Within the League of Legends ecosystem, European regional leagues are renowned for their ability to nurture and promote entry-level talent.
The last few years have seen a surge in the number of players promoted to LEC from European regional leagues (ERL). Much of the EU’s old guard quietly withdrew from the LEC, whether retiring or moving to play elsewhere, and they left big shoes to fill.
And the recruits stepped up to the plate. We have seen waves of talent enter LEC and experience unprecedented success.
Every LEC team at the 2021 World Championship had at least one representative who entered the league that year, with Fnatic even fielding two players with less than a full year of competitive experience.
In a Twitter post on January 6, the LEC officially confirmed that players will be playing remotely from their team training facilities for the first week of LEC. The move, which came in response to the persistent global pandemic, could offer LEC recruits a chance to make their debut in a lower pressure environment.
– LEC (@LEC) January 6, 2022
For some, that means better performance and the elimination of the inevitable jitters. For others, it is delaying the arrival on a stage on which many have waited their entire professional career. For better or worse, this news will undoubtedly have an impact on the performance of these newcomers.
The 2021 offseason has seen some of Europe’s most iconic players leave the region, with several mainstays of the LEC looking to take on a new challenge in the LCS. However, a plethora of talented young players are looking to stand out, and here are three of LEC’s most exciting prospects in 2022.
Reeker has a lot going on for his LEC debut. He will join the MAD Lions, double LEC champions, famous for the caliber of their recruits.
They have promoted some of LEC’s most talented young players in recent years, including AD Carry Matyáš ‘Carzzy’ Orság and jungler Javier ‘Elyoya’ Prades.
As a former mid laner for the BIG Prime League, Reeker is a solid team player who will be looking to fill a role similar to that of previous MAD mid laner, Marek ‘Humanoid’ Brazda. There will be a constant presence in the middle lane that can ease Elyoya’s oppressive presence on the map.
– MAD English Lions 🇬🇧 (@MADLions_EN) 23 November 2021
His most played champions are Sylas, Twisted Fate, Ryze and Syndra, and during his time on BIG he has proven himself to be a team player through and through.
“He’s always played for his team at both EU Masters,” pitcher Adrian “Jamada” Wharlton-Thorne told Dexerto. “Although he could easily create his own tracks and race with them in most games.”
He’ll be a player to watch alongside Split 2021 spring rookie Elyoya, and the pair will look to travel the map as an unstoppable duo.
Former BIG coach Danusch ‘Arvindir’ Fischer also spoke with Dexerto, explaining that Reeker’s strength lies in his versatility. “He can take on a lot of different roles, both in the game and in team communication, and he’s very good at identifying a situation in the game, knowing exactly what to do and communicating it to his teammates.”
Arvindir is also confident in the power of the Reeker / Elyoya duo, which is shaping up to be one of the most exciting couples at LEC in 2022. “I think he and Elyoya will be really exciting to watch… they can both play. the support and style of portage.
Dajor is not on this list as he will be the next LEC champion. Although he proved he was no slouch by qualifying for the EU Masters final after being substituted at the last minute for Fnatic’s academy roster in the NLC, he joined the one of the least performing teams in the LEC.
Astralis have consistently been one of the weakest teams in LEC since joining the league in 2020. Although they have significantly strengthened their roster during the offseason with the signing of AD Carry Kasper ‘Kobbe’ Kobberup, they still have a long way to go. go.
He’s on this list because he’s by far one of the most unknown quantities in the LEC during the Spring Division, with a competitive career starting in mid-2021. As far as rookies go, he’s pretty much nearly as green as possible.
The LEC Speedrun is finished. Welcome, @dajorlol!
It’s time to exceed expectations.
– Astralis League of Legends (@AstralisLoL) November 18, 2021
He attended the EU Masters with Fnatic Rising and made it to the final to lose in a close five-game series against LFL giants KCorp.
His meteoric rise mirrors that of BDS toglider Adam ‘Adam’ Manaane, who rose from the LFL to a Worlds final in the space of six months.
Unlike Adam, however, Dajor was by no means the star of this Fnatic Rising list. NLC pitcher Dan ‘Aux’ Harrison described him as “excellent at working with his team despite his limited competitive experience” throughout his time with Fnatic.
Aux explained that Dajor’s strengths lie in “his ability to be flexible while being confident in the choices the team wanted to turn down other strong mid laners.” He has a large champion pool that ranges from Seraphine to Renekton, but his most played champions are the classics: Twisted Fate, Ryze, and Sylas.
This flexibility will be a crucial asset for Astralis. The LEC’s midway pool is one of the most powerful in the world, but if Astralis can neutralize the path with Dajor, they can focus their resources on Kobbe and allow him to transport safely without risking being encamped by a wandering power choice.
Former Fnatic Rising coach Paweł ‘deIord’ Szabla describes Dajor as “a really exciting European talent who will change the EU LoL game”.
“He was really cool and calm while receiving feedback and made huge improvements during his time on Fnatic.” explained deIord. “He was really open-minded and it was a pleasure to work with him.”
This ability to deal with returns quickly is a promising sign for Dajor. There is no room for the ego as a rookie, and especially in an underperforming team, the ability to take losses and turn them into lessons is a key skill.
Dajor has a lot to prove by entering the LEC. But if he can help turn around a constant streak of poor performance from Astralis, then he just might have one of the most exciting rookie debuts we’ve seen in the region in some time.
There is a lot of pressure on rookies entering LEC, especially when the team you join is the most successful organization in LEC history.
This is the case with Flakked, the new AD Carry for G2.
One of the Superliga’s most beloved players, Flakked had an unsuccessful Spanish league debut on the now disbanded S2V Esports where he finished in ninth place in his first split. He joined MAD Lion’s academy roster in December 2020 and continued to perform well in the LVP, although he missed out on first place in both divisions.
And now he joins G2, taking the place of Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson, one of the most famous AD caries of all time, after the organization had its most fruitless year in half a decade. He has a lot of work to do and he doesn’t even have the luxury of an experienced LEC track partner to guide him through his first matches on the big stage.
He will be joined in the bot lane by Raphaël ‘Targamas’ Crabbé, a perennial ERL resident who has finally reached the highest level of the competition.
Flakked is a hard-carry player. In the Superliga Summer division, he was one of the top three AD Carries for damage and had the second best KDA of all players in the tournament.
LVP pitcher Ainhoa ’Noa’ Campos told Dexerto that Flakked was “not a classic ego player”.
“I picked him from the Spanish amateur leagues,” she explained, “and he’s not the classic hyper-carry player that requires all the resources and ganks on the map to be funneled into him.”
“He’s a mechanically gifted player, and he’s adapted very well to every bot lane partner he’s had.”
Many of G2’s problems in 2021 stemmed from their inability to distribute resources across multiple mediums. However, Noa is convinced that this will not be the case with Flakked. “On MAD Lions Madrid he was the carrier because he needed it, but if he has to play Ziggs and tighten his tower constantly, he will.”
He will have to adapt particularly quickly in LEC. G2 are looking for a quick turnaround from their disappointing 2021 run, and they’ll need to show some strength from the start if fans are ready to trust this organization again.