With the 2022 LEC Summer Split in the books, it’s time to direct our focus on the playoffs. The top six League of Legends teams from the LEC Summer will face each other during the following three weekends.
With seeding being determined by Championship points, G2 claimed the top spot. They won the Spring Split and finished tied for first in this regular season, and thus earned to choose their opponent in the first round of the playoffs. They had the option to choose between the third and fourth seed, who were Rogue and Misfits, and they chose the latter.
2022 LEC Summer Playoffs format
The top four teams are slotted into the upper bracket, while the fifth and sixth seeds enter the lower bracket. The losers of the upper bracket will get another shot since it’s a double-elimination bracket. The loser of Sunday’s series between Fnatic and Excel won’t have the same luxury, since they make up the lower bracket. The winner will face the loser from the first round of matches in the upper bracket with the lower seed.
Whoever wins that, faces off against the loser from the first round of matches in the upper bracket with the higher seed. By that time, we would know the loser of the upper bracket semifinals who gets another shot at the Grand Finals, through the lower bracket. All matches will be best of five series and the top four teams will represent Europe at the 2022 World Championship.
Rogue and MAD Lions among the favorites
The playoffs kick off with a battle of the goliaths, with Rogue facing the reenergized MAD Lions. After finishing seventh in the Spring Split, they ran in back in the summer, with Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer slotting in the mid-lane. He helped them achieve the best record in the league, en route to winning his first MVP award. In the first round, he faces another world-class mid-laner in Emil “Larssen” Larsson, the heart and soul of Rogue. After being promoted from Rogue’s development team, he has helped the team establish a winning culture.
Looking at the matchup, MAD Lions have implemented an aggressive playstyle, based on securing early game leads through skirmishing. For the last few years, Rogue have found success by taking advantage of their laning prowess. Generating gold leads through solid fundamentals, and closing games off with great team fighting. The meta currently plays out in favor of Rogue’s controlled late-game playstyle, but the “Chogue” meme still looms over.
MAD Lions have a 9-6 record in head-to-head matches against Rogue in the playoffs, with one of them being a reverse sweep in the 2021 Spring Finals. Both of these teams are among Europe’s finest so there is a very good chance we see them facing off again later on in the lower bracket.
G2 are the team to beat
The track record shows that G2 is Europe’s best team in 2022, and given the competitive experience of the roster, a lot is expected from them. Misfits had a great run since slotting Nikolay “Zanzarah” Akatov into the starting lineup, but is it enough to dethrone G2? Their coaching staff exceeded expectations given the circumstances the team was in, but they have to take it to another level.
Misfits have been on the rise since Vetheo joined the main roster, but have always faltered in the playoffs. Best-of-five series require additional preparation and experience, with weaknesses being more exposed. They have the worst matchup possible, facing Europe’s best team for the last half a decade in the first round. If they wish to continue the cinderella run, they must up their performance in the eventual lower bracket.
Playoff experience for Excel or Fnatic redemption?
If there is a team that could potentially go all the way through the lower bracket, it’s probably Fnatic’s current roster. Despite being dubbed as one of Europe’s super teams, they played way below expectations the entire year. Given the experience and caliber of the roster, they have what it takes to win if they figure it out.
Excel have been up and down the entire year, with the young and talented roster experiencing growing pains. They beat Fnatic twice in the regular split, and after so many disappointments by Fnatic, Excel could optimistically prevail. The season ends for whoever loses Sunday’s matchup, and the winner will be rewarded with another shot at the top teams.
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