What we learned after first half of LEC summer split: All odds stack against SK
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The 2021 League of Legends European Championship summer split has reached the halfway point with all teams playing nine games so far. Each team began the split with a clean slate and a fair chance to make the playoffs. However, with nine more games to go, some teams’ hopes of a playoff spot are slowly slipping away.

Furthermore, the first half of the LEC summer split has been filled with impressive wins and upsets. Teams like Misfits, Fnatic and Rogue have enjoyed a good spell in summer. Meanwhile the likes of Vitality, G2 Esports, Schalke 04 and SK Gaming find themselves in the last four positions. With the second half of the summer split set to begin on July 9, below are key takeaways so far.

A worrying state for G2 in the LEC – but no cause for alarm

After failing to defend their spring split trophy, many expected G2 to exert their dominance in summer. However, expectations have not matched realities as the kings of the LEC currently rank second to last in the standings. Their head-to-head disadvantage against both Excel and Vitality leaves them at eighth even though they’ve all lost the same number of games.

Since Week 3, the team has failed to record a win in the LEC. Their weak early gameplay was punished in the games against Vitality and Excel, leaving them no chance for a comeback. In the loss to Fnatic, their composition had no answer to Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov’s Taric. Their shocking loss against Misfits, however, put them in an awkward position heading into the second half of the split. With a 10,000 gold lead and dragon soul buff G2 looked poise to win the game.

But, Misfits completed a miraculous turnaround after getting the Elder Dragon. Losing in such a way could have a negative impact on a G2 roster who were starting to regain momentum. In the summer split, the team has struggled in the early game and looked disjointed on certain occasions. With Luka “Perkz” Perkovic gone, they may lack a clear in-game leader calling the shots. Regardless of LEC  standings, G2  still remain favorites to clinch a playoff spot. But both Rasmus “Caps” Winther and Martin “Wunder” Hansen may need to step up in the games to come.

A revitalized Excel show in the first half of the LEC summer split

Excel LEC
Excel win against G2.| Provided by Excel

Excel Esports entered the summer split as an underdog but have shown naysayers that they probably made a mistake counting them out. After a rough 2-5  start, the organization decided it needed to make changes. They promoted both Henk “Advienne” Reijenga and Mark “Markoon” van Woensel to their LEC team. These changes seem to have worked tremendously well as they ended Week 4 with wins over Vitality and G2.

The introduction of the two players makes Excel look like a completely different team with clean early game and team fighting prowess. Markoon ended the game against Vitality with a 6/1/13 Kill/Death/Assist score line on the Lee Sin. While Advienne contributed to 19 out of Excel’s 22 kills in that game. Also, Excel’s mid laner, Erlend “nukeduck” Vatevik is proving to be a good source of experience for the team. He currently ranks among the top three in most statistics for LEC mid laners, according to Oracle’s Elixir. With more stability in all lanes, Excel may well be on their way to much better performances in the second half of summer split.

Vitality’s inconsistency remains their biggest problem

Vitality entered the LEC summer split looking like the team that had won the offseason. The hype from every corner around the new roster was loud and merited. However, after nine games played, they find themselves in seventh place, outside playoff contention. While Vitality have had some pretty big performances this split, their inconsistency remains a huge obstacle. They went from defeating G2 and MAD in Week 3 to losing to Excel and Astralis the following week. Their team fights in Week 4 were also poor, especially in the game against Astralis. Even though Vitality have shown glimpses of brilliance, they need to do so consistently to clinch a playoffs ticket.

Rogue, Misfits and Fnatic making a good case for LEC top spot

LEC summer split first half
Rogue among favorites to top the LEC regular split.| Provided by Riot Games

Although first place in the LEC is an open race, Rogue, Misfits and Fnatic lead. After nine games played, Rogue and Misfits have only lost two games while Fnatic have lost three. All three teams look strong in most lanes with exceptional team fighting performances. However, Misfits losses to both MAD and Rogue, and near loss to G2, suggests they do struggle against bigger opponents. Nonetheless, it would not be surprising to see either of these teams, or MAD, ending the regular split as the first seed.

Odds are stacked against SK in the second half of the LEC summer split

While every team still has a chance to qualify for playoffs, the chances are getting slimmer for SK. They currently occupy last place on the LEC standings with only one win so far. Despite the recent changes involving the introduction of their Prime League support player, the team continues to struggle. They only managed one kill in their game against Rogue with no towers taken.

The decision to swap Erik “Treatz” Wessen, their best player in spring, to jungle has not worked out. He currently has the second lowest KDA among LEC junglers and the entire team has struggled to adapt overall. With time running out, SK may need to make additional changes in gameplay or roster to build momentum in the second half of the split. As things stand, SK will need a miracle run to stay in playoff contention.

The LEC returns to the studio for Week 5 with SK vs. Schalke as the opener at 12 p.m ET.

Jimoh Rashidat is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience. She covers FIFA, League of Legends and general gaming content.