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Hello there fellow LEC fans! Welcome to the second instalment in our series of articles covering the LEC Spring Split and our Fantasy Tournament! The first week of Spring is behind us, with two more to go, and the opening weekend was full of spicy drafts, plays, and upsets.
In this article we'll be going over last week's games, taking a look at the Fantasy leaderboards, and briefly chatting about what we can expect from the games coming up this weekend.
gaulove is our current rank #1 fantasy coach, having garnered 185.8 points, more than 50 points higher than the average. They drafted two members of two separate 3-0 teams, SK and Vitality. The outlier is G2's Hans Sama, who has had a phenomenal opening week with already two amazing Draven games on record.
Top Player In Each Role During Week 1
Current LEC Standings
In the 2-1 group, we have Astralis, who, at the current point in the Winter Split, was 0-3. Astralis has only lost to SK so far, and they're a first place team at the moment, so no shame in that! G2 Esports, on the other hand, lost to Astralis themselves. In their other two games, they were clean as a whistle, and Hans Sama had a feast playing his favoured Draven on Saturday and Monday. B_N DR_VEN. Also 2-1 is Team BDS, also having only lost to SK so far. They've continued playing well as in Winter.
1-2 so far are KOI, Excel and MAD Lions. Of these, particularly surprising is the low standing of MAD, the second place team from Winter. Excel on the other hand is performing above expectation, and they have a good shot at getting into group this split.
Team Heretics and Fnatic are both 0-3. Heretics is being dragged towards teh finish line by Jankos, who has been performing admirably. However, the rest of the team hasn't quite been playing at their usual level. Fnatic, having replaced two players in the short break between Winter and Spring, continues to suffer internally. They haven't really shown much this weekend, though fans are ever hopeful that that will change in Week 2.
Day 1 Recap
The first game of the new Spring Split was probably predicted to be one of the least exciting ones of the opening weekend. A best-of-one between the two teams that didn’t make top eight in Winter, and thus never participated in the group stage. However, this series could potentially give us a glimpse into both of these teams and set expectations for the remainder of the split. Will these two teams fall apart again, or did they learn from their mistakes, and are back in better form? Both teams have made some roster changes, with XL subbing in LIMIT in the bot lane over Targamas, while FNC brought in rookie Oscarinin to replace Wunder, and Advienne to replace Rhuckz.
FNC scored First Blood in the bot lane when Humanoid roamed bot side early on, indicating FNC's intent on focusing on their bot lane this game. In the top lane, however, Odoamne was styling on the LEC newbie, grabbing an early solo kill and entering the mid game with a big advantage. At the 28th minute mark, XL was able to secure Baron Nashor, and with their empowered minions they stormed through mid lane. With every member of XL having a gold advantage over their rival, FNC could do nothing to stop their advance, and XL secured their first win of the Split.
BDS and SK were up next, both teams historically not very successful in the LEC, but with banger Winter Split results in their rear view mirrors. Fans were excited to see if they will continue to perform in Spring. BDS didn't want to disappoint, and they grabbed First Blood with a super early bot lane gang from Sheo. The action was centred solely on bot lane, and Sheo would return again to secure another kill soon, gifting it to Crownie this time. Markoon and Sertuss also roamed bot-side, and Sertuss would enter the mid game with 2 kills to his name.
BDS would maintain a steady lead for now, but that all changed as SK set their sights on the Infernal Drake. BDS was caught off-guard by SK's fast engage and overabundance of CC, and SK grabbed four kills, their third Dragon of the game, and Baron Nashor to boot. Shortly after, they managed to acquire the Infernal Soul, and after that, there was no going back for BDS. A couple more devastating team fights was all that was necessary for SK to snag their first win of the Split.
Both of these teams had great Winter Splits, though Vitality hopes to go all the way in Spring with their new ADC Upset. Perkz also managed to snag the coveted Aurelion Sol, a strong mid laner with great roam potential. First Blood was scored at the 6th minute mark as Bo ganked Photon in the top lane, but Elyoya got his vengeance two minutes later, tying the score. In the bot lane, Hyli had a great engage onto Upset, but Perkz came to his bot lane's rescue, securing two kills for Vitality.
