Since Week 3, the LEC has enjoyed a two-week downtime as Europe's finest crushed their North American counterparts at Rift Rivals on June 29. But now we're back to the LEC once more, reviewing the carnage left in Week 3's wake.
The drastic Patch 9.12 changes brought upheaval: Title contenders stumbled, whilst playoff prospects rose.
The subsequent Patch 9.13 in Week 4 may bring even more changes, with Qiyana and Mordekaiser in tow. For now, the European picture is as follows:
1. G2 Esports -- Grade: S
Against all expectations, and despite G2 Esports' attempts at recovery, they lopsidedly lost against Fnatic. G2 have lost games in amusing ways before, and their clobbering at the hands of Fnatic is a callback to them. But they rebounded; they dusted themselves off and thumped Rogue in their second Week 3 contest. As long as G2 remain sharp and avoid their entertaining Rift Rivals ways (top lane Shyvana anyone?), their status as the strongest and most consistent European squad will remain intact.
2. Fnatic -- Grade: A+
Fnatic might be leading the LEC, and the only team as yet unbeaten, but their power level hasn't reached that of G2. Should they find greater consistency, they will challenge G2 come summer playoff time. Nevertheless, against Excel Esports, they drafted themselves into a corner and acted the part for 30 minutes. That shaky performance is food for thought in the short term, but it won't be enough to prevent Fnatic from reaching G2's level once the playoffs roll around.
3. Origen -- Grade: A
Origen are not what their record shows. Unlike other teams standing at 3-3, they have faced every one of the other top four teams. Against FC Schalke 04, their split-pushing focus and strong team fighting transformed a balanced early game into a decisive victory. And, although their Splyce faceoff ended in defeat, Origen displayed resilience and composure. Their consistency allows them to edge Splyce in the power rankings, if only just, but they need to do more to match G2.
4. Splyce -- Grade: A
At long last, Splyce have awakened. Their victories against Rogue and Origen were never in question, their effort deliberate. Traditionally a risk-averse team, having previously played slow games under Kiss "Vizicsacsi" Tamas' leadership. Nevertheless, Marek "Humanoid" Brazda brought Akali-shaped fireworks against Origen, ascending to Terminator status in the process.
5. FC Schalke 04 -- Grade: B/B+
FC Schalke 04's Week 3 performances signal improvement: They showed much less tunnel vision and were noticeably more decisive than before. On the other hand, their execution at macro and during team fights needs work; an outmaneuvered Schalke 04 failed to prevent Origen's 1-3-1 win condition and eventually conceded the game. However, against Misfits Gaming and their substitutes, they took care of business. Their 3-3 standing positions them in the middle, but their Week 4 games against a stumbling Rogue and a bloodthirsty G2 Esports could make or break them.
6. SK Gaming -- Grade: B
SK Gaming's rollercoaster Week 3 reset expectations across European League of Legends. Relief followed SK's swift victory against Misfits Gaming as they used a better, simpler draft and timed their objective takedowns adequately. But as their loss to Team Vitality showed, their team fighting is concerning, so too is their early game play -- a well-known Achilles' heel when Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek fails to secure advantages early.
7. Misfits Gaming -- Grade: B-
Misfits Gaming lacked synergy and initiative following Week 3's roster swaps. Rookie mid laner Adam "LIDER" Ilyasov may be excused for taking risks in his first LEC game against FC Schalke 04, as the team's macro movements and skirmishes backfired quickly. However, their loss against SK Gaming, when playing with their main unit, highlighted their predictability, especially in the jungle. Should the issue last, Misfits will crumble.
8. Rogue -- Grade: B-
After a testy Week 3, Rogue's primary emotion is likely to be one of relief. They were in tatters after losses to an enraged G2 Esports and a methodical Splyce. Their position at No. 8 can be deceiving as they stand as equals with SK Gaming, FC Schalke 04 and Misfits Gaming. Should they improve their target selection during team fights and their early-game coordination, they will fare better than their competition and their record.
9. Team Vitality -- Grade: C+
Following victories against Excel Esports and SK Gaming, Team Vitality have recovered their identity and mojo. Their victory against SK was encouraging, showing signs of proactivity as their bot lane shined -- a significant change of pace from their first two weeks. Their performance may have been promising, but whether they have reclaimed their early spring split form remains to be seen. For now, they are back in the playoff race, if only for a week.
10. Excel Esports (0-6) -- D+
Had Excel Esports buckled under Fnatic's weight, their rating would have been much worse. Instead, Excel narrowly missed victory. They showed mastery as they dribbled through the early game and middle stages, only to fail to convert their effort into a victory. On the bright side, Jesper "Jeskla" Klarin and Patryk "Mystiques" Piórkowski showed great form on conventional bot lane picks. Excel's season may be compromised, but they can build a sturdy legacy through goal-oriented practice and dedication to improvement. Outside of a miracle run similar to that of 2018 spring split playoff entrants H2K Gaming, their endgame should look toward 2020 prominence.