The LEC (League of Legends European Championship, or previously known as the EU LCS – European League of Legends Championship Series) is a major LoL esports competition in Europe. It was created by Riot Games in 2013 with the intention of becoming a battlefield for some of the best teams in the region. The league is known for its unorthodox strategies and mechanically gifted players, making it a consistent title contender at international tournaments.
LEC Live Betting 2022
LEC Regular Season
Each LEC season is divided into Spring Split and Summer Splits. Every split has 10 teams competing with each other over the course of 9 weeks. The competition is conducted in a Double Round Robin format, meaning that every team plays two best-of-ones (or single-game matches) against every opponent.
When the regular season comes to an end, six teams with the best record qualify for the LEC playoffs. There, they clash in nail-biting best-of-five series, and the first team to win three games advances to the next playoffs round. The change in format is particularly important since longer series are perfect for eliminating the variance and ensuring that the strongest lineups climb to the top.
The LEC playoffs consist of a double elimination bracket. The best 4 teams get seeded into the winners’ bracket, while the 5th and 6th-place teams are in the lower one. In the upper bracket, the 1st place team gets to choose who to face between 3rd and 4th seed, with the second seed battling with the remaining choice. Following the Round 1 matches, the loser with the lower seed from the upper bracket plays in Round 2 of the lower bracket, with the other loser going into Round 3. This means that the top 4 teams essentially have a second chance to fight for the title, but they will have to go through more matches than the winner from the upper bracket.
All playoff contenders are awarded Championship Points that are necessary for qualifying for the League of Legends World Championship. The league’s winner gets the most points, and the fifth/sixth-place teams receive the least.
The Spring Split winner also gets to play in the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), the first international competition for every season that takes place during the downtime period between the splits. In 2020 because of the global pandemic, the MSI was cancelled and instead, EU LCS teams competed in a string of online matches to transition between the Spring and Summer Splits.
The Summer Split winner and the two teams with the most Championship Points receive an invitation to the prestigious League of Legends World Championship (aka Worlds). Most lineups use the Spring Split to hone their teamwork and develop their playstyle. However, the competition really reaches its peak in summer since every LoL player dreams of qualifying for the World Championship and raising the Worlds trophy. This is the time with punters are presented with the best LEC betting opportunities and it all culminates with the Summer Spring Playoff matches.
LEC Champions: Fnatic, Alliance, G2 and MAD Lions
A quick glance at the LEC History will highlight the fact that the early days of the LEC belonged to Fnatic. Holding the most trophies awarded to LEC winners out of all European organizations, this team established itself as a powerful force in the region. And while Fnatic’s winning streak was interrupted by Alliance in the 2014 Summer Split, no one actually managed to overshadow it. But one team came close.
In 2016, G2 Esports qualified for the LEC and proceeded to win four splits in a row. The feat itself and the one-sided manner in which they accomplished it earned G2 the nickname of “The Kings of Europe”, and they still tower above most European teams. With that, it’s not exactly surprising that Fnatic and G2 Esports are constantly clashing with each other for the right of standing at the top of their region.
In the last two years, however, we saw the rise of new contenders for the LEC Championship. Teams like Rogue, Misfits and MAD Lions have been stepping up, fighting and also beating the two legendary organizations. In particular, MAD Lions had a stellar season domestically in 2021, winning back-to-back LEC Championships and reaching the quarterfinals at Worlds 2021.
LEC at Worlds and MSI
The LEC teams enjoy varying levels of success at international League of Legends tournaments. In fact, the first League of Legends World Championship was won by Fnatic after they defeated—Against All Authority—in the finals. That was a different time, though, as the overwhelmingly powerful Korean teams haven’t entered the scene yet.
Still, even as competition grew stiffer, Europe kept showing up. The 2013 World Championship had two European teams—Moscow Five and CLG EU—going all the way to the Semifinals. In 2014, all three LEC teams failed to make it out of the group stage, but Europe managed to redeem itself next year when Fnatic and Origen made it to the Semifinals.
The 2016 World Championship once again saw a LEC team – H2K Gaming – reaching the semis. And while Europe couldn’t quite live up to its own standards in 2017, both Misfits and Fnatic made it out of groups to display a high level of play in the Quarterfinals. In 2018, Europe was inches away from winning claiming the World Championship trophy, as Fnatic breezed to the finals before falling prey to the Chinese Invictus Gaming.