20 minutes in, Vitality was ahead in nearly every lane and had a 6k gold advantage overall. Five minutes later the gold gap widened to 12k, with MAD Lions only having one turret, one dragon, and two kills to their name. The game ended at the 27th minute mark, with Vitality having delivered exactly what fans had been waiting for since the inception of the “super team”.
The fourth match of the day was between Astralis and KOI. Astralis had performed way above expectation last Split, and, having managed to secure group stage against all odds, they quickly became fan favourites. After all, everyone loves an underdog! While KOI floundered a bit here and there, they ended the Winter Split in third place, and were likely the expected winner of this game. The action started early. Shortly after hitting level two, Trymbi was taken down when JeongHoon unleashed a deadly hook, securing First Blood for Kobbe. The game slowed down after this, with both teams taking a kill here or there, but remaining even in towers and kills even twenty minutes in.
What they weren't even in was the Drakes. Astralis had managed to secure every single Drake, and were just moments away from securing the Soul. Knowing this, KOI prepared to fight, but Astralis decided to trade. Rather than fight for the Soul Drake, and risk losing a team fight, they went for Baron Nashor. They killed the giant worm uncontested, and then decimated KOI's base, ending the game while the Baron buff was still active!
The final game of the first day of SPring was a match between G2 Esports and Team heretics. Having just won the Winter Split, G2 were the obvious favourites, and TH would need something spicy to secure a win against them. TH drafted Elise in the jungle and the lover's duo bot lane, leaving Draven open for G2 to secure for Hans Sama. A mistake they'd quickly regret. They managed to keep Hans at bay until the first cash in from Draven's passive, but after that it was basically already over. 13 minutes in, Draven had a 2k gold advantage over Xayah, and it was only getting larger. The nail in TH's coffin happened at the 20th minute mark as a fight broke out in the top side river. Mikyx initiated a fight, and the insane CC from the side of G2 was able to keep enemies in place for Draven to clean up house, earning Hans Sama a bona fide pentakill. Now 10k gold ahead, G2 is able to initiate a fight in TH's base and end the game.
Day 2 Recap
The first game on Sunday was Team BDS versus the MAD Lions. Both teams had lost on Saturday, though whereas Team BDS fumbled the ball in their game against SK, MAD were totally smashed by Vitality. BDS drafted Darius, whom Adam is known for one-tricking, and some fans would say this is as deadly as leaving Draven for Hans. Adam would prove those fans right by solo killing Chasy just as he hit level four. First Blood was however secured by MAD Lions after an excellent hook from Hylissang in the enemy jungle prior to minion spawn.
Hylissang continued to make waves, roaming top lane with Elyoya and killing Adam in turn. The first bigger team fight of the game occurred at the 22nd minute mark, when Adam ghosted into the MAD Lion's lineup and was immediately burst to death by Nisqy's Veigar. MAD thought they had the advantage and continued to press forward, however, Crownie popped off on the Zeri and they took down two, taking both Ocean Drake and Baron. Between all the objectives and kills, BDS ended in a 5k gold lead after Baron wore off. With this lead, they were able to secure Ocean Soul, and sprinkled in one more Baron Buff, before finishing the game.
In the second game of the day, Team Vitality faced off Excel. Both teams were coming off a win, though the odds were heavily in the favour of Vitality after the performance against MAD, and their track record in Winter. XL drafted a poke-heavy bot lane with Caitlyn and Heimerdinger, which could have been very nasty to deal with had Bo not ganked them at level two, securing First Blood on the Sejauni. Bo gave some attention to Photon in the top lane as well, and Jayce, Xayah, and Sejuani all exited the early game with good leads over their counterparts.
While struggling to get kills, XL was able to secure some sneaky objectives, killing Baron Nashor as soon as it spawned with Vitality being completely unaware. Unfortunately, due to how behind XL was, they couldn't really capitalise on the Baron buff. On its second spawn, Vitality was quicker to the draw, and with their already significant advantage, they were able to create a 10k gold gap, taking three turrets and the bot lane inhibitor. Thirty minutes in, Vitality found the perfect team fight, storming XL's base thereafter and securing their second win.
