EU LCS 2016 Summer Split Pre-Season Power Rankings

The 2016 European LCS summer split starts on Thursday and it comes with many unanswered questions. How will all the new transfers fit into their new teams? Is G2 the team to beat? Will Yellowstar’s return help Fnatic reach the top again? How will the new format affect the entire league? And those are only a few. I’ve divided the 10 teams into 4 groups and ranked them. Here’s where the teams stack up at the start of the split.

Top Shelf

G2Trick

G2 Trick

1) G2 Esports

G2 may have been humiliated at MSI, but they are still the team to beat in Europe. They earned the right to be at MSI by defeating all of Europe last split and taking home the title. Now they will attempt to defend their crown with two new players in the lineup. G2 acquired the disgruntled Origen bot lane of Mithy and Zven to replace Emperor and Hybrid. On paper, the addition of the former Origen duo should improve the team. Team chemistry may take a little time to gel perfectly, but G2 should be considered the most talented team on paper. Trick is coming off his MVP award last split and Perkz is one of the best mid laners in Europe.  The biggest weak link on G2 is Kikis in the top lane. He was exposed badly at MSI and will need to improve if he wants to help G2 on their mission to repeat. G2 should finish at the top or very near it.

2) Fnatic

Fnatic finished the spring split in 3rd place, but with Yellowstar returning I expect Fnatic to make it to yet another final. Rekkles will gladly take back his old partner and look to regain their past chemistry. Yellowstar is an upgrade from Klaj, but he will need to improve his own play after his disappointing split for TSM. Febiven will want to improve his play from this past split as well and try to cement himself as one of the best mid laners in Europe. Gamsu and Spirit will be vital to Fnatic’s success this upcoming split and will need to perfect their team fighting skills for Fnatic to take home the trophy.

3) Origen

Origen finished 2nd place in the spring split and may have inherited the Forgiven curse for this summer. Forgiven has failed to bring home an LCS title despite being one of the best ADCs to ever play in Europe. Origen also picked up Hybrid from G2 to complete their duo lane. Many would consider it a side-grade. Soaz and Amazing will have to perform at a higher level this season if this team wants to find it’s way to another final. The team will also need PowerOfEvil to step up and allow xPeke to finally retire. This team is still filled with talent. You can never count Origen out and that is why they are ranked in the “Top Shelf” category.

Can’t Seem to Make The Leap

h2kfreeze

4) H2k

H2k returns 4/5 starters this split and has brought in longtime journeyman ADC, Freeze to replace Forgiven. H2k usually gets off to a great start each split, but they will need to show up come playoff time. This team has found themselves in the third place game each of the last 3 seasons. H2k may have their own curse stuck in their head. The org wants to make it to a final, but the players need to show up when it counts this season. Jankos is a highly skilled jungler, but he needs to be more consistent in making an impact plays in the early game. Odoamme is a skilled team fighting tank player and should be thriving in this meta. Ryu’s performance in the mid lane and the bottom lane of Freeze and Vander will need to avoid losing their lane hard this season. Despite the confidence from their coach Prolly, I see H2k once again hitting the same brick wall that they are trying to breakthrough.

5) Vitality

Vitality had a great regular season in the spring, but their post-season run was abysmal and their off-season changes don’t look too promising. Vitality will enter the summer with a new jungler and a new ADC. Police, formerly of Korea’s Ever and NA’s Apex Gaming, will fill the ADC role left open after Hjarnan’s departure from the team. He will team up with KaSing and might form one of the better bottom lanes in Europe. The biggest question mark about this team is their new jungler, MightyBear. MightyBear is new to the professional scene, so he will be trying to make a name for himself this summer. Korean junglers in the past have found huge success in Europe in the past and Vitality will be hoping the same come true for MightyBear.

The Measuring Stick For Mediocrity

steelback

6) ROCCAT

ROCCAT survived the promotion series pretty easily last month and will now return to the summer split with 3 new starters. Steelback was one of the best ADCs in Europe in the spring split and has now joined ROCCAT. ROCCAT also added two Korean players to their roster; Parang and Raise. Both players come to Europe after failing to qualify for the LCK earlier this year and bring lots of promise to the European side. These players could push ROCCAT over the mediocre hump or drop them below it. The retained players of Betsey and Airwaks help place this team right at the mediocre level due to their lack of success in the LCS. Don’t be surprised if ROCCAT sneak into the playoffs.

7) Schalke 04

All 10 teams from the spring split in Europe retained their LCS spot, but one team sold their team and rebranded. Elements sold their spot to the soccer organization FC Schalke 04 who becomes the first European sports club to enter the LCS scene. Schalke 04 kept four of the players from the Elements roster and added former Unicorns of Love midlaner, Fox. Elements finished in 7th place the past two split, which is pretty much the mediocre spot in the LCS. They neither make playoffs or face relegation. Schalke will look to leave the mediocre bar in the past and soar to bigger and better things this summer.

Did Someone Say Relegation?

splyceLOL

8) Splyce

The talk of “potential” is done with this team. They had the spring split to get adapted to the LCS and now must improve and perform. They are returning 4 starters and are bringing in Mikyx, a former sub on Fnatic, to replace Nisbeth at support. They may have improved at the support position, but the team overall is still lacking star power. There is some promise for this team. Sencux is a good mid laner and Wunderwear improved in the top lane as the spring split went along. The team as a whole will need to execute their strategies better for them to contend for a playoff spot. Don’t be shocked if Splyce repeats their spring split performance.

9) Unicorns of Love

For the second consecutive split, Unicorns of Love replaced 3 starters and kept Viziscacsi and Hylissang around. UoL replaced Loulex in the jungler with former Gravity jungler Move. He washed out of North America and never really impressed on the LCS stage. He needs to take this second chance and improve as the season goes on. For the mid lane, UoL has brought in Exileh to replace Fox. Exileh has been around the challenger scene for a while, but he has never made it onto the LCS stage. He is a bit of an unknown and will need to shock and awe to get UoL some wins this season. The third and final replacement for the Unicorns is Veritas for Steelback. Veritas never really found success in the NA challenger scene and is hoping he will catch his big break here in Europe. He has some big shoes to fill as Steelback was the star of UoL last split.

10) Giants

Giants finishing towards the bottom of the standings has almost become a staple in Europe. The Giant’s roster seems very underwhelming when looking over it. SmittyJ has proven to be a below average top laner in the LCS. Hustlin and S0NSTAR are an average bottom lane at best. Giants finally replaced an over-rated midlaner in xPepi with an unknown Korean talent named NIghT. And their new jungler, Maxlore, has been a staple in the EU challenger/amateur scene for years. However, I do not think he is an upgrade from Wisdom. Giants should sadly once again round out the bottom of the standings this split. Anything above the bottom two would be shocking.

The EU LCS action kicks off this Thursday and should provide plenty of action. With Europe switching to the best-of-two format, there will be plenty of games for players and teams to prove themselves. Check out the action this Thursday.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin