The 10th season of competitive League of Legends is slowly coming to an end with only a handful of weeks separating us from the 2020 LoL World Championship in Shanghai, China.
While most major regions already locked in their representatives for the season’s culminating event, there are still a few regional titles on the line, namely in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS).
We will look at the heavily-anticipated clash between the 2019 World’s finalists G2 Esports and the talented European roster of Rogue, who will clash in the lower bracket finals of LEC 2020 Summer playoffs.
Rogue vs. G2 Esports – LEC 2020 Summer playoffs
Saturday, September 9, 17:00 CEST
After struggling to compete with Europe’s finest LoL teams since their first appearance in the LEC in 2019, Rogue finally found traction in Europe’s premier league and went from a sixth-place finish in LEC 2020 Spring to the Summer champions.
There are arguments to be made Rogue enjoyed such a high level of success this split due to the online format and shaky performances from the usual favorites, but if a team finishes a split 13-5, it’s hard to undervalue their achievements.
Much of Rogue’s success this split was due to their strong laners and a slow and methodical playstyle. Although many saw Rogue’s late-game oriented playstyle fairly dull, it still earned them W’s, and it was soon recognized as the best way to approach the early-season meta.
Even Rogue’s playstyle had its weaknesses, with one of the main reasons being that it was easy to figure out. It took teams quite a while to do so, but as the regular season slowly approached the end, Rogue started to crack.
Rogue ended the summer split with a 2-2 run, which included losses to Vitality and SK, and while they still entered the playoffs as the top seed, Emil “Larssen” Larsson and co. Fnatic, who trashed them 3-0 in the first round of the playoffs, got quickly put in their place.
Rogue, however, did not give in under heavy criticism by the LEC fans who deemed them unworthy of a Worlds spot and proved they’re the “real deal” by taming MAD Lions in the third round of the playoffs (3-0) with what can only be described as their best performance of the entire season.
However, success did not come easy, as Rogue had to adapt their playstyle to include more champions and a slightly more early-game focused approach to the game. Nevertheless, with their sweep of MAD Lions, the LEC 2020 Summer champions have proven they’re not as one-dimensional as it seemed at first but are instead a team of highly talented players who can and will step out of their comfort zone if it means they can win games.
Stepping out of their comfort zone and outperforming themselves is exactly what Rogue will need to do as they face one of, if not THE strongest LoL team Europe has ever produced – G2 Esports.
Unlike Rogue, who was making some serious noise throughout the LEC 2020 Summer regular season, G2 Esports struggled to show just how dominant they can be. Again, that can be attributed to the league’s online format, which was introduced as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, at the same time, it’s fair to say that it was also Luka “Perkz” Perković’s family tragedy – the death of his father – that took its toll both on G2’s star ADC and consequently, the team as a whole.
Still, G2 is a team whose renown is built on performing when it matters the most, and just like any season before, G2 Esports shifted into a higher gear when their playoffs spot was threatened. The three-time back-to-back LEC champions went from being 5-6 five weeks into the regular season to 11-7, thus locked in the third seed ahead of the playoffs – which was still their worst regular-season performance since EU LCS 2018 Summer.
G2 Esports carried over their momentum to the first round of the playoffs, where they tore apart MAD Lions 3-1 and set themselves up for another LEC grand finals appearance. However, things did not go as planned, as G2 had to admit defeat to their arch-rivals Fnatic. They defeated them in the upper bracket finals (3-2) with a phenomenal performance accompanied by G2’s somewhat iffy individual displays.
If we draw a line, G2 Esports are entering this match following a historic loss to Fnatic, whereas Rogue will contest their first-ever LEC grand finals ticket following their best performance of the year. That would suggest Rogue are the most likely victors, but it’s worth noting that G2 Esports are 8-0 in head-to-head matches with Rogue, which includes two wins during the LEC Summer regular season.
Given that Rogue looked very solid in their win against MAD Lions, they might put up a tough fight and make G2 work for the W, but unless G2 Esports slip up once more, this match seems more likely 3-0 or 3-1 win for G2 than anything else.
Prediction: G2 Esports -1.5 maps – 1.72 at Bet365