The 2021 League of Legends esports offseason is coming to a close for the League of Legends European Championship, following closely behind their cousins across the pond in Los Angeles. LEC teams have locked in their rosters in hopes to upgrade for 2022 amidst another exodus to North America, but some survived and even brought a few stars back home.
Along with the roster moves, this offseason was full of other surprises and drama, including a second wave of drama around the unfortunate last-minute substitution for Fnatic at the 2021 League of Legends World Championship. Lastly, of course, a new team entered the league, with Team BDS taking over in FC Schalke 04 Esports’ stead.
Upcomer’s LEC reporters put their heads together and rated each organization’s offseason moves going into 2022. These are based on confirmed and rumored rosters from Dec. 9, and the tier lists are each writer’s own individual rating. Teams are put into tiers based on how well they upgraded their roster given their respective resources and available players, not as an indication or prediction of which team will be the best in 2022.
This is not a power ranking, but feel free to scream about it as if it were one.
LEC 2022 roster tier lists
Brieuc “LEC Wooloo” Seeger
If this were a ranking of how good I expect rosters to be, Fnatic and Vitality would be the top two. However, if I have to rate how much a roster improved and how well the offseason was played, Vitality is the clear winner. They went from a roster barely making playoffs to a superteam. Fnatic’s roster has made big signings, but they’re not tiers above their previous players.
I still expect Excel Esports to be a seventh placed team, but they made good choices. They only changed one player, the fewest of any LEC team. They didn’t need to change more, as they already upgraded their roster last summer split. Likewise, I don’t know if Team BDS will make playoffs, but getting Fabian “GrabbZ” Lohmann and building a roster with existing synergies overall makes it a decent improvement from the previous Schalke roster.
Misfits Gaming lost Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz and, while I like their replacement, I don’t expect it to be an upgrade. I’m not a fan of the bot lane either. For SK Gaming, while re-signing Erik “Treatz” Wessén to the support position was huge, I believe there were better mid lane and jungle duos available in the European Regional Leagues. Overall, I see both rosters as a sidegrade with suboptimal choices.
MAD Lions signed great rookies but they are still downgrades. G2 Esports also made decent choices and signed the rookies of their choice. But, again, they have big shoes to fill. Overall, both teams have made decent decisions with rookies and kept a really good core from last year.
I’m putting both Rogue and Astralis in my F-tier. Those are teams that made clear downgrades while not getting the best replacements. Rogue Esports’ roster will be decent, but they lost two world-class players. Meanwhile, Astralis kept some under-average players while also removing Carl Felix “MagiFelix” Boström from the roster for an unproven rookie. Oliver “Dajor” Ryppa has potential, but I don’t think he’s good enough in the LEC yet, there were clearly better options available.
Alejandro “anonimotum” Gomis
Undoubtedly, for me, Vitality are the clear winners of the offseason. They kept their two best players, making them an S-tier squad. But the important thing is that they have signed Luka “Perkz” Perković, Barney “Alphari” Morris and Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság. There were some teams from this same tier list that are quite high, who tried to sign both solo laners, but Vitality, in a lower competitive position in terms of last results (not in terms of money), signed them. For me, Perkz is a player who improves the whole team and the best player in Europe. No matter what team he is on, he always competes. Alphari came in with him, and, in terms of ability, he is probably the best top laner in the LEC. From what I have heard from specialists, Carzzy also always has good feedback in practice. Vitality had the best offseason without any doubt.
Fnatic had a great offseason, but I can’t exactly include them in the same tier as Vitality. They have improved a lot in the mid lane and somewhat in the jungle. Taking into account what was on the market, they probably had the best offseason possible, keeping the best bot lane in the LEC.
G2 have had a good offseason. They signed Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik early, to make sure they had a great top laner. He is not the best top laner in LEC because of Alphari, but he was the best top laner last season when Alphari competed in the League Champion Series. The bot lane are two rookie players, but possibly the best rookies in their positions. As the team’s owner Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez Santiago said, it was time to renew G2, and they made some good choices.
However, I can’t put them higher because other teams had better offseasons. No matter how good the rookies are, they are still rookies. With Team BDS, there is no benchmark, so it’s a bit complicated. But they did a good job in their first LEC offseason. They signed Grabbz, one of the best coaches in Europe, and they bet on young promises.
Excel Esports, SK Gaming and Misfits are teams that have not had a bad offseason. They have improved the team a bit, but they are not incredible changes. Excel is signing Nelson, which will improve the team. They also kept their bot laner, which other LEC teams showed great interest in. Furthermore, they have upgraded their top laner a bit.
SK Gaming have improved and kept Treatz, sending him back to his main role. Misfits have worsened in the jungle, despite the fact that they have the most experienced rookie in the league. Taking into account that they had no option to compete to keep Razork, it has not been a bad offseason for the team.
MAD Lions, on paper, have worsened, losing one of the best mid laners and bot laners in the LEC. They went out and signed two rookies who are exceptional, and Steven “Reeker” Chen has been the most wanted player in LEC this offseason. Even though they have great promise, it has been a downgrade. Rogue have also downgraded and, in my opinion, are worse than MAD lions. MAD Lions have bet on talented rookies, but Rogue have gotten worse without the option to improve players as MAD have. Both are down because they have lost great players and have not been able to replace them with similar names.
