.
3. MAD Lions
After sticking with the same roster for two consecutive years, it was also the time for the MAD Lions to make changes to its roster. Their strategy of nurturing the European talent has been working wonders since they joined the LEC, and I believe this will happen again this year.
Losing both ADC Carzzy and mid laner Humanoid will surely impact the team’s overall level at the beginning, but I’m also pretty confident that MAD Lions will surprise us again. Reeker and UNF0RGIVEN are definitely good enough substitutes for their predecessors, especially considering their similar champion pools.
Also, let’s not forget that MAD Lions won back-to-back LEC Championships last season and they were the only EU team to reach the quarterfinals at Worlds 2021. They’ve been the most successful LEC team in recent history. Even back when we expected them to struggle at the beginning of 2020, they went on to finish 3rd in the LEC Spring Split, so never count them out.
2. Team Vitality
Team Vitality went from being a bottom-tier playoff team to being one of the most hyped teams for the 2022 season. Alphari and Perkz returned to Europe to join the organization, along with former MAD Lions ADC Carzzy. On paper, the trio is set to become one of the best in the league. If you add a jungler like Selfmade and solid support like Labrov, you instantly have a team that can compete for the championship.
It will surely take time for Vitality to adjust and find a suitable playstyle for the whole team, but I think this is the second-best team in terms of potential for this 2022 season. There are obviously a lot of unknown variables, but Team Vitality has all the best talents in the LEC in order to succeed.
It is almost unreal how Fnatic went on becoming the number 1 in our LEC Power Rankings. The team went from imploding at Worlds 2021, to dealing with the Upset-Adam drama in the off-season, to locking some of the best players in the League. The offseason was extremely eventful, but Fnatic got the better end on basically anything that should’ve gone wrong.
Fnatic will start the 2022 season with one of the most stacked rosters in the team’s history. By fully revamping its top side of the map, Fnatic were able to pick Wunder, Razork and Humanoid. Wunder is still one of the best top laners in the league, Razork was considered the number 2 jungler behind Inspired and Humanoid was unquestionably the best LEC mid laner last year.
From every point of view, Fnatic has gathered top-tier players in every role. If you pair them up with the best LEC bot lane, you get easily the best roster of the League. For the LEC 2022 Spring Split, Fnatic is without a question the team to beat.