As a whole I’m sure we can all agree, that if we could, we’ be happy for 2020 to be erased from history. COVID-19 has effected every aspect of the world. For a large proportion, not so much in the best way. Now, I don’t know about you but I’m not one to sit and wallow in all the negativity. One industry that has boomed significantly during these times that I am so happy about is the E-Sports industry. With this comes a tonne of online content for us to get our teeth stuck into and we all know that one of the best ways to absorb content on a continual basis is through online streaming platforms. Personally, I prefer Twitch but everyone has their own way to watch their favourite content. In January 2020 Twitch had on average, 1.35 million concurrent viewers (https://twitchtracker.com/statistics). Compare this with 2.92 million currently on average in January 2021. You don’t need to be a genius to infer from that, that this industry has had a significantly massive increase in popularity as more and more people are spending time at home and finding themselves searching for more and more ways to keep themselves entertained.
One game in particular that adapted to the pandemic quickly and has continued to do so throughout the year was League of Legends (LoL). LoL has dominated E-Sports viewership on streaming platforms for a fair few years now and it isn’t going away!
Each year, around January, each region across the world springs into action with the start of their respective leagues culminating in a world championship series in the later seasons of the year. Some of the most popular leagues are the: LoL Pro League: China (LPL), LoL Champions Korea (LCK) & LoL Championship Series: North America (LCS). Some of these begin earlier than others but one started this weekend that I’m sure many can agree is one of the best!
Of course I am going to be a little bias as I live in this region but The LoL European Championships (LEC), in my opinion brings some of the best LoL gameplay, E-Sports action and content. Historically the EU teams have done pretty well at the world championships. Fnatic (EU) won the first ever world championship event in 2011 and other EU teams have finished top 5 pretty consistently since then. Although teams from the LCK or LPL might dominate these events, at a regional level the LEC provides a plethora of both entertaining content and technically outstanding gameplay that I feel is some of the best in the world.
The LEC uses a round-robin format to determine the top teams at the end of both a Spring and Summer Season with the top teams fighting it out for world championship qualifying spots later in the year. To my pleasure, the Spring 2021 season began this weekend and I can now, once again, engross myself in weekly LoL E-Sports goodness. Not only is there great gameplay to get into the LEC provides a great platform and has a great community of content creators, casters and analysts that make the weekend viewing even more enjoyable. Dan “Foxdrop” Wyatt alongside Mark “Caedrel” Lamont join the regulars: “Quickshot”, “sjoks”, Daniel Drakos, “Medic”, “Vedius”, “Bulii” & “Ender” to bring us entertaining and informative content.
After having a great 2020, it’s no surprise that G2 haven’t made many changes in their roster. However in one of LoL’s biggest transfers ever, Luka ‘Perkz’ Perkovic did leave for pastures new, moving to Cloud9 (LCS) and being replaced by Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson from Fnatic. Let’s see if Rekkles can keep them at the top.
After finishing 6th and 1st in the Summer and Spring Splits 2020, Rogue have made a couple of changes to this year’ roster. Finn ‘Finn’ Wiestai has transferred to Counter Logic Gaming (LCS) and Oskar ‘Vander’ Bogda moved to Misfits Gaming as a free agent whilst Andrei ‘Odoamne’ Pascu & Adrian ‘Trymbi’ Trybus join the team.
The 2020 season for Excel Esports saw them just miss out on the playoffs by finishing 7th back to back in both the Spring and Summer Splits. After ‘Cadrael’ retired from the team in November 2020 and Joran ‘Special’ Scheffer left as a free agent. Excel Esports had some shoes to fill and Pawel ‘Czekolad’ Szczepanik & Daniel ‘Dan’ Hockley have stepped up to help move Excel Esports up the LEC ladder.
Last season brought about many changes for FC Schalke 04 after having a bumpy start to say the least in the Spring Split. After only winning 33% of their games, three changes helped FC Schalke into the Play Offs with an impressive 7 game win streak. They ended the season by making 2 further changes having brought in Dino ‘LIMIT’ Tot and Segen ‘Broken Blade’ Celik in place of Andrei ‘Odoamne’ Pascu & Han ‘Dreams’ Min-kook.
2020 was a debut season for MAD Lions who burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion finishing 4th place in the spring split and 2nd place in the summer split. Their worlds run didn’t go so well however to even qualify in their debut LEC season is a massive achievement. They replace Zhiqiang ‘Shadow’ Zhao & Andrei ‘Orome’ Popa with Javier ‘Elyoya’ Prades & Irfan ‘Armut’ Tukek to help them continue their impressive LEC record.
For the past few years Misfits Gaming haven’t had the best time which was similarly evident in the 2020 season. Finishing 5th and 7th in the two splits respectively, Misfits had some work to do. This season see’s the arrival of Vincent ‘Vetheo’ Berrie & Shin ‘HiRit’ Tae-min to join rookie of the spring split (2020), Ivan ‘Razork’ Martin Diaz for a hopeful 2021.
SK Gaming finished 9th and 5th in the Summer and Spring Splits last year prompting some quite drastic changes in the team. Of the main roster for last season only Janix ‘Jenax’ Batels managed to secure their spot. Kristian ‘Tynx’ Ostergaard, Ersin ‘Blue’ Gorin, Jean ‘Jezu’ Massol & Erik ‘Treatz’ Wessen joins SK Gaming with the goal of pushing closer towards play-offs and into contention or the summoners cup.
Team Vitality had the worst record of all teams during the 2020 Spring Split and many major changes occurred during the off-season in hopes the Summer Split would be better. After only having won 1 more games than Origen, Team Vitality finished 9th in the Summer Split, not much better. After picking up Mathias ‘Szygenda’ Jensen as their new top laner for the 2021 season, we hope to see a better form this year.
After having an up and down season in 2020 (3rd & 10th in the splits) Astralis, as they are now known, have made a few changes to the squad to help bolster their performances this year. Matti ‘WhiteKnight’ Sormunen, Jesper ‘Jeskla’ Strömberg, Hampus ‘promisq’ Abrahamsson & Nikolay ‘Zanzarah’ Akatov, all join the roster for the 2021 season.
Fnatic may have held the title of world champions by lifting the ‘Summoners Cup’ in 2011 and are considered one of the best teams in Europe. However they have been shoved off of their pedestal by G2 Esports multiple times over the past few seasons. Fnatic have made three changes this year to help break the three year streak of G2 finishing above them in the regional splits. Jakub ‘YamotoCannon’ Mebdi,Yasin ‘Nisqy’ Dincer & Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp replace Rekkles, Alfonso ‘Mithy’ Rodriguez & Tim ‘Nemesis’ Lipovsek.
Keep updated with us as we follow through the LEC European Championships by signing up to our blog and come and let us know what you thoughts of the results on our social media pages!
About the Author...
Hi, I’m Sam! I am the Sales Manager here at MyMod Gaming. Although that may be my title, I’m not just looking to take your money 😉 I’ve been into gaming since a young age starting with puzzle and platform games such as: Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and the Oddworld series. I moved into more online based multiplayer games in my mid-late teens. I’m now more of an avid viewer of ESports spending 90% of my weekends watching the likes of the LEC and catching up on the latest speed runs from GDQ or other content creators.
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