A similar trend can be observed at the Mid-Season Invitational. The 2015 MSI had Fnatic passing the group stage before falling short in a close series against the Korean powerhouse SK Telecom T1 (SKT T1). And while the 2016 MSI ended with a disappointing showing by G2 Esports, the Kings of Europe struck back in 2017, going all the way to the finals before losing to SKT T1.
2018 didn’t go Europe’s way either, as it saw Fnatic barely making the Semifinals only to crumble in face of the Chinese Royal Never Give Up. However, 2019 was a huge success story for the region since G2 Esports tore through the competition to lift Europe’s first-ever MSI trophy. The reigning European Champions were once again close of making it to the finals, but they succumbed to Damwon Gaming, the eventual winners of the event.
In 2020, the Mid-Season Invitational was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which also forced Riot to make last-minute adjustments for the following Worlds. In that particular year, G2 Esports was still able to reach the semifinals, but that was the best they could do, as they went up against the World champions DWG Gaming and lost 3-1.
During the off-season, G2 Esports made one of the biggest roster moves in LEC history: the organization picked up Rekkles and sent away Perkz to Cloud9, forming yet another super roster. The expectations were high, but G2 Esports failed miserably: Rekkles and the rest of the team struggled to synergize their opposite playstyles and they were knocked out from the Summer Split, missing out on Worlds. Fnatic, Rogue and MAD Lions participated in their stead but the results weren’t that great: both Rogue and Fnatic were eliminated in Groups, while MAD Lions faced DWG once again in the quarterfinals and was quickly eliminated 3-0.
EU’s recent international performances have not been the greatest, but every year new possibilities arise. Will this be the year the LEC reaches its best competitive level? Only time will tell…
LEC Homegrown Talent vs Foreign Imports
The LEC has traditionally relied almost exclusively on homegrown talent and player transfers were made mostly between local teams. At the beginning of the season LEC odds are adjusted accordingly based on the changes that affect the rosters. The most accomplished teams held on to their players, with G2 Esports’ success at the highest level being also the result of operating fewer changes.
Exchanges with teams from the Chinese LPL and the South Korean LCK are still few, but in recent years, the North American LCS became more attractive. Many European players get offers from NA, with very high salaries in order to lure them into their organization. During the 2021 offseason, some of the best performing players like Hans Sama, Inspired and Bwipo have all gone to the LCS.
With that being said, however, success is not guaranteed when leaving the LEC. Actually, most of them weren’t even able to perform as well as in EU. As a result, some of the players end up returning to the LEC and this year is no expectation. Superstar players like Alphari and Perkz have joined Team Vitality to form a superteam for 2022, spiking the odds of the organization to make a stronger result in the LEC from last year.
In terms of importing, instead, the LEC isn’t that used to hiring players from overseas, as pro-gamers with European origins are still preferred. For 2022, only Rogue and Misfits Gaming will have a Korean player in their team, top laner HiRit and jungler Malrang.
Why watch the LEC?
At its core, League of Legends is all about the players and LEC History proves that few competitions show player skill better than the League of Legends European Championship. Europe has one of the largest talent pools in the world, meaning that new names are constantly challenging the veterans. And even though the LEC teams aren’t as organized as their counterparts from the LCK or LPL, they make up for it with their willingness to experiment and take risks.
Throughout the regular season and the playoffs, League of Legends fans tune in to watch LEC live stream because of the action-packed nature of the games. As the MSI and Worlds approach, League of Legends European Championship matches provide a glimpse at the creative strategies that might be used in the international competitions. LEC winners performed well at the Worlds in recent years and even though they are yet to actually win the trophy, they always appear close to making that big break.
LEC betting fans also have the opportunity of watching a new franchisee entering the European region on a yearly basis. After Misfits returned to Europe, Astralis is the new franchise to enter the fray after Origen was rebranded in late 2020. None of its core players transitioned to the new organization and the team is made mostly from Academy players. Nukeduck is the exception but in spite of him being a talented and experienced player the team is likely to struggle and Astralis has the highest LEC odds to win the trophy.