The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) returns to action on Friday, June 11, with the opening round of the LEC 2021 Summer. The regular season will run from Friday, June 11 to Saturday, August 1, after which the top six teams will duke it out in the playoffs. With a lot to cover and little time left, let’s get straight to our LEC 2021 Summer betting preview.
Third horse enters LEC 2021 Summer title race
The LEC landscape changed forever in April when MAD Lions claimed the title at the LEC Studio. They became only the fourth team in the league’s history to hoist the trophy, joining the elite club with Fnatic, G2 Esports, and one-off winners Alliance.
G2 Esports (+175) not only failed to defend their title last split, but the eight-time LEC champions also missed out on the finals for the first time since 2018. They crashed out of the semi-finals after a 1-3 loss to Rogue.
Regardless of their mishap, G2 enter the LEC Summer as the favourites to reclaim the throne. That isn’t too surprising given the quality of their roster and the signing of Sng “Nelson” Yi-Wei as their new strategic coach.
It remains to be seen whether Nelson will manage to help G2 get a better grasp of the meta, but with the experience he brings, a better split from Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther and co. is all but guaranteed.
Despite finishing the LEC Spring as runners-up, Rogue (+200) go in LEC Summer as the second-favourites on the outright betting markets. No surprises here, since you could say that Rogue would have won the league in April had they not blundered their 2-0 series lead. It was an unfortunate result but hardly an indication of their lack of quality.
MAD Lions (+225) are priced as third-favourites to repeat their success from the last split, which is a fair price in our book. James “Mac” MacCormack’s crew struggled with consistency throughout spring but peaked in the playoffs to overcome the odds and come out victorious.
Although a remarkable achievement for the Spanish esports organisation, it’s not wise to overvalue short flashes of greatness such as MAD Lions’ playoffs run. They will remain highly competitive, but we don’t expect them to go back-to-back.
Can Fnatic and Vitality challenge for LEC Summer title?
The gap between the newly formed top-three LEC teams and the rest is fairly large, as reflected in the outright betting markets. Still, you could say that the freshly reconstructed Team Vitality and the unpredictable Fnatic are a clear cut above the bottom five as the only two sides that have a legitimate chance to cause some chaos.
The former kings of Europe, Fnatic (+1000) were under the spotlight for most of the offseason after their unexpected roster changes. Due to the abrupt and controversial departure of jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek to Team Vitality, Fnatic were forced to “MacGyver” their way out of the situation and came up with a bold plan.
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The seven-time LEC champions role-swapped their star top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau into the jungle and replaced him with a rookie Adam “Adam” Maanane. As controversial as Bwipo’s role swap is, these changes also make Fnatic as volatile as ever – with potential upside and very low lows.
Team Vitality (+1600) are one of the most exciting projects heading into the LEC Summer. The addition of Selfmade in the jungle, EUM star Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov in the mid lane, and a young prospect Enzo “SLT” Gonzalez in the top lane is bound to see Vitality improve upon their showings from LEC Spring.
Like Fnatic, the Bees have the potential to improve and perhaps stun the league. But unlike the boys in orange, Vitality seem to have formed a far more stable roster.
SK Gaming on track for LEC Summer 2021 wooden spoon
Among the rest of the teams in the LEC, Schalke 04 (+3300) and Misfits Gaming (+4000) stand out from this group as the only two with somewhat serviceable rosters. The remaining three have done nothing to improve their chances to win the league during the offseason.
SK Gaming (+10000) receive a special medal for the worst offseason in recent history, in what seemed more like an attempt to sabotage the roster rather than improve its quality. Their star player from the LEC Spring, support Erik “Treatz” Wessén, is moving to the jungle position, with former coach Jesse “Jesiz” Le – who hasn’t played professional LoL since 2018 – taking over the support role.
In a nutshell, SK Gaming have put their best player in a role he had never played before and will enter the upcoming split with a retired player who wasn’t even good when he was still active. It would take a truly disastrous campaign from either Excel Esports (+5000) or Astralis (+6600) for SK to avoid the wooden spoon.
LEC 2021 Summer betting predictions
When deciding between G2 Esports, Rogue, and MAD Lions as potential LEC Summer champions, it only comes down to one thing: will G2 learn from their mistakes and improve? If not, you could make a case for Rogue, although we would steer clear of MAD Lions at this price.
Depending on the meta, there are two scenarios we predict for G2: they will be either very competitive in an unfavourable meta, or they will be nearly unstoppable in a meta that suits them. And that’s good enough for us to pull the trigger at the offered odds.
If you are looking for value in the outright market, Team Vitality have made all the needed roster changes to compete for a solid finish. With the characters they have on the team, there is a world where Vitality implode and flop. But if the likes of Crownshot, Selfmade, and LIDER reach their peak form, this will be a scary team to face.
G2 Esports to win LEC Summer 2021