Who Will Dominate The 2016 EU LCS Summer Split?

EU LCS Summer Split preview betting LOL
After a Spring Split full of exciting upsets, surprise performances, and new teams rising to the top, we’re ready to hit the reset button and start all over again for the 2016 European LCS Summer Split

We’re here to provide an early power ranking guide and in-depth analysis for each team.

As a quick reminder, not all of these rosters are set. There are still a few acquisitions that can impact these power rankings.

Our NA LCS power rankings can be found here.

2016 EU LCS Summer Split power rankings

10. Unicorns of Love

The mid-season break was extremely unkind for UoL. The team had a mass exodus of talent, with only Tamas “Vizicsacsi” Kiss in the top lane and Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov in the support position returning this split.

After finishing in fifth place and losing in the first round to Origen during the 2016 Spring Split, the team will once again have to rebuild.

The new starting AD Carry for the team will be Kyoungmin “Veritas” Kim, a Korean Challenger player but largely untested at the LCS level. In the mid lane will be Fabian “Exileh” Scuhbert, a 19-year-old Challenger player from Germany but also untested at the LCS level.

Rounding out the roster will be another largely unproven Korean talent, Kang “Move” Min-su. Move formerly played one split for NA LCS squad, Gravity, in 2015. He has not played competitively since then.

Since UoL joined the EU LCS in 2015, the organization has found it difficult to retain talent. That hinders team unity, and it showed last year.

UoL was unable to beat any of top tier teams, gaining the fifth seed by beating lesser competition. That was in large part thanks to Steeelback’s amazing play in the bottom lane, a luxury this team will no longer have.

We’ve seen the Korean Challenger import strategy before, and it’s had both mild success and disappointing results. There are just too many pieces that have to come together in a very quick manner for UoL to find success.

I just don’t see that happening here.

9. FC Schalke 04 eSports (formerly Elements)

FC Schalke 04 Esports is the esports division of German sports club FC Schalke 04. They are the second professional sports organization to sign a League of Legends team, after Beşiktaş acquired Aces High in 2015.

The acquisition of Elements’ LCS spot was announced four days ago, and it has since been confirmed that four players from last split for Elements will be retained for the new FCS squad.

This was a team that showed promise in 2015, with both Froggen and Rekkles providing plenty of carry potential. Both of those players have now moved on though. After starting the 2016 Spring Split 3-3, the team would finish 3-9 and a seventh place finish.

Fans will be happy to know that Etienne “Steve” Michels will be returning in the top lane. Steeeeeeeve has a small cult following that can be heard during every match.

The only really consistent player from last split was ADC Rasmus “MrRalleZ” Skinneholm, who will also be returning alongside support player, Hampus “sprattel” Abrahamsson.

Joining sprattel will be fellow Swedish countrymen and former UoL midlaner, Hampus “Fox” Myhre, replacing Jérémy “Eika” Valdenaire this split.

Elements’ biggest issue is the talent on this current team. Only MrRallez boasts a KDA over 4 and a kill participation over 70 percent from last split.

Even more discouraging, no member of last split posted a positive CS advantage at 10 minutes (meaning every lane was essentially losing after 10 minutes). The team will need to improve in that aspect of the game if they want to move into a playoff contention spot.

8. Giants Gaming

After finishing in sixth place during the 2015 Summer Split, Giants Gaming struggled mightily in the 2016 Spring Split. They would finish in last place with a dismal 3-15 record.

Thanks to a weak field of Challenger teams this split, Giants will get another shot at making the playoffs.

Roster changes were imminent, and the team immediately replaced junglers Kim “Wisdom” Tae-wan and Joachim “betongJocke” Rasmussen (both posted 1.3 KDA last split, lowest among junglers with 4+ games played) with Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian.

Maxlore brings plenty of experience at the Challenger level and is a local favorite.

Also leaving the team will be Isaac “xPePii” Flores. xPePii took a huge step back last split, finishing with a 2.0 KDA (second lowest among mid laners) and the lowest DPM (damage per minute) among mid laners. Replacing him will be Na “Nigh T” Gun-woo, a Korean mid laner with no LCS experience.

