LEC Playoffs Deep(ish) Dive | RiftFeed
The How, the Who and the When

LEC Playoffs Deep(ish) Dive

Esports
LEC-Cup-1903
Who will lift the LEC Cup? | © Riot Games

The LEC 2022 Spring Split playoff is starting next week. Here is what you need to know about how it runs.

After eight weeks of games, the League of Legends European Championship regular season is concluded. Now it’s time for the playoffs, where the top 6 teams will duke it out to see who will be the champion that lifts the cup, gets the bragging rights and tickets for the Mid-Season Invitational. However, the structure of the playoffs can be somewhat confusing to people who do not closely follow the LEC - so that is where we come in. If you are new to the European competitive scene or just aren’t really into the system, read on - we will give you what you need to know.

Who is Playing: Introducing the Top 6

The LEC Playoff features the six teams with the highest score from the LEC 2022 Spring Season. The teams are ranked in order of wins and losses, with the head-to-head record being the tiebreaker in case two teams have the same number of wins. Here’s a list of who made it:

  1. Rogue (14-4): Yet again the top team during the regular season, despite losing two of their biggest stars. Rogue had a very strong season, even going undefeated in the first half of the split. Can they finally raise the cup? We are cautiously optimistic.
  2. Fnatic (13-5): The veteran organization assembled a very powerful team this season and it showed. Despite some hiccups, Fnatic looked amazing in most of their games and are a solid pick to reach at least finals.
  3. Misfits Gaming (12-6): For us, this is the biggest surprise of the split. What we thought would be a mid-tier team shot to prominence with strong teamfighting and sublime performances in the mid lane. We are not sure if Misfits can keep this up, but they certainly delivered during the regular split.
  4. G2 Esports (11-7): After the team lost the majority of its star players, we were on the fence for this team, but they very quickly got everyone on the same page. G2 has been one of the top teams this season and tellingly, it wasn’t just the Caps and Jankos show. This is definitely a team to watch.
  5. Excel Esports (9-9, 2-0 vs Team Vitality): Finally, after so many memes, Excel finds itself in the playoffs. They have very consistently beaten lower-ranked teams, but they have just as consistently lost to the teams ahead of them. Can Excel do one better and make a deep playoff run? We’d love to see it, but we don’t expect it.
  6. Team Vitality (9-9, 0-2 vs Excel Esports): Ending the season with 9 wins and 9 losses (but a 0-2 record to Excel) was not what we expected from the superteam the French organization gathered. Vitality had moments of brilliance but lacked consistency, barely squeaking into playoffs on the very last day of the season. However, they have two weeks to get ready for playoffs and we would not discount them.

Sadly, last year's champions MAD Lions will not be defending their title. The team started well, but a huge mid-season slump left them in seventh place.

The Bracket System: Not-quite Double Elimination

For a long time, Riot Games stuck to single elimination for their tournaments, but eventually they sort of changed their minds. This “sort of” is what resulted in the LEC playoff bracket. Here is how it works: all series are best of five (Bo5) matches, which means the first team to get to 3 wins takes the match. The top 4 teams play among themselves in a winners bracket, with the first team choosing to face either the third or fourth seed, and the second team playing with the remaining one. In our case, Rogue chose to face Misfits, meaning that Fnatic will play with G2. The winners of these two games play each other, with the winner going to the final. All losers fall down to the lower bracket, where every lost series is final.

Team Vitality and Excel, meanwhile, start with the losers bracket to begin with. The losers from the upper bracket are slotted there according to their seed. So if Vitality, Rogue and Fnatic win their series, Rogue will play Fnatic in the upper bracket while Vitality faces off against G2 and the winner of that game plays against Misfits (since Misfits ended the regular split higher than G2).

Eventually, the winner from the lower bracket faces the winner from the higher bracket in the final. It is possible that the final is actually a repeat of the previous game of the higher bracket, if the other semifinalist wins the lower bracket. Unlike in some other games (fighting games, for example), the team from the lower bracket does not have a handicap like starting a game down or having to win the series twice.

The LEC Playoff start on Friday, March 25th with the match between the first seed Rogue and the surprise of the season - Misfits Gaming. You can watch the series on the official lolesports website (make sure you are logged in for any rewards) or on Twitch or YouTube.

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