MAD Lions, the LEC 2021 Spring Champs, are only the 4th team to win the European Championship. The era at which it was only either Fnatic or G2 Esports who would be the definite competitors to win the trophy have finally come to an end as the European powerhouses step up to challenge what seems to have been the greatest superteam that the region has ever built. Let’s take a look at what the future holds for the region now that a 4th King has been crowned.
MAD Lions vs Rogue Finals
Since the establishment of the European Championship back in 2013, Fnatic, G2 Esports, or both have been participants in the Finals. Before this tournament, these teams would always make it to the finals and best the other team. The only other team that managed to win a European Championship was Alliance back in Summer 2014. After Rogue’s dominant victory over G2 Esports in the Lower Bracket finals, this has been the first time in the history of the region that neither FNC nor G2 Esports made it to the finals.
MAD Lions & Rogue definitely showed that their respective victories over G2 Esports wasn’t just some kind of fluke as they dominated areas of the map that no other team had managed to do before. During the 2020 Seasons, both MAD Lions & Rogue had good (but not great) seasons as they managed to show consistency as top teams but fell short in terms of clutch domination against veteran teams that had the killer instinct to show up when it mattered.
The finals between MAD Lions vs Rogue to crown the next LEC 2021 Spring Champ was the best series that Europe has had in a while. Why? Because all the previous Finals were just clean 3-0 victories where fans already knew the outcome of the matches even before the series would begin. In short, it was completely predictable and boring. It was so boring that fans of the losing teams probably didn’t even feel too disappointed because a big part of them new that they weren’t going to win.
In this series to crown the next LEC 2021 Spring Champion, fans had a split opinion between who would win. Analysts favored Rogue to win but the LEC Discord Channel had a 50-50 voting percentage. Even the analysts weren’t confident with their vote since they knew that it would the fight would be settled in small mistakes. As Rogue led the series 2-0, everyone was sure that Rogue would win. However, MAD Lions gathered everything they had to pull off a reverse sweep and take the series 3-2.
MAD Lions’ Amazing Reverse Sweep
The fans and analysts were afraid that Rogue would end the series by Game 3 considering how much Rogue dominated the first game and coming back from a large deficit in Game 2. MAD Lions’ players had to have some nerves of steel to not let those two games affect their mental which will be carried over on the next games. Surely, the team rallied together in the 3rd game as they continued with their usual strategies and beat down raid boss in front of them.
MAD Lions dominantly took game 3 and game 4 but the final game wasn’t theirs to win. Rogue had secured an early lead in Game 5, something that they’re known for during the Regular Season. It was small picks and clutch teamfighting that finally allowed the team to win a Baron Dance when they managed to pick off Rogue’s Jungler – Inspired – and ultimately took control of the fight before marching onto the enemy base and claiming the LEC 2021 Spring Championships.
Rogue didn’t manage to win the LEC 2021 Spring Championships but they proved that they had already evolved as a team. They will surely bounce back in the Summer Season and be more motivated than ever to finally take home the trophy after coming so close this season. The team doesn’t necessarily have a noticeable weakness but they will need to find a creative new way to make sure that they maintain a lead once they develop one early on.
The addition of Odoamne and Trymbi have proved to be helpful in reinventing the Rogue that we knew in 2020. Larssen, Inspired, and Hans Sama continue to become the triple threats of Rogue that they had for a long time. These players will only continue to become better from these point onwards since they still have so much left to prove in their careers that has only just started to bloom.
The Failed G2 Esports Superteam
G2 Esports have been the big favorite to win the entire tournament since the announcement of the roster back in January. G2 Esports holds 4 of the players that are considered the best players in their respective lanes during 2019 and 2020. So the addition of Europe’s King of the Bot Lane, G2 Esports had seemingly completed all the pieces of Exodia in order to create the perfect team. Much to the dissatisfaction of the fans, the team simply crumbled during playoffs where both our Finalists simply outclassed them overall.
The biggest problem for G2 Esports during the playoffs was Wunder, who underperformed during the playoffs and was simply getting trashed by his opponents in both the laning phase and teamfighting. Many of the fans like to blame it on the fact that Wunder is an avid WoW player so the release of its new expansion – Shadowlands – might have distracted him, taking away precious practice time that he could have in Solo Queue. There is no solid case to be made that this is true since Wunder had always had a regular schedule playing World of Warcraft even before Shadowlands came out.
Another problem that G2 Esports experienced is that Jankos had been completely outjungled by both Elyoya and Inspired. While Jankos didn’t exactly fall out in terms of level of gameplay, it was just that Inspired & Elyoya had broken through their limitations and were more willing to go beyond jungling conventions to secure leads for their teams. Both Elyoya and Inspired successfully managed to do so which left Jankos to contemplate how he can manage to keep up in Summer.
The final factor that fans like to point out is the fact that Perkz left G2 Esports. Now Perkz wasn’t exactly the best ADC in the league nor can we say that Rekkles has become a huge problem for G2. In fact, Rekkles is the most consistent factor for G2 as he always has an impressive record in games regardless of whether they win or lose. However, Perkz was widely considered as the leader and glue that stuck the team together. Now that he’s gone, did G2 Esports just crumble on itself?
Is the G2 – FNC Era really over?
Just because MAD Lions & Rogue dominated in Spring doesn’t mean that G2 Esports or Fnatic won’t bounce back in Summer. The stakes to win the LEC Trophy in the Summer Season is much higher than the LEC 2021 Spring Championships because it will help secure them a spot to participate as the 1st seed at Worlds. G2 Esports will definitely be making some changes in terms of playstyles and training double to make sure that they can achieve this goal in Summer.
Fnatic may still be average at best in 2021 but they have some good players in the roster. A semi-rebuild will require a bit of time from both the players and coaching staff to get used to and find the perfect strategy for the team to become a contender again in the region. Rekkles may have been the heart of FNC for years but that doesn’t mean that they can’t still function. The Summer Season will be the true proving grounds for both these teams and the new bloods to determine on whether a new era has truly begun.
The Future of EU on MSI 2021
MAD Lions will be representing the LEC at MSI 2021 as per the LoL Esports Structure. Critics are afraid that the LEC 2021 Spring Champs won’t be up for the challenge and that G2 Esports should have been the ones to qualify since they’re the defending champions. An unfair thing to say considering how hard MAD Lions had to fight for their position and the fact that they did manage to beat them in the upper brackets and also beat the team that beat G2 in the Lower Brackets.
The biggest issue isn’t whether they deserve it or not. Damwon Kia has just won the LCK and looked as dominant as they were in 2020. The LPL had just come out of Semifinals with at least 4 teams looking extremely bloodthirsty and strong. The region is like a viper pit where the audience is simply waiting for the most venomous snake to kill the others and secure itself as the king. These two regions are the biggest hurdle to the success of the LEC which honestly looks like a steep climb for the region.
Is G2 Esports no longer a relevant team?
Even though G2 Esports didn’t manage to win the LEC 2021 Spring Championships, they are still undoubtedly a superteam with huge potential to win it all in the future.