The stakes are quite high for this qualification phase, given that there will be no regional qualifying tournament. Three of the four places will be awarded after the first round of the Winner Bracket, i.e. the two winners and the highest ranked losers.
The LEC might once again expect a title for G2 Esports which, according to the performances of the last weeks, seems to have regained their level. Additionally, The Samurais are generally much stronger in bo5 than in the regular phase, and many teams already consider them favorites.
But do the other teams have a chance? G2 are never safe from a flop like against MAD Lions in the Spring, even if it ended with an easy victory for Ocelote's men at the end of the course.
We'll start by seeing if history repeats itself with a first round against MAD Lions this Saturday. The player to watch is without a doubt Caps, who really led the Samurais to the playoffs.
MAD Lions really convinced us during this season. After a victory against G2 Esports in the first round of the Spring Playoffs, they flew over the LEC alongside Rogue during the summer. We expect a lot from them and at the same time we are worried about their recent form.
However, the Lions should do quite well in bo5 based on what they have already shown. A second victory against G2 would be a good sign, but they still have a good chance, even in case of a defeat
We can't wait to see what Kaizer dares to pull out to challenge the defending champions.
Rogue is arguably having the best season in its short history. Leader of the standings, they're the first team in the world to qualify for Worlds 2020.
Considered by many to be Origen's successor, Rogue sports a very clean game and shows great consistency. Their flaw is also the same as the previous masters of the genre: they have great difficulty in finishing games. And that's probably why they risk suffering in the playoffs.
In fact, consistency is very important in the regular season and allows you to win many games easily against teams inconsistent teams. But in bo5 , the preparation is different and Rogue is likely to struggle against teams like G2 Esports or Fnatic, whose specialty is winning matches they shouldn't by running up huge deficits.
The X factors
Fnatic equalizes their record for the worst split in their history with a final score of 9-9 as in the terrible 2016 season. Fourth in the standings, they must now win a match in order to secure a ticket for the World Cup. Of course, fans expect a lot more from Rekkles and his teammates, and a final is almost the minimum required.
But can they do it? The question remains open and we will never be really sure. Indeed, if Fnatic have discovered a talent this season, they're still inconsistent. Of course, we expect their level to rise drastically in the playoffs, like every year. However, after a season like this, we have the right to doubt that they will ever regain their level.
If they loose to Rogue, they will probably have to face Schalke 04 (or SK Gaming ) and a loss would deprive them of the World Cup. It's imperative for the former kings of Europe to give everything against Rogue who should be within their reach.
Schalke 04 are the strongest team in the last few weeks of the regular phase. Even Grabbz announced on Twitter that he was glad he didn't have to face them in the superweek . But where will the #SchalkeMiracleRun end ? Will they be as strong in the playoffs ?
For SK Gaming, qualifying is already an excellent performance for them and we don't really expect them to go further. They also inherited the same complicated course as Schalke 04 and they must face them in the first series.
However, Jesiz looks very confident and says his team will be stronger in bo5 than during the season. After he led LDLC OL to the EU Masters title, we tend to believe in him and think that he can do even better with his team. The doubt remains, but a victory against Schalke would very quickly make us take SK Gaming more seriously as a potential candidate for the World Cup.
Original content by Fabien "Fabvision" Verhaegen.
As is customary at the end of a split, the All Pro Team has been announced. For this LEC Summer Split, G2 Esports' domination is over. They had managed to place three of their players in first place during the Spring, but now it's time for innovation!