It has been a somewhat frustrating year for League of Legends European Championship (LEC) teams. Longtime regional powerhouse Astralis (previously Origen) finds itself with a great deal of work to do following a disastrous Summer Split rooting the team to the bottom of the table. Meanwhile, towards the top of the ladder, MAD Lions offered more of a meow than a roar at LoL Worlds after crashing out of the play-ins.
Even the region’s crown jewels: the juggernauts of Fnatic and G2, faltered in their international pursuits with both teams failing to reach the Worlds final. This marks the first time in three years we have not had a European side challenging for the Summoner’s Cup. Although Fnatic lost to favourites Top Esports after a close-fought series, it was G2 that fell to eventual champions Damwon Gaming.
All in all, it’s clear that teams towards the top of the LEC standings are not quite translating their domestic prowess into international glory. As we move into the off-season, it will be intriguing to see how teams adapt to the challenges presented in what has been a difficult year.
To help you stay in the loop with all things LEC, we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with the latest LEC rosters, roster swaps, and rumours as we head towards the 2021 season.
Though technically the new kid on the block, Astralis is not a stranger to the LEC. Previously operating as Origen, the team was merged into parent company Astralis Group’s branding at the end of the season. Once a dominant force in the European LCS, and now a challenger for the top spots of the LEC, the newly-rebranded Astralis finds itself in a peculiar position. Following a solid third-place performance in the Spring regular Split, the team crumbled and dropped to the bottom of the table by the end of summer.
Head coach André ‘Guilhoto’ Pereira Guilhoto leaving the team has led to the promotion of assistant coach Baltat ‘AoD’ Alin-Ciprian to the top job. Whether or not this is enough to wipe away the smear of the last split remains to be seen. Additionally, rumours of Andrei ‘Xerxe’ Dragomir following Guilhoto to the LCS’ Immortals have been circulating, while Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris may be heading to Team Liquid, so prepare for possible further changes to Astralis’s 2021 LEC roster here.
In: Matti ‘WhiteKnight’ Sormunen, Jesper ‘Jeskla’ Strömberg, Hampus ‘promisq’ Abrahamsson, Nikolay ‘Zanzarah’ Akatov.
Out: André ‘Guilhoto’ Pereira Guilhoto (Immortals, LCS), Mitchell ‘Destiny’ Shaw (Free Agent), Andrei ‘Xerxe’ Dragomir (Free Agent), Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp (Free Agent), Jakub ‘Jactroll’ Skurzyński (Free Agent), Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris (Team Liquid, LCS, Unconfirmed).
Current Astralis roster:
|Top Lane||Matti ‘WhiteKnight’ Sormunen|
|Jungle||Nikolay ‘Zanzarah’ Akatov|
|Mid Lane||Erlend ‘Nukeduck’ Holm|
|Bot Lane||Jesper ‘Jeskla’ Strömberg|
|Support||Hampus ‘promisq’ Abrahamsson|
|Head Coach||Baltat ‘AoD’ Alin-Ciprian|
UK-based outfit Excel Esports has slowly but surely been climbing its way up the LEC ladder over the past couple of years. 2020 saw the team securing back-to-back seventh-place finishes in both the Spring and Summer Splits, narrowly missing out on playoff spots. However, it now looks as if Excel is escalating its plans to make it to the top of the ladder, as Joran ‘Special’ Scheffer moves to free agency.
Marc Robert ‘Caedrel’ Lamont’s retirement is a huge loss to the organisation, as his presence, communication, and expansive knowledge of the game were all major boons to the team. With Caedrel also leaving we are keen to see the style of mid lane/jungle pairing Excel replaces the outgoing duo with for its 2021 LEC roster.
In: Paweł ‘Czekolad’ Szczepanik (Unconfirmed), Daniel ‘Dan’ Hockley (Unconfirmed)
Out: Marc Robert ‘Caedrel’ Lamont (Retired), Joran ‘Special’ Scheffer (Free Agent)
Current Excel Esports roster:
|Top Lane||Felix ‘Kryze’ Hellström|
|Bot Lane||Patrik ‘Patrik’ Jírů|
|Support||Tore ‘Tore’ Eilertsen|
|Head Coach||Joey ‘Youngbuck’ Steltenpool|
FC Schalke 04
Schalke had already made a dramatic personnel change prior to the start of Summer Split’s second round robin with the reintroduction of Erberk ‘Gilius’ Demir. After a disastrous 0-6 start to the split, the return of ‘God Gilius’ helped spur on Schalke’s miracle run to playoffs. Defeat at the hands of MAD Lions in round 2 may have put an end to their LEC title challenge, but nonetheless there is a real belief in this Schalke squad now.
