In a region with only a handful of roster changes, Fnatic are looking to become repeat champions of the European League of Legends Championship Series.
Ten teams will compete in a double round robin Group Stage, with each match a best-of-one and where the top six teams will qualify for the Playoffs. Vitality and Splyce get the games underway on the first day, 15 June, with Fnatic and Misfits being the match-up that will likely draw most attention.
Fnatic start as favourites
Fnatic have long been one of the most storied and dominant teams in Europe, routinely finding themselves in the upper echelons of the league, and the only question marks coming into this split are the health of sOAZ and just how well Rekkles can adapt.
SOAZ’s injury has seen his playing time cut drastically, but Fnatic feel comfortable fielding Bwipo given his solid performances.
Meanwhile the Bottom lane position of AD Carry has seen a complete overhaul due to recent balance changes, with mages and bruisers now seeing play in the role for the first time in years. Rekkles has been notorious for his concise champion pool, having been able to play a similar style of ranged AD threat for his entire playing career. The question now is whether or not he will adapt himself to playing the likes of Vladimir and Yasuo.
Schalke 04 turn to Amazing
One of the few teams to make a roster move were Schalke 04, who picked up Amazing in place of Pride for the Jungler position.
Schalke 04 were one of the biggest disappointments of the Spring Split, entering with incredible hype given the talent and potential of their line-up. However, the team just always came up short, even with Mid laner Nukeduck being in the running for MVP for quite some time.
Amazing is perhaps a mechanical downgrade when compared to Pride, but his wealth of experience, especially during a chaotic new meta game, should be an upgrade overall.
Upset is the player to watch moving forward, with high expectations that the talented Bottom laner will be the catalyst for a vast improvement from Schalke.
G2 Esports focus on early game
The team looking to challenge Fnatic for the throne are G2 Esports after falling to Fnatic 0-3 in the Spring Split Finals.
G2 are one of the teams that should benefit the most from the recent meta changes due to the emphasis on the early game, G2’s strong suit. With Jungler Jankos deemed the “First Blood King” for his ability to secure the first kill of the match constantly, G2 will be looking to snowball that early advantage into victories.
The question for G2 is a similar one to Fnatic; will Hjarnan, in this case, be able to adapt to the new Bottom lane landscape?
Vitality have gained experience
Vitality hope the start of their Summer Split will be similar to that of their Spring Split when they burst out of the gate and dominated the early weeks. They did drop off, however, and eventually found themselves falling in the semifinals to Fnatic 1-3.
The trio of rookies now have a year under their belt, with a chance to convert their solid performances into a more sustained effort. The development of their young stars Jiizuke and Attila in particular will be key for Vitality moving forward should they find themselves challenging Fnatic and G2 at the top.
Misfits need consistency
One of the more intriguing teams are Misfits Gaming, who picked up former Fnatic Support Jesiz as both a strategic coach and a second Support player.
Misfits were the definition of inconsistent through the 2018 Spring Split, at times dominating top teams before falling to lower tiered competition immediately thereafter.
The addition of Jesiz is a subtle one, but he could end up seeing playing time, especially with his shot calling abilities.
The talent on this roster is still incredibly high, especially towards the top side of the map with Alphari and Maxlore. If Misfits can find an element of consistency, they will turn into a force in the Playoffs.