The LEC and LCS Summer Splits have been hard-fought and surprising, full of super teams crumbling, rosters resurging, and reverse sweeps in playoffs. This weekend, the newest champions of NA and EU will be crowned, and the final seeds for Worlds will be locked in.
LEC - Can G2 Retain Their Throne?
Coming into the year, G2 overhauled their roster after the superteam featuring Rekkles, caPs and Jankos failed to make Worlds. This was their chance for redemption, with a new roster built around Caps and Jankos that incorporated new talent from the European minor leagues. Their victory in Spring was shocking as many didn't expect this new roster to succeed so quickly.
After an inconsistent performance during the regular season as the team recovered from an intense MSI schedule, G2 have dominated throughout playoffs having only dropped one game. G2 have always been a different beast in best-of series, and are the clear favourites heading into the weekend.
Meanwhile, their opponents will be the victor of FNC vs Rogue. FNC have had a turbulent run; the roster's individual superstars haven't always come together and gelled as a team. They scraped into playoffs and narrowly avoided elimination from playoffs against Excel, off the back of an incredible Gragas ult from Wunder.
Nevertheless, they bounced back against Misfits and MAD to qualify for finals weekend, and looked formidable doing so. They undoubtedly have the momentum heading into the series against Rogue, who have once again struggled in playoffs. Will Rogue be able to conquer their demons and show their phenomenal regular season form during playoffs?
This weekend will mark the first time the LEC has had a finals in an arena in 3 years, so regardless of the outcome, fans are in for a treat.
LCS - Redemption For C9?
Across the pond, C9 have already qualified for the finals and will await the winner of 100T vs EG. C9 crashed out of the Spring playoffs in fourth place, and major changes were made to the roster heading into Summer:
- Jensen was brought into the mid lane after being dropped by TL at the end of 2021
- Zven role swapped from ADC to Support after being promoted from C9's Academy team
- Fudge role swapped from mid to top, replacing Summit
These huge changes were a very risky move halfway through the season, but have undoubtedly paid off. C9 have already taken down 100T and EG during playoffs to qualify for the final, and are the clear favourites to win the LCS and redeem the team following their disappointing performance in Spring.
EG narrowly qualified for Chicago after defeating TL in a tense game 5. Their ADC Danny was visibly relieved and emotional following this victory, having made mistakes at key points throughout the series. Consequently, EG announced Danny would not be playing this weekend to focus on his mental health.
This can't have been an easy decision to make, but here's hoping Danny can take this time to come back stronger for Worlds. Meanwhile, EG will be playing with their academy ADC Kaori, and the series may be decided by how well they can incorporate him into the roster at such short notice.
100T, EG and G2 have demonstrated their flexibility in draft by picking up Senna in their matches. Being able to play fasting Senna has drastically expanded these teams' drafting power, granting infinite scaling and opening up the possibility for powerful duos like Seraphine and Tahm Kench.
With caPs, Jensen and Larssen all playing this weekend, we're bound to see some Azir. These seasoned midlaners have consistently demonstrated their mastery over this powerful champion, and his pick/ban presence has been slowly increasing over the course of playoffs.
Finally, with the finals being played on patch 12.15, it's likely we'll see Sivir, Zeri, Twitch and Lucian as the most popular ADCs. Consequently, enchanters like Lulu, Yuumi and Nami will likely be locked in as their supports.
Not only will the victors claim the LEC and LCS trophies this weekend, but the outcome will determine who will qualify as NA and EU's first seed for Worlds. With the LCK and LPL looking indomitable, avoiding their first seeds is crucial if the West wants to make it out of groups this year.