In: Dino ‘LIMIT’ Tot (Unconfirmed), Segen ‘Broken Blade’ Çelik (Unconfirmed)
Out: Andrei ‘Odoamne’ Pascu (Rogue, LEC)
Current FC Schalke 04 roster:
|Jungle||Erberk ‘Gilius’ Demir|
|Mid Lane||Felix ‘Abbedagge’ Braun|
|Bot Lane||Matúš ‘Neon’ Jakubčík|
|Support||Han ‘Dreams’ Min-kook|
|Head Coach||Dylan Falco|
The G2 boogeyman has long-haunted Fnatic’s LEC aspirations, trumping the Season 1 World champions to the LEC title three consecutive splits in a row. However, despite their fiercest rivals achieving a semi-finals spot at Worlds this year, Fnatic nearly did what many thought impossible and took Chinese first seed Top Esports to five games in their quarter-final matchup.
Touting probably the best Western bot lane/support pairing in Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson and Zdravets ‘Hylissang’ Galabov, Fnatic has so far been molded around this duo. With the pair shining at Worlds, the blame for the team’s exit quickly fell upon their teammates, particularly midlaner Tim ‘Nemesis’ Lipovšek who was criticised for his shallow champion pool. There seems to be a stylistic difference as well with Fnatic playing progressively more aggressively, contrarily to Nemesis’s more cautious playstyle, as the year proceeded.
Whilst Nemesis’s future is unclear, if the team does part ways with the midlaner, we are likely to see a more aggressive replacement.
In: Jakub ‘YamatoCannon’ Mebdi (Unconfirmed), Yasin ‘Nisqy’ Dinçer, Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp (Unconfirmed)
Out: Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson, Alfonso ‘Mithy’ Rodríguez (Unconfirmed), Tim ‘Nemesis’ Lipovšek (Unconfirmed)
Current Fnatic roster:
|Top Lane||Gabriël ‘Bwipo’ Rau|
|Jungle||Oskar ‘Selfmade’ Boderek|
|Mid Lane||Yasin ‘Nisqy’ Dinçer|
|Support||Zdravets ‘Hylissang’ Galabov|
|Head Coach||Alfonso ‘Mithy’ Rodríguez|
No longer the ‘new kings’ of Europe, G2 Esports has regularly dominated domestic competition even after Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther and Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković (both primarily midlaners) briefly swapped roles for the 2020 Spring Split.
After this year’s bid to reach back-to-back Worlds finals fell flat, rumours that Perkz is looking to leave the org and return to the mid lane elsewhere began to surface. According to ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, G2 has so far offered Perkz’s services to a slew of western teams, though his buyout clause is, quite frankly, eye-watering. Indeed, we could still be a way off seeing a deal being done for Europe’s most versatile laner…
Current G2 Esports roster:
|Top Lane||Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen|
|Jungle||Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski|
|Mid Lane||Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther|
|Bot Lane||Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson|
|Support||Mihael ‘Mikyx’ Mehle|
|Head Coach||Fabian ‘GrabbZ’ Lohmann|
MAD Lions made its LEC debut this year in explosive fashion, rocketing up the ladder to a fourth place finish in the Spring Split, and a remarkable second place finish in the Summer Split.
Regardless of the team’s lackluster Worlds showing, this is a roster filled with talent, especially jungler Zhiqiang ‘Shad0w’ Zhao and support Norman ‘Kaiser’ Kaiser who both featured in the LEC’s Summer Split all-pro team. With Peter ‘Peter Dun’ Dun crossing the pond to LCS’s Evil Geniuses, James ‘Mac’ MacCormack now finds himself solely in charge of this pride of players.
Out: Peter ‘Peter Dun’ Dun (Evil Geniuses, LCS), Andrei ‘Orome’ Popa
Current MAD Lions roster:
|Jungle||Zhiqiang ‘Shad0w’ Zhao|
|Mid Lane||Marek ‘Humanoid’ Brázda|
|Bot Lane||Matyáš ‘Carzzy Orság|
|Support||Norman ‘Kaiser’ Kaiser|
|Head Coach||James ‘Mac’ MacCormack|
It has been three years since that five-game thriller between Misfits and Korea’s T1 (previously SKT) at Worlds 2017, and while both organisations have faced difficulties domestically since, it is the LEC outfit which continues to struggle having only reached playoffs twice since then.
Despite this, veteran midlaner Fabian ‘FEBIVEN’ Diepstraten continues a fine run of form, while the addition of Kasper ‘Kobbe’ Kobberup at the start of summer ensures an experienced spine to build around. Like MAD Lions, Misfits also possess a real upcoming talent in Iván ‘Razork’ Martín Díaz, whose performances in the jungle saw him named the spring 2020 ‘Rookie of the Split’.
Danny ‘Dan Dan’ Le Comte’s departure from the team leaves MSF with a top lane-sized hole to fill for their 2021 LEC roster, so expect more on that soon.
