With twelve out of eighteen games played, the LEC is now two-thirds of the way through the Spring Split. Sitting at 7-5 at this point in the split is MAD Lions.
MAD came into the League with a lot of hype and hope. No one could really tell how good they were going to be. From most predictions before the split, it is probably fair to say that the projected finish was around 6th place, which of course is exactly where MAD are at right now.
Alongside Humanoid, four rookies entered the LEC for MAD. Some of whom were very well known, even before playing their first LEC game (Carzzy and Orome). Shadow and Kaiser were definitely known in the scene as well, but maybe not quite as hyped as their colleagues. Now that of the regular season is two-thirds through, who is the most pivotal player to MAD’s success? Who is their best performing player? This article aims to discuss the potential candidates.
Most Pivotal Player vs Best Performing Player
Measuring an MVP for one team is surprisingly tricky. Of course, some teams have very obvious stand-out players: Think back to 2017 Fnatic with Rekkles, 2017 SKT with Faker, almost every RNG iteration with Uzi and so on. In more recent history, teams that overly rely on one player haven´t found to much success, though.
If we take a look at the last four international events, three of the four winning teams had strengths in multiple lanes and an inconspicuous MVP. Only RNG 2018 does not really fit this bill. That said, MSI-winning RNG featured a very strong supportive cast around star player Uzi. Mind and Karsa set him up for success, his solo-laners gave up a lot of farm for him and while most of the heavy-lifting was left to the super star – and he should be awarded MVP for this run – everyone in the team performed to a high level to make this victory possible.
2018 Worlds saw IG winning. This enigma of a team mostly won through sheer individual ability and mechanical execution. Almost all the experts eyed TheShy and Rookie as the best players on the team. Nevertheless, Final´s MVP went to their jungler, who played an incredibly strong series against Fnatic. Assessing the whole tournament, the discussion centred around the two solo-laners again. In most people´s minds TheShy was the best mechanical player. But consensus in 2018 also was that Rookie played an even more important role on the team and should be considered as the MVP of the team.
G2 at MSI last year was a similar case. Over the course of the year and all the success of G2, every single player was considered the best on the team for some time. At the beginning of the year: Caps for his incredible carry performances. Towards the end of the first split it was Wunder who instigated a lot of discussion with his play. Coming into MSI some analysts considered him to be the best western player.
In regular season after MSI, Mikyx received a lot of praise with Veteran calling him the “best player in the world” in one of his Elitists United Episodes. Jankos got the accolades of Summer Split MVP for his dominating jungle play. He displayed great mechanical ability as well as a unparalleled game sense.
Rounding out the year, Perkz rose up to be considered the best player on G2. Especially for his Xayah play, he was considered one of the best ADCs in the world and by most analyst to be the best Xayah player at the time.
At the start of the World Championship last year, FPX´s most hyped player was Doinb. Opinions on him differed greatly, but for most he was seen as FPX´s most pivotal piece. Towards the end of the championship, many people talked about Crisp and Tian instead. Who was the best player on that team? Doinb led them, LWX cleaned up teamfights. Crisp and Tian controlled the game and provided incredibly consistent engages.
Gimgoon enabled his teammates by being a consistent backbone for the team. Consequently, it is very hard to pinpoint, who the most valuable player of the team was. In this author´s opinion, Crisp was the best player, but if the team would have functioned without Doinb can at least be doubted.
MAD Lions´ Most Pivotal Player
This fictive award goes to Humanoid. Not only does Humanoid shape most of the games that MAD play either through great performances or missteps. He is also the most veteran voice on the team and (according to Carzzy in this Elitists United Episode) the leader of the team. In recent weeks, broadcast sometimes joked about the many deaths Humanoid accrues. This issue especially plagues him, when his team puts him on immobile mages.
Sadly for Humanoid, one of his best champs of the last year Akali has finally departed from the meta. In MAD wins though, Humanoid is usually playing a big part. And while his effective champion-pool sometimes seems like a problem, his proficiency on certain picks like LeBlanc and Azir provides MAD with a powerful weapon. In order to be considered a League MVP candidate and MAD´s outstanding player Humanoid needs to find more consistency.
Not every game has to be a hard-carry performance, but his off games are a problem. Once he can improve his B-game, Humanoid will force himself into the discussion of best mid in EU.
MAD Lions’ Best Player?
This is much harder discussion than the previous one. When in doubt, it is always easy to point to the midlaner for “most important” player. But who has performed the best so far? The LEC PoB vote has Carzzy leading the list for the MAD Lions. And Carzzy indeed has had some incredible performances. Especially on the pick that he first brought out in Europe this split: Kalista. Another favourite of his is of course Miss Fortune. MAD even tends to prioritise her over the likes of Aphelios, on whom Carzzy has not found any success yet. Furthermore the bot lane for MAD is more often than not their biggest strength come mid game.
Another candidate is Kaiser. Not only has the rookie support brought some fun picks like Bard and Taric to the LEC. Alongside Carzzy is he the back-bone of the team and always able to find what his team needs. He has shown some incredible proficiency with Rakan as well. Kaiser has the highest KDA of any MAD player. This stat is quite surprising, as it is not easy for Supports to not die in this meta. Especially from behind. Furthermore, Kaiser is the only Support player of the LEC to win a PoB so far this split.
All in all, the best thing about this point in time is that there are still 3 weeks to go. These coming weeks will decide the Spring Split for MAD. One of the two bottom laners is likely to be the best player of the team. Who, remains to be decided on a later day.
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