Instinctively, I wanted to put many teams in the “loser” tiers of C and F for not picking up team-less players such as Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle and Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer. Those players would be an objective upgrade to quite a number of organizations in the LEC. But alas, picking up players isn’t as simple as it sounds, and money plus other factors turned this offseason into a chaotic game of 6D chess.
I think it’s pretty obvious why Vitality and Fnatic are in the S-tier. On paper, these two teams have picked up all the parts they need in order to be the top two teams in the LEC next year. The question is whether the personalities will mix well through ups and downs, but that is impossible to predict.
While BDS failed to retain Broken Blade, one of the league’s best top laners, I think they can be satisfied with their offseason. For starters, by bringing Jakub “Cinkrof” Rokicki on board, they’ll be playing with a jungler next year; a role that was invisible on Schalke in 2021. Long story short, I have a hard time imagining BDS’ lineup to be equal to or worse than the mess that was Schalke 04 last summer, as harsh as that may be. Hence, BDS are placed in the A-tier.
In the B-tier, we find the neutrals; the teams who neither improved nor worsened. G2 Esports sold (or benched) star players, which sounds like a loss. However, they clearly needed a fresh start, as their old ways had grown stale. Picking up Broken Blade is a big win for the team. He was grossly undervalued by the fans in 2021 and will be contesting for the best LEC top laner title in 2022. G2’s bot lane is a big question mark, which is why they’re stuck in the middle for their offseason.
Lastly, we have the losers. All these teams lost players pivotal to their successes in 2021. Marek “Humanoid” Brázda put MAD Lions on his back, especially in the summer split. Razork was a rock for Misfits. While I do like Excel Esports keeping Mark “Markoon” van Woensel, Erlend “nukeduck” Våtevik Holm, Patrik “Patrik” Jírů and Henk “Advienne” Reijenga, replacing Felix “Kryze” Hellström with Finn Wiestål is a mystery to me. An objective downgrade. But no team has lost as much as Rogue, who waved goodbye to their two best players of 2021. Kacper “Inspired” Słoma and Steven “Hans sama” Liv were the absolute best in their roles and the fact that Rogue couldn’t keep even one of them will send the team from being title-contesting to middle of the pack.
Eugene “Megalodontus” Kant
Excel are winning LEC 2022 spring. Easy … go next?
Alright in all seriousness … Excel are wi– ok, never mind.
In my opinion, and the others in the article probably shall arrive at a similar conclusion, Team Vitality and Fnatic won the offseason. Vitality, especially. My reasoning is simply because Vitality have never won an LEC or European League of Legends Champion Series title. And now they’ve put together a superteam that probably will say they want to win the LEC, but they already have one eye on Worlds 2022. Anything less would be disappointing for them (and expensive, no less).
And Fnatic? Do I need to say more? Humanoid and Razork are already jaw-dropping pickups, and now they have added Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen too? It signals their ambition to reclaim the throne. G2 Esports, of course, want one hand on the crown, and I put them in A-tier because I honestly believe they retained the best parts of their old roster and put together a team that can challenge for the top. Don’t look down on Victor “Flakked” Lirola’s duck, or you’re out of luck!
Now, here’s where it gets tricky for me.
Team BDS should be rebranding to Karmine Corp soon … but jokes aside, for a team coming in to replace FC Schalke 04, they’ve got a solid lineup. Misfits just promoted their jungler Lucjan “Shlatan” Ahmad, who has been a hot prospect for a while (ban Lee Sin please), and Matúš “Neon” Jakubčík has proven to be reliable, so no surprise there. Maybe the surprise here in A is MAD Lions. In my humble opinion, I believe very much in MAD Lions’ infrastructure to nurture and make rookie talent shine. Not to mention that Reeker and William “UNF0RGIVEN” Nieminen are no slouches either in the ERLs. Now, I don’t expect them to be spring destroyers, but I do think they can be very competitive in summer. I trust the Era of the Lion has not so soon passed.
I almost put Rogue in C-tier. There, I said it. Yes, they’ve retained strong players. Yes, Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos and Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong are good signings. But losing Inspired and Hans Sama? To North America no less? That’s just disheartening. To replace those two giants in their positions would be tall orders for any team, honestly. Excel Esports and SK Gaming are more straightforward for me. Excel kept their best parts in my opinion, but it’s hard to say they’ll finally make playoffs. They were on fire last season with Markoon and Advienne, but every season in LEC is different. That goes the same for SK. Daniel “Sertuss” Gamani has been very good in the ERLs, and with Treatz moving back to support as well as experienced junger Erberk “Gilius” Demir leading the charge, they look decent.
Astralis is my only C-tier, but I was tempted to move them to B. For me, Dajor was amazing for Fnatic Rising, but he’s too much of an unknown; it feels too soon for him to join the LEC. I want him to prove me wrong, of course. I like Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup as a pickup, as it gives them a lot of late-game insurance. Overall, it’s hard for me to see them make miracles happen. But, hey, their academy team Astralis Talent looks like it could be a good backup for them should anything go awry.
Who do you think had the best offseason? Which LEC 2022 rosters excite you the most? Let us know on Twitter and use this link to create your very own tier list on TierMaker.