The remainder of the lineup will stay the same, including top laner Lennart “Smittyj” Warkus, AD carry Son “S0NSTAR” Seung-ik, and support Morgan “Hustlin” Granberg.

Despite the two moves by Giants, this is still a team that lacks experience. The additions will provide marginal gains at best, and bringing in a rookie in the mid lane (even one that has Korean Challenger success) doesn’t indicate that this is a team looking to contend this split.

Giants Gaming will have to be patient, and hope that the organization doesn’t go through multiple mid-split roster changes if there isn’t immediate success.

7. Splyce

Splyce stayed consistently in either seventh place or tied for eighth place in the 2016 Spring Split, finishing with a final record of 5-13 and in eighth place, ahead of Team ROCCAT and behind Elements.

With a favorable promotion tournament seed, Splyce played against Giants Gaming and won 3-2, requalifying for the LCS for the summer split.

The only major roster move that Splyce made during the offseason was replacing Nicolai “Nisbeth” Nisbeth at the support position. Nisbeth ranked in the bottom four in deaths, wards placed per minute (WPM), and wards cleared per minute (WCPM) for supports last split.

Replacing him will be Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle, a rookie support player from Slovenia who formerly was a backup for Fnatic.

For Splyce, this team has to work on their teamwork and playmaking ability. Vision is also a huge concern for this team, as noted by Nisbeth’s performance last split.

No one on the team posted a KDA above 4.0 last split (Kobbe had a 3.1 KDA, highest for Splyce). Wunderwear also has to cut down on his deaths in the top lane (51 deaths last split, most among top laners and third most the entire split).

Ultimately I think this team will make marginal improvements. This is still the same team from last split essentially, so I expect there to be some of the same issues (lack of vision, poor map movement, hesitant shot calling).

Maybe Mikyx will be the difference, but I just don’t see that in their play from last split.

6. Team Roccat

After finishing the 2016 Spring Split in ninth place with a 4-14 record, Team Roccat decided to hit the reset button. The only returning players will be Felix “Betsy” Edling in the mid lane and Karim “Airwaks” Benghalia in the jungle.

The biggest offseason acquisition for Roccat has been Pierre “Steeelback” Medjaldi. Steeelback was a consequential piece of UoL’s moderate success last split and moves Team Roccat up a few places in our power ranking with his presence alone.

Steeelback will be replacing Erik “Tabzz” van Helvert at the ADC position.

Steeelback made it public following the Spring Split that he was looking to join a North American team with fellow teammate, Fox. Despite his impressive performance, Steeelback did not receive any offers in North America outside of Dream Team.

Most teams in the league retained their AD carries with the exception of NRG eSports.

Joining Steeelback will be Korean import Lee “Parang” Sang-won, an LCS rookie. Parang played for Korean Challenger team Stardust, which finished in third place last split.

Parang’s Stardust teammate, Oh “Raise” Ji-hwan, will also be joining Team Roccat as a support player. He’s also an LCS rookie.

This appears to be another UoL situation for Steeelback, an exceptional player surrounded by marginal talent. Unless Parang proves to be a hidden Korean talent, fifth place is the ceiling for this team.

5. G2 eSports

Coming into MSI, G2 eSports was seen as a strong favorite to contend with SKT for the Finals (we also projected them to finish in second place).

They finished with a 15-3 record and first place during the EU Spring Split. The team cleaned the accolade presentation as well, grabbing Player of the Split, Rookie of the Split, and Coach of the Split. However, it all came apart at MSI.

G2 lost their first four games of the round robin and ultimately finished in fifth place, ahead of only SuperMassive eSports, and out of the knockout stage. This was a huge letdown for the European region as a whole, not only for pride, but because it means Europe will miss out on a Pool 1 Seed at Worlds.

In a statement published partway through the second day of play, G2 stated that their players had taken vacation time after a “rigorous Spring Split.” Emperor later stated that there had been an internal conflict within the team one day prior to the start of the event.

Below is a translated Twitter message from Emperor (who is Korean):

I would like to apologize for my garbage tier performance. It may sound like an excuse but there was a bad internal event that happened one day before the MSI and it distracted me during matches.

