Worlds 2022: Europe’s road to North America

by Sage Datuin

The 2022 League European Championship got a boost heading into the 2022 League of Legends World Championship. After it was revealed that the CIS region would not be sending a team to Worlds this year, the LEC was granted an extra slot at Worlds 2022.

Four LEC teams will look to bring home a world championship title to the region. Here’s everything you should know about the four teams that will represent Europe at the upcoming world championship in North America and how they got themselves to this position.

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MAD Lions

Photo credit: Riot Games

The 2022 season has been quite the fall for MAD Lions from their multiple 2021 LEC championship runs. After a quarterfinals finish at least year’s world championship, MAD Lions lost bot laner Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság and mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda to Team Vitality and Fnatic, respectively. In the LEC 2022 spring split, MAD Lions failed to make the playoffs for the first time since joining the LEC in 2020, finishing the split in seventh place with an 8-10 record.

Read more: Worlds 2022 diamonds in the rough: Wild card region players to watch

However, the team bounced back in the summer after acquiring mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer from Fnatic to secure a second-place finish in the regular season, as well as the regular season MVP award for Nisqy. Although their summer split playoffs run was less than stellar, as they finished in fourth place without a single series win, it was enough for them to qualify for their third consecutive Worlds appearance.

MAD Lions are back on the international stage as the LEC fourth seed, where they will begin their tournament run in Mexico City in the play-in stage. With a stacked field of 12 teams competing for four group stage spots, MAD Lions are looking to rekindle their magic from the summer split to make a deep run on the international stage.

Fnatic

Photo credit: Riot Games

No matter how poor of a regular season Fnatic might have, nothing can stop the LEC veterans from making it to the Worlds stage. Fnatic are back for their sixth consecutive Worlds as they look to improve upon last year’s 14th-16th place finish.

Read more: Worlds 2022: C9, 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses carry North America’s hope

This past summer split, Fnatic finished the regular season in fifth place where they were immediately slotted into the lower bracket of the LEC 2022 summer split playoffs. In their very first series, Fnatic found themselves on the fringes of their season ending when EXCEL Esports had gone up 2-0 over them. Yet, the team pulled off a reverse sweep to bring themselves into a Worlds qualifying match against Misfits Gaming. There, Fnatic made major improvements and swept Misfits 3-0 to qualify for Worlds 2022. The team took things one step further by taking down MAD Lions 3-1 in the lower bracket before dropping to the eventual LEC summer split champions Rogue.

Like MAD Lions, Fnatic will make their Worlds 2022 debut in the play-in stage, where they are favorites to secure one of the four spots out of the play-in stage and into the group stage in New York. ‘

G2 Esports

Photo credit: Riot Games

The nine-time LEC champions are back on the Worlds stage after missing out on the end-of-the-year classic in 2021. They were unable to secure the LEC summer split title, but G2 Esports will enter the world championship with their hybrid squad of veterans and rookies, looking to grab the team’s first world championship title.

Read more: The top 10 esports orgs in the world in 2022, so far

G2 will make their Worlds 2022 debut in New York City in the group stage. They have been slotted into Group B alongside JD Gaming and DWG KIA. Placed in a group that many already view as the group of death even without knowing the fourth team, G2 Esports will have a tall task ahead of them to advance to the knockout stage.

However, with a stacked international resume that includes two Worlds semifinal finishes, a Worlds final appearance and a Mid-Season Invitational victory, you can never count out this organization on the international stage. And with a crowd watching their games at Worlds for the first time since 2019, that could be a major game-changer for the showmen on this popular European org.

Rogue

Photo credit: Riot Games

It finally happened. After seven splits of narrow misses, Rogue can finally call themselves LEC champions after taking down G2 Esports 3-0 in the LEC summer split grand final. It’s been a dominant year for Rogue as they enter Worlds 2022 as the LEC’s top-seeded team for the first time in the organization’s history.

They will make their Worlds debut during the group stage where they have been slotted into Group C alongside TOP Esports and GAM Esports. After winning their first LEC championship, can Rogue continue their momentum and turn that into a world championship trophy? We’ll see if the third time will be the charm for Rogue at their third consecutive world championship.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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