The hype for the new season is real! With teams finalizing their rosters, the 2021 LEC promises to be one to remember. Veteran superstars like Perkz and Alphari will sadly not be participating in the upcoming split, however; a new class of rookies is about to burst onto the scene eager to impress and challenge for top spots. Let’s take a look at the potentially pivotal 2021 LEC Players and what LEC player transfers caught our eyes.
The Astralis group rebrand marked the second exit of Origen from the highest level of European League Of Legends. And with Origen’s exit, four of their all-star players also made their way for new blood. The only one to remain was the Norwegian mid-laner Nukeduck. This veteran has been praised loads of times for his mechanics and champion pool (more like an ocean)by casters, analysts, as well as his peers. These praises have been earned on the rift as he has made multiple LEC (and EU LCS) finals and even in Worlds in 2013.
However, he might find himself in a difficult situation as his current teammates are not to the same calibre to the ones he has had in the past. Success for the Astralis will most likely be determined by Nukeduck single-handedly, and it all depends if can perform at an all-star level and if his team-mates can support him. Otherwise, we fear that it might be yet another split at the bottom of the standings.
Excel Esports: Czekolad
Excel joined the LEC at the start of franchising in 2019 with goals of making a splash in the European scene. Despite their best efforts the organisation has yet to make it into playoffs. This makes them the only org to have not done so since the start of franchising. Their previous mid-laners may have been a factor as while none of them were terrible, they weren’t comparable to the superstars Europe has produced in the past.
The acquisition of Czekolad from Rogue’s Academy squad might be the difference-maker for their success going forward. This Polish powerhouse is fresh off a year that saw him pick up an Ultraliga and European Masters trophy, meaning that he is most likely out for blood to prove himself. Should he be able to perform to a similar degree on the LEC stage, he may be able to write his name alongside some of the premier European mid-laners and bring Excel to glory.
FC Schalke 04: Broken Blade
FC Schalke 04 capped off their 2020 season with an incredible run from the last place into playoffs. Sadly, they once again fell short one series from making Worlds. One of the biggest contributors to the run was the consistency of their top-laner Odoamne. Unfortunately, he has moved on to play with Rogue and TSM’s Broken blade was brought in to replace him.
Playing for TSM is one of the more stressful jobs in esports due to the passionate fan base. They tend to cast a spotlight on a player and hold them to frankly impossible standards. Their good games earn them praise which compares them to the game’s greatest and deities. The losses, however, earn them scrutiny unlike any other.
Broken Blade is a talented carry, he can be played around when given resources. On the other hand, Broken Blade is not without fault, as his weak side play can be quite questionable. If he can be integrated with the rest of the squad, perhaps the team can make a deep playoff run. It is however just as likely they don’t and struggle yet again.
The oldest organisation in European League of legends began the offseason by parting ways with its longest-standing player. For the second time in his career, Rekkles has once again left the org for their main rivals. The question of who could replace the 3 time MVP was not an easy one.
In the end, Upset was the man chosen for the job and was one of the most qualified candidates. A talented AD carry in his own right, Upset has even earned all-pro over Rekkles in a few splits. However, his teams would always fail to get past Fnatic and Rekkles at pivotal points, like the LEC Finals and the Worlds Gauntlet. Now he will be playing with the players that denied him before. Hopefully, he can make his own name with them and achieve the success he was denied before. Maybe they can finally overcome the G2 juggernaut, but only time will tell.
G2 Esports: Rekkles
The biggest question surrounding franchise era G2 in my opinion has been what can they not do? Defeat the greatest organisation in the history of the game? Check. Win an international tournament? Check. Make an insane lower bracket run in playoffs? Yes, twice. Win a game by funnelling nearly a year after Riot’s attempts to patch it out? You know it. They did all this while joking, and more importantly, memeing throughout.
This team has transcended the definition of a good League Of Legends team. Sadly all good things must come to an end, and this happens as their team captain Perkz moves overseas in an attempt to conquer another region. G2 yet again picked up the best they could find to replace him.
The question of whether Rekkles will be good in G2 feels not even worth asking. However, whether this could be another home for him and if he could play on this team for years to come is another. While the pre-season has shown he is able to banter, we’re not sure if he can do it for the entire time he is on the org? Just how long will that be, is this a brief fling in an attempt to win it all or a long term commitment to the G2 way of life?
MAD Lions: Elyoya
The MAD Lions entrance to the 2020 scene was explosive. Both on and off the rift this team was a joy to watch. They were the first European team to prove the G2 juggernaut were vulnerable in best of fives. Unfortunately, they could never sustain until the very end. Neither of the two splits saw them place higher than third and it ended with a disappointing exit at the Worlds play-ins.
Shadow, the team’s jungler, did his fair share to contribute to this playstyle with his early game aggression. Champions like Lee sin and Olaf allowed him to generate leads for the team and were considered the best in the league. However, the rest of his champion pool left quite a bit to be desired.
To this end, the MAD Lions have brought in the Spanish jungler Elyoya in an attempt at a more balanced playstyle. The rookie won the Spanish League in summer with Movistar Riders. The coaching staff has proven they are one of the best at preparing rookies for the big stage, and should they be able to once again work their magic, they may be able to once again contend at the top.
Misfits Gaming: Razork
Since their historic series against SKT in 2017, Misfits have been in quite the slump. They have yet to return to the LEC finals and more often than not find themselves out of playoff contention. They have tried to use both veterans and rookies in an attempt to recapture glory again and again.
Going into next season, only two players will return from last season. Kobbe has been a consistent AD carry for a majority of his career. My eyes are on the spring rookie of the split 2020. Razork needs to once again step up for this team if they want any chance to be contenders. Hopefully, we may see a return of his jungle Ekko as its capacity to carry is clearly immense.
Rogue as an organisation has come along way from where they started. Initially thought to be guaranteed bottom table, through smart pickups they managed to end the Summer split in first and even make Worlds.
Going into 2021 they have decided to upgrade their top-laner and promote their academy support Trymbi. The rookie will have a spotlight on him as he will be replacing an accomplished veteran which cannot be easy. However, the coaching staff clearly have faith in him. He will be getting the opportunity to show his skills rather soon.
SK Gaming: Tynx
SK Gaming’s return to the European League Of Legends has been rather slow, to say the least. They have yet to earn higher than a sixth-place finish or a .500 record. However, despite this, their junglers have been pretty stand out these past 2 years, Whether it was Selfmade’s raw mechanics or Trick’s experience and leadership skills.
Their new jungler in Tynx is expected to be no different. This French Rookie has shown to be a talented carry jungler who was able to win the EU Masters in Spring. Should Jesiz and the rest of the coaching staff be able to work with him and the rest of the team, SK may soon be able to reach new heights.
Team Vitality: Szygenda
Team Vitality announced they would be parting ways with Cabochard. He had been with the organisation since they first joined League of Legends ahead of season 6. Together they experienced both successes by making Worlds and quite a bit of failure. His carry style was a driving force for their wins even in the darkest of times.
Szygenda formerly of Rogue Academy has been brought in to serve as his successor. The vitality line up consists of a number of young players with potential and if they are able to realise it, they will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with.
2021 LEC Player Transfers Concluding Thoughts
All in all the 2021 season is sure to be exciting. We will most likely have another explosive year in which the league is still up for grabs by the last weeks of Spring Split. There are other LEC players that went through the transfer market that we did not discuss today, however, we tried to keep to the ones we believe are the most interesting heading into the LEC Spring Split 2021. We look forward to its start on January 21st.