I had high expectations and I’m sure the viewers also had huge expectations on us and I am sorry to disappoint you all in such a huge event. I will try my best to show better performance in next matches.

Two days later, G2 eSports posted a Twitter message stating that Hybrid and Emperor were no longer with the team.

What does all of this mean for G2 eSports this split? For me, I’m highly suspect of G2’s leadership capabilities.

This has seemed to shake the team to their core, with their play at MSI the most evident example. An internal conflict would also explain why the team basically took two weeks off.

Until I see some signs of life from this team, we’re giving them a very conservative fifth place finish next split.

4. Vitality

Team Vitality formed its League of Legends team in December 2015 as its first expansion into PC gaming, acquiring Gambit Gaming’s EU LCS Spring 2016 seed.

They are looking to achieve bigger things in their first summer EU LCS split after finishing in third place last split with a 13-5 record. They were upset by sixth-placed Fnatic and eliminated in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.

Vitality made two roster changes during the offseason, moving jungler Ilyas “Shook” Hartsema and ADC Petter “Hjärnan” Freyschuss.

Replacing them will be two relatively inexperienced Korean players, Kim “ Mightybear” Min-su in the jungle and Park “Police” Hyeong-gi. Police formerly played for Apex Gaming and Ever.

This appears to be a somewhat experimental trial for Vitality. Both are no doubt talented players, but it could take some time for them to adapt. If it doesn’t work out, Shook and Hjärnan are still on the roster as well.

3. Fnatic

Hey ma, we’re getting the gang back together! Well, sort of.

The team recently announced that former support player Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim will be rejoining the team. Without YellowStar, Fnatic missed the European LCS finals for the first time in team history, finishing in third place.

YellOwStaR has played 268 games with Fnatic, which was most among any player with one single time until SK Telecom T1’s Faker played his 269th game with the team at MSI this month.

He made the move to North America this Spring Split, playing for Team SoloMid. He felt homesick though, and he asked TSM to be released from his contract.

With YellOwStaR back, Rekkles no longer has to worry about the shot calling duties. We’ll also be able to see YellOwStaR at his best, where he can freely roam and make plays all over the map without hurting the playstyle of his ADC (an issue with TSM’s Doublelift last split).

If you can’t tell, I really like this move for both Fnatic and YellOwStaR. I expect them to get back to form and finish in the top three once again.

2. Origen

Well that happened fast. After the team announced they could not come to contract agreements with Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez, Origen fans began to worry.

The organization responded by signing Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou at AD Carry and Glenn “Hybrid” Doornenbal at support.

It was only a few weeks ago that FORG1VEN stated he would not play in the 2016 Summer Split after leaving H2K. It appears the potential to play for an EU powerhouse has changed his mind. After the G2 debacle during MSI, Hybrid has also joined the team (a lateral move for sure).

The new Origen lineup looks potent on paper, but there are plenty of egos to juggle on this team. How quickly this team can put the pieces together and find team synergy will determine their immediate success.

The loss of Zven and Mithy could also have an emotional toll on Paul “sOAZ” Boyer and Maurice “Amazing” Stuckenschneider, the two longtime members of Origen that are returning.

This position is perhaps too high for Origen, as I think it will take some time for this new team to get on a roll (similar to what we saw with Fnatic and Origen last split). Depending on when that happens, this team can finish anywhere from second to sixth place.

1. H2K

Following top three performances in the last three EU LCS splits, H2K has once again put themselves in prime position to succeed.

They’ve replaced FORG1VEN with former Renegades ADC, Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek. The dropoff in talent will be unnoticeable, and Freeze played exceptionally well in deeply talented North American region last split.

Besides the ADC change, the rest of H2K’s roster remains intact. All of the ingredients are there this split for H2K to finally rise above the rest and claim first place in Europe.

As the summer action draws nearer, be sure to check our esports betting odds tracker, which compiles odds from a variety of the best esports betting sites, among them AlphaDraft, Bet 365 Esports, and Betway.

Rachel Perry

About

Rachel is an avid gamer whose insatiable desire for all things gaming related has been augmented by the inconceivable growth of eSports and how competitive gaming is viewed. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite games, Rachel can be found playing League of Legends, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, or watching too much Twitch.tv.