The LEC (League of Legends EMEA Championship) 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.
Top LEC Betting Sites for 2023
LEC Winter 2023 Schedule
|Regular Season - Winter||Jan 21 - Feb 6|
|Group Stage||Feb 11 - 19|
|Playoffs Stage||Feb 20 - 26|
Outright Odds: Teams Competing in the LEC Winter Season
There are new organizations among the participating ten LEC 2023 Winter Season teams. Even the newcomers are not strangers to the esports scene, so the competition level is at its highest again.
GG.Bet Esports odds available at time of writing – January 2oth, 16:00 CET
LEC Winter Predictions
With the new league format, we will be seeing more BO3s and BO5s rather than BO1s. At this point, experience and consistency are two of the most important aspects, considering the new system. However, some teams in the league have serious talent differences compared to others. This has to do with budget, as some organizations invest a lot more, which can be seen clearly by the rosters.
Astralis, SK Gaming, and Team BDS look like the weaker teams looking at the rosters before the season. Astralis formed a similar roster to last year, and the team’s capacity looked limited. On the other hand, SK Gaming consists of players who either lack experience or were unable to reach their potential in the past. Lastly, most of the community had question marks on their hands regarding Team BDS’ performance last year, and the doesn’t look much improved.
Excel, MAD Lions, and Team Heretics are the ones that are hard to predict looking at the rosters as their potentials are high, but there are big doubts about whether they could reach it or not. Excel’s roster consists of players that are very talented on an individual level, but they may have teamwork and chemistry issues. MAD Lions’ new roster looks even better than last year with the new additions, but the chemistry between Hylissang and Carzzy as well as Chasy’s individual performances will determine their standing. Heretics’ roster is also pretty good, especially with Jankos but Evi and Ruby are question marks compared to other players in the same roles.
Fnatic, G2 Esports, KOI, and Team Vitality are the strongest on paper. It is hard to say which is better than the other, but KOI’s top lane change may be a downgrade as Odoame is one of the best in the role. Rekkles’ performance will be important for Fnatic, and G2 Esports’ new bot lane is surely one of the best. What is even more exciting is whether Vitality’s jungler Bo will meet the expectations or not. He is an incredible player on an individual level, but his chemistry with his teammates is important.
See our LEC Power Rankings for the Winter Split for further analysis.
LEC Regular Season
Before 2023, LEC had two splits for a very long time. However, this era ended as the league officials announced the new format, which includes three splits in a season – Winter, Spring and Summer.
Ten teams face each other for two weeks in a single round-robin format, and the top eight organizations qualify for the newest stage of the new LEC format, the Group Stage.
The top eight teams of the regular season are drawn into two groups of four. Unlike the regular season, the Group Stage games are BO3, and it is conducted in a double elimination bracket. Losers have a second chance to hold onto the competition, and the top two teams of each group advance to the Playoff Stage.
Each split is finalized with the Playoff Stage, which has been the case for a while. What is different from the traditional bracket that most fans are familiar with is that only four teams compete in playoffs. Teams collide in a double elimination bracket and BO5 matches to decide the champion. In the first round, the winners of each group face each other, and the winning side of the competition gets a ticket to the final stage while the loser faces the winner of the match between the second-seed teams. The winner of each split gets a ticket to Season Finals, which was also announced in 2023.
Season Finals puts an end to the LEC season and decide the placements. The last stage of the LEC season is played in a double elimination bracket with all the matches being BO5 and the seeding is determined by Championship Points. Only six teams participate in the tournament with three of them being the winners of each split. The remaining three teams are decided by the Championship Points that are being distributed among the teams according to their standings in each split. The full point breakdown for all the splits can be found below. The top three teams qualify for Worlds 2023 and the fourth joins the tournament from the Qualifying Series, also known as play-ins. Fifth and sixth-seeded teams lose their chance to represent the region internationally.
In the first round, the number one and two-seeded teams on the Championship Points Standings come up against the third and fourth-seeded participants. The last two teams start their journey from the lower bracket and wait for the losers of the first upper bracket matches.
Winter Split Prize Pool
A total of €160,000 are spread among the participants, with the champion receiving €65,000, the second team taking €40,000, the third winning €25,000, and the fourth having a little less of the pool with €15,000. Lastly, the fifth and sixth-seeded teams go home with €7,500 each.
Championship Points Breakdown
With major changes applied to the League of Legends ecosystem worldwide, LEC’s representative slot on the international stage has been upgraded.
The EMEA Championship sends four teams to the Worlds stage with three of them qualifying directly to the main event and three teams to MSI.
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.
Finally, Rogue made the jump that all their fans were expecting for a long time and won the trophy at the end of the 2022 season. The organization had impressive performances throughout the season and took revenge on G2 Esports with a sweep to lift the trophy of LEC 2022. Moreover, Rogue was the only western team that made it out of the group stage and competed in the playoffs at Worlds 2022, making the region and the fans proud.
Image credit: Riot
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.
Image credit: Riot
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…
In the 2022 Spring Split, Rogue’s performance was on a different level as the organization only saw four losses throughout the split. However, G2 Esports came from behind and improved their team synergy to win the trophy after a solid playoff performance. G2 represented Europe at MSI 2022 and picked up eight wins in the first group, winning every game they played against Evil Geniuses and ORDER. The European team continued with five wins and five losses in the Rumble Stage and made it to knockout. G2’s run ended after getting swept by T1 in the semifinals.
Later that year, Rogue finished the job and this time won the league trophy to have the upper hand at Worlds 2022. Rogue had tough opponents in the group stage, including the later winner of the tournament DRX and the Chinese powerhouse Top Esports. Rogue pulled out an incredible upset and pushed Top Esports out of the race to become the only western team in the playoffs. Even though the run ended in the first round of the playoffs, it was still a very entertaining run by the team.
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. In 2022, LCS teams turned their attention to Korean players but also picked up a few from Europe including Armut and Kaas from MAD Lions as well as the young talent Diplex.
Image Credits: Team Vitality
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 exception. Both last and this year, important players like Xerxe and Hans sama came back to the league to continue their careers in Europe.
In terms of importing, instead, the LEC wasn’t that used to hiring players from overseas, as pro-gamers with European origins were still preferred. Last year, only a few teams had Korean players on their rosters but things changed before the 2023 season. Team Vitality, MAD Lions, Team Heretics, Astralis, and KOI have Korean players on their rosters for the upcoming season. Moreover, Vitality has also promoted the Chinese jungler Bo to the main roster, which surely isn’t very usual, looking at the history of the league.
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 EMA 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 EMEA Championship matches provide a glimpse at the creative strategies that might be used in these 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. One of the oldest members of the league, Misfits Gaming left LEC in this off-season and sold their slot to Team Heretics. On another note, Ibai and Gerard Pique’s team KOI partnered with the defending champion Rogue to compete in the league. Rogue’s roster is the same as last year but Team Heretics made huge roster changes, including the arrival of G2 Esports’ legendary jungler Jankos. KOI is one of the favorites of the trophy as the roster remained but Heretics’ new lineup’s chemistry is one of the most important deciders of this year’s LEC power rankings.