In: Vincent ‘Vetheo’ Berrié (Unconfirmed), Tobiasz ‘Agresivoo’ Ciba (Unconfirmed)
Out: Danny ‘Dan Dan’ Le Comte (Free Agent), Mads ‘Doss’ Schwartz (Free Agent), Fabian ‘FEBIVEN’ Diepstraten (Free Agent)
Current Misfits roster:
|Jungle||Iván ‘Razork’ Martín Díaz|
|Bot Lane||Kasper ‘Kobbe’ Kobberup|
|Support||Petr ‘denyk’ Haramach|
|Head Coach||Alejandro ‘Jandro’ Fernández-Valdés|
Rogue has gone from strength-to-strength over the course of the season, finishing the Summer Split in first place with an impressive 13-5 record. The Worlds draw was not kind to Rogue, however, seeing the team placed in the same group as Chinese second seed JD Gaming and eventual champions Damwon. Despite a valiant effort, Rogue’s first appearance at Worlds ended with a disappointing 1-5 record.
We are fairly unlikely to see any changes to Rogue’s 2021 LEC roster following the org’s most successful split, but off-season has surprised us all before…
Current Rogue roster:
|Top Lane||Andrei ‘Odoamne’ Pascu|
|Jungle||Kacper ‘Inspired’ Słoma|
|Mid Lane||Emil ‘Larssen’ Larsson|
|Bot Lane||Steven ‘Hans sama’ Liv|
|Support||Adrian ‘Trymbi’ Trybus|
|Head Coach||Simon ‘fredy122’ Payne|
SK, SK, SK. 2020 has certainly been a wild ride for the German org. A tumultuous Spring Split saw the team finish with a worse record than Astralis did in the summer. However, following Janix ‘Jenax’ Bartels’s swap to top alongside the shrewd signing of Dirk ‘ZaZee’ Mallner, SK managed a respectable fifth place finish in the Summer Split before falling to Schalke in the first round of playoffs.
Juš ‘Crownshot’ Marušič and Dino ‘LIMIT’ Tot both reach the end of their contracts this month, so SK’s roster could possibly change heading into the 2021 LEC season. Where will Crownie’s Comet fly to next? We shall see.
In: Kristian ‘Tynx’ Østergaard, Ersin ‘Blue’ Gören, Jean ‘Jezu’ Massol , Erik ‘Treatz’ Wessén.
Out: Juš ‘Crownshot’ Marušič, Kim ‘Trick’ Gang-yun (Free Agent), Dirk ‘ZaZee’ Mallner (SK Prime), Dino ‘LIMIT’ Tot (FC Schalke 04, LEC, Unconfirmed).
Current SK Gaming roster:
|Top Lane||Janik ‘Jenax’ Bartels|
|Jungle||Kristian ‘Tynx’ Østergaard|
|Mid Lane||Ersin ‘Blue’ Gören|
|Bot Lane||Jean ‘Jezu’ Massol|
|Support||Erik ‘Treatz’ Wessén|
|Head Coach||Jesse ‘Jesiz’ Le|
It has been a miserable year for Vitality fans. Following the example set by Rogue in Spring 2019, Vitality also found itself with a 2-16 record at the end of the 2020 Spring Split, finishing in tenth place. Between spring and summer the roster was changed dramatically, with Aljoša “Milica” Kovandžić, Cantoursna ‘Nji’ An, and eventual Summer ‘Rookie of the Split’ Labros ‘Labrov’ Papoutsakis all recruited to turn the tides before it was too late. Despite achieving a much healthier 7-11 record, the team finished ninth in the Summer Split.
There could yet be a much bigger shakeup for Vitality, with LEC veteran Lucas ‘Cabochard’ Simon-Meslet and Markos ‘Comp’ Stamkopoulos both set to become free agents in the coming weeks. Should they lose their talisman in Cabochard, then Vitality will have the unenviable task of deciding between snagging a more experienced laner, or injecting more fresh blood into what is already a fairly young squad.
In: Mathias ‘Syzgenda’ Jensen (Unconfirmed)
Current Vitality roster:
|Top Lane||Lucas ‘Cabochard’ Simon-Meslet|
|Jungle||Cantoursna ‘Nji’ An|
|Mid Lane||Aljoša “Milica” Kovandžić|
|Bot Lane||Markos ‘Comp’ Stamkopoulos|
|Support||Labros ‘Labrov’ Papoutsakis|
|Head Coach||Hadrien ‘Duke’ Forestier|
Who do you want to see on your favourite team? Are we due another EU exodus, or will we see even more prodigal EU midlaners enter the LEC? Stay tuned for even more 2021 LEC roster changes, news, and rumours here at The Loadout.