Every LEC season has its winners and losers and not everyone can be at the top. Still, we expected more from Team BDS, MAD Lions and Team Vitality - and this is why.
The LEC 2022 Spring Split is mostly behind us with only the playoffs remaining. In eight weeks of games, we saw the best League of Legends teams go at it again and again, delivering some great matches - and some less than great, but still entertaining ones. Some went beyond our expectations, but others... well, others did not live up to what we thought they would do. This is not just a matter of how strong the teams were - Astralis and SK Gaming were not powerhouses by any stretch of the imagination, but both of them delivered some inspiring performances that justified the expectations. However, when we look at Team BDS, MAD Lions and Team Vitality, it's hard not to feel a bit of disappointment.
Before the season, we saw BDS as a potential dark horse: a newcomer to the LEC, heavily banking on ERL players. Such players had worked for other teams before, but BDS soon showed they would not be the new MAD Lions. The team often in the mid-game even after finding early leads - which to their credit, they did fairly often. As a result, BDS would sometimes fail to close out a game where they were ahead and almost never came back from behind. Ending the debut split in ninth place is acceptable for this team, but we cannot say the same about how they got there.
MAD Lions: No Consistency
MAD Lions were (and technically are) our reigning LEC champions, winning both 2021 splits. We did not expect a title after they lost both Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság and Marek "Humanoid" Brázda, but a playoff spot around the middle of the table should have been within reach. The team started decently well and was at 5-4 at the season half-way mark - and then fell off a cliff. The Lions would manage to tick off six consecutive losses, including games where they had considerable leads early leads, and were left with a 5-10 record before the last weekend. A 3-0 superweek was sadly too little, too late.
Team Vitality: No Business Playing Like This
Now, sure, the season is not yet over for Team Vitality - after a 1-2 superweek they barely latched on to the last playoff spot and could end up winning the split. However, this is not okay from a team we expected to be a powerhouse that boasts on paper one of the strongest rosters the LEC has seen. After a 0-3 opening weekend that was reportedly due to some health issues and last-minute coordination, Vitality bounced back and won five out of their next six games. In the second round robin, however, the team often struggled to find wins even against mid-tier competition, made many unforced errors and was not able to find an identity to stick to. They barely edged out MAD Lions to take the last playoff spot but unless we see a complete transformation for the playoffs, the team is heading for a downright embarrassing split.
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