Group stages of spring splits have ended in the most popular Western pro leagues of League of Legends. The results of the North American LCS were quite predictable before the start, but the European LEC surprised: at least by the fact that Fnatic did not reach the upper bracket of the playoffs. Here’s which teams will fight for fame, money and the spots at Mid-Season Invitational.
LCS: who will stop Cloud9?
Cloud9 was the best team of LCS group stage. The team have secured the support of three new coaches before the start of the 2021 season; one of them was the legend of the Spanish LoL scene Alfonso Mithy Rodriguez. And it paid off: the team took first place in the group stage with 13 wins out of 18 games.
The star of the LCS Spring 2021 group stage was C9 jungler Robert Blaber Huang, who has received six MVP awards. Croatian player Luka Perkz Perković, who played for G2 for the last five years, also made an excellent debut for the team (he has four MVP awards).
In general, the LCS group stage ended with no surprises: all the strongest teams advanced to the playoffs. These are TSM, Team Liquid and 100 Thieves, as well as Dignitas and Evil Geniuses, who will start the playoffs from the lower bracket. The teams will compete for the title of the spring split champion.
In terms of viewership statistics, the league lacked quite a lot compared to the results of the pre-season LCS 2021 Lock In tournament. The peak viewers of the group stage was 250K spectators: it was reached during the TSM vs 100 Thieves game.
Unsurprisingly, three more TSM games made it into the top 5. The team’s matches against Cloud9, 100 Thieves and Team Liquid gathered 231-244 thousand people at peak.
As always, TSM proved to be the most popular team of the league. Its matches on average attracted 151K spectators. The rest of the top 5 also turned out to be pretty predictable. The second place was taken by Cloud9, followed by 100 Thieves, Team Liquid and EG.
It is noteworthy that TSM remained the most popular team in the league, although it started the new season without two legends of the club. Bjergsen and Doublelift ended their playing careers: the Dane became the team's coach, and an American esports athlete became a TSM streamer.
Playoffs of the league will begin on March 21 with the TSM vs Liquid match. Traditionally, the teams will compete for $200,000 and a slot at the Mid-Season Invitational, which will take place this year: Iceland will host the competition from May 6 to 22.
LEC: Fnatic is in trouble
Overall weak performance of Fnatic in the group stage became the main surprise of LEC Spring 2021. It could have been different, but in the last week the team lost three out of three matches and eventually fell into the lower bracket of the playoffs.
The departure of Rekkles and coach Mithy was extremely painful for the team. This is especially the case for the former Fnatic captain: he earned five MVP awards for G2 in the group stage. Rogue's AD carry Steven Hans sama Liv and MAD Lions' top laner Irfan Armut Tükek also got five awards each.
On the other hand, Rogue performed quite well in the group stage for the second split in a row. Together with G2 the team won 14 maps out of 18. Ocelote’s team took the lead only by the results of a head-to-head meeting with Rogue: G2 won twice. Rogue also lost a couple of games to FC Schalke 04 Esports and Excel Esports, but left no chance for the rest of the league’s participants, including Fnatic.
The league itself continues to show incredible viewership statistics. The most popular game of the group stage (unsurprisingly) was G2 vs Fnatic: more than 582.4K concurrent viewers. It seems that soon it will be possible to put equality between G2 and LEC: only this team’s games got into the top 5 matches of the group stage.
Unlike LCS, LEC is actively followed by non-English-speaking viewers. The second most popular language of the tournament at the moment is French: 72.1 thousand spectators at its peak.
Despite Fnatic's problems, viewers' interest in the team has not faded at all, but the team is still unable to overtake its ‘best friends’ from G2.
G2 Esports became the leader of the LEC Spring 2021 group stage with an average audience of 385.3K people. It’s followed up by Fnatic with 334.2 thousand spectators. It is noteworthy that the Misfits entered the top 5, yet the team did not make it to the playoffs of the spring split.
As in North America, the European split will also end in April. The first playoff matches scheduled for March 26-28, so soon we will find out who is going to represent LEC at the Mid-Season Invitational.