With the EU LCS Spring Split on the horizon, it’s time to take a look at all the teams participating. Because of the format changes, we’ll break it down group by group. Without further ado, here are my power rankings for the EU LCS Spring Split!
Tier A: G2 Esports
A very easy and obvious choice here. G2 Esports has retained its roster from last year. Granted their results last year were both good and bad. In Europe they won both splits and established themselves as the kings of the region. However internationally they have faltered big time not only at MSI but also at Worlds. Whether or not G2 will be able to step up against other regions next year, there’s no doubt in my mind they will be able to maintain their grasp on the throne at least in the Spring Split. They’ve had enough time to groom top laner Expect into a more consistent player. Perkz is aware of his disappointing performances in the latter half of 2016 and not only that but he’s still a fairly young player. His ceiling could be quite high and how he continues to develop is something to look out for. G2’s bottom lane is one of the best bottom lanes in the west and it can always be expected that they’ll do well. It’s hard to predict G2 won’t dominate the Spring Split, and if they don’t it’ll be considered a pretty big upset.
Tier B: Fnatic and Misfits
The heavily hyped Misfits is coming in hot to the LCS. They dominated the EU Challenger Series and recently had money invested into them by the Miami Heat of the NBA. Although they’ve made some questionable roster changes, it’s hard to imagine them placing below 3rd when looking at the other two teams left in their group. Although their new jungler KaKAO hasn’t had a great 2016, he’s still a very talented player and if he can keep up a good form, he will be a top jungler in Europe. The rest of Misfits’ roster looks great on paper, so it’s very hard to imagine Misfits being at the bottom of their group. Fnatic has re-build their roster entirely around Rekkles coming into 2017. Despite having unproven players in the mid and support roles, the team’s all-European roster is unlikely to suffer any communication issues that teams like Misfits or H2K might have to go through. With three veterans on their team, it’s safe to predict Fnatic will do just fine and won’t need too much time to build synergy.
Tier C: Giants Gaming and Team ROCCAT
Both of these rosters have a similar problem, they look solid on paper but it’s hard to imagine a way in which they’ll be able to compete with the other three teams in the group. Another similarity that they have is their great mid laners. In previous splits ROCCAT’s Betsy received a lot of praise and the community perception was that he was “stuck in elo hell”. Giants’ NighT was one of the best mid laners in Europe throughout 2016. Both teams have key players that can have heavy influence on their teams but whether or not they’ll be able to have enough impact to make a difference remains to be seen.
Tier A: Splyce, Unicorns of Love and H2k-Gaming
Group B seems like it’s going be a very tight battle for 1st and 2nd between these three teams. While I am aware it’s a little unfair to say Splyce will be on the same level as UoL and H2K, it’s hard to tell if they’ve reached their peak as a team but because of the entire roster sticking together, we will find out the answer to that this coming split. If I had to predict on the spot I would give 1st place to Splyce, 2nd to Unicorns and 3rd to H2K but it’s impossible to tell how well H2K will do with their new players and if Unicorns will be able to keep the strong form they showed near the end of 2016. By the end of the split we can expect all three of these teams to be close to each other in terms of their power.
Tier B: Vitality and Origen
As with the bottom tier teams in Group A, these two squads have solid rosters on paper but they will need quite some time to develop into well-oiled machines. Vitality’s Hachani is coming off from a good season in Korea’s LCK where he barely missed qualifying for Worlds along with KT Rolster. It’s safe to assume he’s going to be a solid performer in Europe, especially if he manages to work well with Steelback. Origen’s Wisdom had some dominating performances in the EU Challenger Series while playing on Misfits. He’s definitely one of Europe’s most promising players coming into the 2017 season. Spring Split will most likely be a big learning experience for both of these teams and it’ll be extremely surprising if either of them ends up Top 3 in their group.
One thing is for sure, Europe will have some very promising teams this year. If the support staffs can develop them properly, the region may reclaim its former international glory.