After a disappointing start, Fnatic had a new chance to show fans that there isn't going to be a repeat of Spring, but they had to beat SK to do it. FNC decided to play a scaling team, drafting Azir and Gangplank, and an immobile bot lane - answered with Renekton, Vi, and Taliyah picks that were sure to make life difficult for Zeri. Razork took First Blood in an early gank bot lane, though Irrelevant and Markoon got one back in the top lane at the same time. Ten minutes in, the two teams were even in kills and gold, with each side having taken down one important objective - FNC the Chemtech Drake, and SK Rift Herald.
Things went south for FNC shortly after, as nearly all of SK decided to pay Oscarinin a visit in the top lane. A successful dive turned into three kills, with Exakick getting a fourth in the bot lane where he was forced to lane 1v2 as Doss roamed. 26 minutes in, SK were gearing to do Baron and end the game. Before starting, Sertuss was able to catch Rekkles off-guard, and a team fight ensued. SK was able to take down both the Zeri and FNC's jungler, guaranteeing Baron and securing a 7k gold lead. It wasn't long then that SK could finish FNC for good, securing their second win of the Split.
Both G2 and AST performed admirably on Saturday, but few fans could dream that the underdog could win against the winner of the Winter Split. AST were off to a great start, however, securing First Blood in a 2v2 bot lane onto the squishy Heimerdinger. 113 was quick to the scene and AST took Caitlyn down shortly as well. 113 continued to focus on bot lane, but G2 was always able to get something in return for these deaths. The first larger skirmish took place in the mid lane, as LIDER engaged with Vanguard's Edge, getting a double kill at the cost of 113's life. It is dangerous to give kills to Irelia, however, and G2 was about to be reminded by that. Fifteen minutes in, LIDER had four kills and was 2.5k gold ahead of Caps. AST made a play for Baron 25 minutes in, and, in spite of Yike's good attempt at Smite stealing, secured it alongside a 3k gold lead. One last fight was all AST needed to nearly ace G2 and storm their base for a huge upset win!
KOI and TH both were feeling sore after their losses yesterday, but luckily one of these teams was about to turn their luck around! TH drafted an uncommon Tryndamere top, while KOI had a more orthodox draft, with a Sejuani jungle and the ever-popular Nami and Lucian combo bot. Initially, the Tryndamere pick was solid, 12 minutes in Evi was 2-0 and nearly a thousand gold ahead of Szygenda. However, in spite of only having one single kill, KOI managed to maintain a minimal gold differential even twenty minutes in, and then they turned things around. Evi and Jankos were hankering for another kill in the top lane, but KOI was quick to the scene. Between Nami and Sejuani, the CC was just too much, and TH lost three members and the Baron in one fell swoop.
Suddenly, KOI was 3k gold ahead, but TH kept fighting. They found an excellent team fight in the bot lane, equalising the gold and landing a double kill onto Evi, as three members of KOI died. TH was aiming to secure the win now by grabbing Baron Nashor, but, although they succeeded with the Smite, the cost was too high. In the ensuing fight, Szygenda snagged a Triple Kill and TH found themselves nearly aced. This long back-and-forth game finally reached its conclusion after another TH mishap at the Baron Pit. With all three inhibitors down, TH attempted to sneak the Baron through, but Larssen simply teleported in TH's base, and took down the Nexus.
Day 3 Recap
On the final day of Week 1, Astralis faced SK Gaming. Both teams were 2-0, and eager to continue their win streak. AST felt spicy, drafting Pyke and Veigar in the bot lane, whereas SK kept it mostly vanilla, with Sertuss grabbing the meta Annie mid lane, but Irrelevant choosing an unusual Sejuani top lane. It looked like AST were about to snag First Blood onto Sertuss mid lane, but Markoon and Jeong were close by and ready to help. In this unexpected early game skirmish, Markoon got a double kill, and Jeong took one back. Markoon snowballed incredibly fast, with four kills under his black belt by the 10th minute. This Lee Sin was everywhere, and SK was able to secure every Drake while Markoon maintained 100% kill participation across the map. AST showed some signs of life, but ultimately couldn't deal with the 12-0 Lee Sin, and the game ended at 23 minutes. A super clean showing from SK and Markoon in particular!
Team Heretics would face Team BDS next. Although TH have lost both the Saturday and Sunday games, they haven't been performing too poorly, and fans were still hoping that Jankos could clutch out a win for his team this weekend. This was a weird game, and worth going back and watching if you missed it. BDS knew that TH's strength was Jankos and their bot lane, so they decided to completely mess up Jankos' route and stop TH's bot lane in their tracks. Adam, as Sion, didn't go top lane when minions spawned. Instead, he headed bot side with Sheo, and the two took Jankos' raptors, red buff, and Krugs, before diving bot lane at level two.
This set Adam far behind, and he paid the price by not being to farm top side or hit level six before the twelfth minute mark. In the end, the two teams were somewhat even, and the action slowed. BDS were stacking Drakes all the while, securing the Mountain Soul 29 minutes in. With the Soul shield active and a strong Viktor and Xayah at their side, BDS was able to end the game at the 31 minute mark, even with Adam being 3k gold behind TH's top.
MAD faced KOI next, and the lions were hungry for a win. After getting second place in the Winter Split, they were now struggling to secure their first win in Spring. KOI drafted Draven in the bot lane, pairing him with Soraka rather than a more conventional engage support, while MAD was able to secure Annie support. Hyli Flash stunned the squishy Soraka at minute 4, and Elyoya was there to make sure First Blood was secured. Ten minutes in, Zeri had two kills and was nearly 1k gold ahead, when suddenly Comp got to cash in on his passive, securing a kill onto Elyoya, and suddenly finding himself ahead of Carzzy. The two teams continued to trade blows, but MAD stayed ahead as they were able to secure four Drakes by minute 25. They set their sights on Baron, securing both the objective and a kill onto Malrang. KOI couldn't defend their base from MAD's push, and Elyoya managed to snag a win on his birthday!
Excel has been performing better than in Winter, and G2 had just lost to the underdog Astralis, could XL snag a win here too? Maybe, if they had banned Draven. Hans managed to secure Draven for the second time this weekend, and fans were left wondering what XL had in mind to stop Hans from snowballing. High CC seemed to be their answer, as XL had drafted Nautilus bot lane, Vi jungle and Gragas top to deal with The Glorious Executioner. Meanwhile, Caps was back on mages, and he took First Blood mid lane at level four, dying to the turret shortly after the semi-dive. In the bot lane, Hans secured his first kill 9 minutes in, and, sure enough, 15 minutes in, Hans was 3k gold ahead of Patrik and feeling confident. In addition to having two fed carries, G2 was on top of objectives, having secured three drakes by 22 minutes and Baron Nashor. Being so far ahead, G2 didn't even need Soul Drake to end the game. They simply walked into XL's base and dropped the Nexus.
Fnatic was having a rough opening weekend, and they would now have to face Team Vitality; arguably the best performing team of Spring thus far. FNC drafted for some early game pressure with Vi and LeBlanc, whereas VIT was going for scaling, drafting Azir and Xayah bot lane. The game kicked off with First Blood top lane as Photon 1v1'd the rookie Oscarinin, and Bo was there shortly to secure a second kill while Ornn still had no Flash or Teleport. LeBlanc failed to get an early game lead, and bot lane went array for FNC as well. 15 minutes in, Vitality were a whopping 7k gold ahead, with the biggest gap being bot lane, Upset having a 40 CS lead and two kills over Rekkles. Unfortunately for FNC, there were no real glimmers of hope for the team, and Vitality made few mistakes, ultimately ending the game after taking down Baron and storming FNC's base 22 minutes in.
Week 2 Preview
That concludes our week 1 recap and our week 2 preview. We hope you'll enjoy this coming weekend of games as much as we will!
Remember that there's still a few more hours to update your Captain or use up your sell tokens if you think that a player you have is going to be putting your fantasy team at risk. If one of the top point earners is in your team, consider making them your captain this week! Also keep in mind that while you can switch your Captains between each game day, you only have one single sell token!
Credits go to LoL.fandom Wiki for their collection of player portraits, up-to-date statistics, overviews and all-around fantastic work documenting LoL esports. A huge thank you to Silverman who helped me craft this article, and gave me lots of inspiration from when he covered Worlds.